White Sox

White Sox vs. Red Sox simulation on MLB The Show 20

White Sox vs. Red Sox simulation on MLB The Show 20

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. In our simulation, the Southsiders started 3-3, dropping a series vs. the Royals and winning a series vs. the Indians. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Despite it being a chilly April affair, the bats were in mid-summer form in the series opener between the White Sox and Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Southsiders jumped on Nathan Eovaldi early, as Edwin Encarnacion and Yasmani Grandal hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning to give the Sox a 4-1 lead. Tim Anderson followed that up with a two-run bomb of his own in the 4th, bouncing Eovaldi from the game.

The wheels came off for the White Sox in the sixth. The Red Sox recorded three straight hits off Dallas Keuchel, scoring once. Rick Renteria brought in Kelvin Herrera to stop the bleeding. But he failed to do so and Boston went on to score four more times in the inning to take a 7-6 lead. An unlikely hero saved the day for Chicago. Leury Garcia smashed a go-ahead, two-run double to left-center in the bottom of the eighth.

Aaron Bummer recorded a four-out save as the White Sox took game one from the Red Sox, 9-7.

Result: White Sox def. Red Sox 9-7

Record: 4-3, 1st in A.L. Central

W: Steve Cishek (1-0)
L: Matt Barnes (0-1)
SV: Aaron Bummer (3)

White Sox Lineup:

1. Tim Anderson: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI (.344 BA)
2. Yoan Moncada: 2-4 (.387 BA)
3. Jose Abreu: 1-5 (.250 BA)
4. Edwin Encarnacion: 1-5, HR, 2 RBI (.240 BA)
5. Yasmani Grandal: 2-5, HR, RBI (.321 BA)
6. Eloy Jimenez: 1-4 (.280 BA)
7. Luis Robert: 0-3 (.272 BA)
8. Nomar Mazara: 2-4, RBI (.222 BA)
9. Leury Garcia: 1-4, 2 RBI (.250 BA)

Scoring Summary

Bottom 1st:

- J.D. Martinez doubled to left center. Jose Peraza scored. 1-0 BOS.

Top 2nd:

- Nomar Mazara doubled to right. Yasmani Grandal scored. 1-1.

Top 3rd:

- Edwin Encarnacion homered to center. Tim Anderson scored. 3-1 CHW.  
- Yasmani Grandal homered to right. 4-1 CHW.

Top 4th:

- Tim Anderson homered to left. Nomar Mazara scored. 6-1 CHW.

Bottom 5th:

- Michael Chavis homered to center. 6-2 CHW.

Bottom 6th:

- Rafael Devers doubled to right. J.D. Martinez scored. 6-3 CHW.
- Kevin Pillar singled to left. Xander Bogaerts scored. 6-4 CHW
- Christian Vazquez doubled to left. Rafael Devers scored.  Kevin Pillar scored. 6-6.
- Mitch Moreland flew out to center. Christian Vazquez scored. 7-6 BOS

Top 8th:

- Leury Garcia doubled to left center. Eloy Jimenez scored. Luis Robert scored. 8-7 CHW
- Tim Anderson singled to right. Leury Garcia scored. 9-7 CHW

Notable Performance: Yasmani Grandal has looked worth every penny of his $73M-deal so far this season. With his solo shot in the third inning, Grandal has already homered four times in seven games, good for fourth in the American League.

Next Game: Saturday, April 4th - Gm. 8: White Sox at Red Sox (Gio Gonzalez vs Brian Johnson)

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MLB The Show: White Sox celebrate Memorial Day with 6-4 win over Orioles

MLB The Show: White Sox celebrate Memorial Day with 6-4 win over Orioles

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Result: White Sox def. Orioles, 6-4

Record: 25-29, 3rd in A.L. Central (5.0 GB of Twins)

W: Reynaldo Lopez (5-2)
L: Asher Wojciechowski (1-6)
SV: Alex Colome (8)

Game summary: Monday’s Memorial Day matchup between the White Sox and Orioles was one of two teams going in opposite directions. The White Sox are red hot with a six-game winning streak, while the O’s were riding a nine-game losing skid.

The White Sox set off the fireworks early with a leadoff home run from Edwin Encarnacion, his 16th of the season. Two batters later, Yoan Moncada homered for the 10th time this season, becoming the sixth White Sox hitter with double-digit long balls on the season. 

Encarnacion continued his run production in the fourth, driving in Luis Robert with a RBI single to left field to give the Sox a 3-1 lead. The offense didn’t skip a frame, scoring two in the fifth behind a Jose Abreu sacrifice fly and a Tim Anderson RBI single to give the Sox a four-run advantage.

The following inning, Eloy Jimenez joined the power production with his 20th homer of the season, tied for league lead with Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 2-5, HR, 2 RBI (.314 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-5, HR, RBI (.268 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 2-5, HR, RBI (.261 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 2-5, 2B (.252 BA)
Jose Abreu: 1-4, RBI (.308 BA)
Tim Anderson: 2-4, RBI, 2B (.300 BA)
Luis Robert: 0-3, BB (.237 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 2-4, 2 2B (.299 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 1-4 (.244 BA)

Scoring summary:

Top first:

Edwin Encarnacion homered to center field. 1-0 CHW.
Yoan Moncada homered to right field. 2-0 CHW.

Bottom second:

Renato Nunez homered to left field. 2-1 CHW.

Top fourth:

Encarnacion singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 3-1 CHW.

Top fifth:

Jose Abreu sacrifice fly to center field, Moncada scored. 4-1 CHW.
Tim Anderson singled to center field, Nick Madrigal scored. 5-1 CHW.

Top sixth:

Eloy Jimenez homered to left field. 6-1 CHW.

Bottom seventh:

Austin Hays doubled to right field, Trey Mancini scored. 6-2 CHW.

Bottom ninth:

Ramon Urias doubled to right field, D.J. Stewart and Hays scored. 6-4 CHW.

Notable performance: Reynaldo Lopez continues to pitch well, leading the White Sox with five wins on the season. He went 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven Baltimore batters and only allowing two earned runs. 

Next game: Tuesday, May 26 - Game 55: White Sox at Orioles (Michael Kopech, 0-0, 2.13 ERA vs Keegan Akin, 2-3, 4.44 ERA)

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White Sox 2005 Rewind: With a little help from old friend Tony Graffanino

White Sox 2005 Rewind: With a little help from old friend Tony Graffanino

In the eighth inning of Game 3 of the 2000 ALDS, the White Sox inserted Tony Graffanino into the game as a pinch-runner.

He was erased when Paul Konerko hit into an inning-ending double play. Graffanino stayed in the game at third base and was on the field when the Seattle Mariners walked off Keith Foulke and the White Sox.

The White Sox didn’t get back to the postseason for another five years.

But when they did, Graffanino was there again, this time playing for the opposing Boston Red Sox. He started at second base and had one of the best seats in the house to watch the South Siders beat the defending champs’ brains in for a 14-2 win in Game 1 of the 2005 ALDS. The next night, he factored into things a bit more prominently, though certainly not in the way he hoped.

Graffanino played for the White Sox from 2000 to 2003. He started the 2005 season as a division rival, suiting up for the Kansas City Royals before being dealt to the Red Sox in the middle of the campaign. He had himself an excellent season, and his good numbers with the Royals got even better when he went to Boston. He hit .319 and reached base at a .355 clip in his 51 regular-season games with the Red Sox.

But his defense, or lack thereof, would be his key contribution to the ALDS that season, unintentionally helping turn the tide in the middle of the series’ second game — for his old mates.

After torching Matt Clement for eight runs in Game 1, the White Sox offense wasn’t finding things quite as easy against another former South Sider, David Wells, who had the bats well silenced through four innings. Meanwhile, Mark Buehrle was atypically hittable in the early going of this one, giving up two first-inning runs — he only gave up six first-inning runs in his 33 regular-season starts — and two more runs in the third.

But the same White Sox lineup scored two touchdowns the day before and was obviously capable of banging around Boston’s lackluster pitching staff. The White Sox strung some hits together against Wells in the bottom of the fifth to cut the deficit in half, and Juan Uribe came up with a runner on first and one out. He tapped a grounder to second, hitting what appeared to be a pretty routine double-play ball.

Except Graffanino whiffed.

RELATED: White Sox 2005 Rewind: Underdogs? 14-run ALDS coming-out party said otherwise

Instead of an inning-ending double play, Graffanino’s error kept the inning alive. And after Scott Podsednik popped out to third base, the bill came due. Tadahito Iguchi hit a go-ahead, three-run homer that sent the South Side into pure chaos.


All three runs were unearned, but they still counted.

Buehrle settled down nicely, and after giving up his fourth run, he retired 13 of the final 15 hitters he faced, allowing just a couple singles. Bobby Jenks was stellar in his first career playoff game, called upon for a two-inning save in a one-run game. No matter. He retired six of the eight batters he faced, including Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, the only hit he gave up a ninth-inning double to, who else, Graffanino. But with the tying run 180 feet away, Jenks got a pop out and a ground ball to put the White Sox a win away from an ALDS sweep.


Now, I’m not trying to revive the one-time trend of jumping all over a guy who lets a ball roll under his glove during a key playoff game on the right side of the Red Sox infield. That’s, as the kids say, tired and not at all wired.

And the White Sox deserve plenty if not most of the credit. They were no strangers to comebacks of all stripes during that 2005 season. It's one thing to be gifted an opportunity. It's another to be able to capitalize. Iguchi was clutch as could be, and his defensive plays at second base in this one were important, too, earning him an enthusiastic hug from Buehrle in the dugout after the seventh inning. Buehrle and Jenks’ efforts on the hill were just as important as a big inning at the right time.

But how funny does the world work — the baseball world, in particular — that with the White Sox attempting to erase an 88-year title drought, who should be there to turn the game around in their favor but a former teammate and a guy who was on the field the last time they were this close, half a decade earlier?

That’s team-of-destiny stuff right there.

Keep reliving the White Sox march to the 2005 World Series with #SoxRewind, which features Game 3 of the ALDS, airing at 7 p.m. Monday on NBC Sports Chicago.

 

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