White Sox

Who knew? Lucas Giolito's historic success and what White Sox hitter is Reynaldo Lopez's biggest fan

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USA TODAY

Who knew? Lucas Giolito's historic success and what White Sox hitter is Reynaldo Lopez's biggest fan

The White Sox finished a five-game road trip 2-3, but they head home on a two-game win streak, knocking on the door of .500 with a 31-33 record.

There were a lot of fun facts to unearth over the past week; the biggest story is still Lucas Giolito, so let’s start with him.

Giolito keeps getting better

Giolito has a 0.88 ERA and 0.677 WHIP over his last seven starts. He’s allowing a slashline of .145/.200/.185 over that span. Not surprisingly, he’s also 7-0 in those games.

What’s even more impressive? Two things involving the number five.

Giolito has gone 7-0 in his last seven starts despite the White Sox not scoring more than five runs in any of those starts. They have put up only 23 runs (3.29 per game) over that winning streak, and Giolito went 7-0 anyway. The last White Sox pitcher to get a win in seven straight starts despite the offense scoring no more than five runs in any of them was Eddie Cicotte, who did it in 11 straight starts (he made two relief appearances over that span, but I’m only counting the starts) to begin the notorious 1919 season. The 11th and final game of that remarkable streak was June 10, 1919, – 100 years ago today. Cicotte went on to win a 12th straight start… but the White Sox scored a “gaudy” six runs in that game.

Furthermore, Giolito has not allowed more than five hits in any of the seven straight wins. And he’s the only pitcher in White Sox history to win seven straight starts with five or fewer hits allowed in all of them (thanks to the Elias Sports Bureau for research assistance).

Reynaldo López’s biggest fan

López has made 14 starts this season. Yoán Moncada has at least one hit in all 14.

In fact, Moncada is hitting .444/.492/.907 with seven home runs (7 of his 12 HR on the season) and 15 RBIs in those 14 games, including a 4-for-5 performance Sunday.

Road warrior

Eloy Jiménez hit his eighth home run of the season on Sunday (it traveled 471 feet!!). All eight of his career home runs have been on the road!

There are 125 players whose first eight career home runs all came in a White Sox uniform.

Of those 125, only three hit their first eight on the road.

Jiménez (2019), Nellie Fox (his first nine – 1951-54) and Johnny Mostil (his first eight – 1921-22).

Jiménez currently boasts these odd home/road splits:

  Games PA BA HR RBI OBP SLG
Home 17 65 .279 0 3 .323 .344
Road 23 94 .205 8 14 .255 .489

Jiménez is the first White Sox player to hit his first eight home runs of a season on the road since José Abreu hit his first 13 away from Guaranteed Rate Field in 2017.

His first career home run in Chicago will be quite an event. Stay tuned for that.

Bummer

That’s what opposing hitters are saying when he enters the game. How good has he been this season?

This good: 446 pitchers have faced at least 50 batters this season. Of those 446, here is where Aaron Bummer is ranked:

Opponent Batting Avg. .100 2nd
Opponent OBP .182 1st*
Opponent SLG .117 1st

* - Tied with Alex Colome

Bummer indeed.

You’ll get nothing and like it

Evan Marshall finally allowed a run Wednesday in Washington.

But it was unearned!

He now has 14 appearances and 14 innings… with an ERA of 0.00. He has twice as many appearances as anyone else in the Majors with a 0.00 ERA this season.

Here’s a list:

Most appearances this season among pitchers who still have a 0.00 ERA

Player Team Appearances Innings
Evan Marshall White Sox 14 14
Dillon Maples Cubs 7 5.2
Wei-Chung Wang A's 5 7.2
Grant Dayton Braves 5 4
Xavier Cedeno Cubs 5 2

Marshall has been one of the pleasant surprises for the White Sox this season.

White Sox debut

On the hill tonight is Odrisamer Despaigne, making his White Sox debut. I’ll close this column with a few of my favorite Despaigne tidbits…

  • The name Odrisamer Despaigne contains the letters of the team for which he made his MLB Debut. San Diego Padres.
  • Despaigne was the first Cuban-born pitcher with 7-plus scoreless innings in his MLB Debut (June 23, 2014 – Tim Anderson’s 21st birthday) since Luis Tiant of the Indians 7/19/1964 (game 2 of doubleheader)
  • An anagram for Odrisamer Despaigne is “desperado enigma, sir”

Keep your eyes on the box scores, and I’ll be back with more baseball oddities and fun facts next time!

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SprtsTalk Live Podcast: Is MLB about to strike out forever?

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USA TODAY

SprtsTalk Live Podcast: Is MLB about to strike out forever?

David Haugh, Chuck Garfien and JJ Stankevitz join Kap on a Friday edition of STL. 

The MLB owners and players appear to be farther apart then ever with the union saying they will not take a further pay cut. Is the sport about to strike out forever?

Meanwhile, the Bulls season is over. Will a nine-month lay-off help or hurt them? Plus, the Bears may not get together as a team until training camp. Will that hurt them at all?

Finally, Jean Lenti Ponsetto will retire as DePaul athletic director this summer. Can a new AD get the men’s basketball team back to national prominence?

0:00 - There’s still no baseball and the two sides don’t even appear to be in the same ballpark. Are the owners and players heading for a mutually assured destruction? Does one side need to give in first for the good of the game?

11:00 - The NBA is returning but the Bulls won’t take part. Is it better for them to have a 9-month lay-off?

15:00 - The Bears and other NFL teams may not get to work out together until training camp. Does the hurt the Bears?

19:00 - Jean Lenti Ponsetto will retire as DePaul AD this summer. Can a new AD bring the Blue Demons men’s basketball team back to national prominence?

 

Listen here or below.

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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Report: 2020 MLB season will happen, how many baseball games is unclear

Report: 2020 MLB season will happen, how many baseball games is unclear

Fans looking for good news during the financial fight between baseball’s owners and players are getting it from SNY’s Andy Martino. He says there will be a baseball season in 2020.

No, there’s no imminent agreement between the two warring sides. But the worst-case scenario, no season at all, seems as if it will be avoided, per Martino, who reported Friday that players will play even if Major League Baseball sidesteps further negotiations and imposes a season of perhaps fewer than 50 games.

The league’s ability to do that was reported on earlier in the week, included as part of the March agreement between the two parties. The parsing of that agreement is at the center of these contentious money talks. The players agreed to prorated salaries based on the number of games played, but the owners believe they’re able to ask for further pay cuts now that they’ve deemed it economically impossible to play even half a season without fans in the stands and pay players half their salaries. Players, distrustful of that claim, say the owners should prove it by opening their books.

The players are standing firm in not accepting further pay cuts, with union chief Tony Clark saying Thursday any proposal of further cuts would be rejected. While there was some confusion over whether the owners would stop making proposals altogether, Martino reported that the league could make another financial offer to the union.

Here’s another wrinkle: The governor of Texas recently said that fans would be allowed to attend sporting events in that state. Thursday brought a report that Major League Baseball is likely to allow the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros to have fans in the stands, signaling that governors in the 17 different states where major league teams play would have the final say on whether they could sell tickets. That could mean more revenue, a significant variable thrown into this whole thing.


RELATED: Return-to-play negotiations: How Rob Manfred and Adam Silver's roles differ

So how many games are going to be played? That remains a question without an answer.

If the players refuse further pay cuts, as they’ve said they will, then perhaps a roughly 50-game season would be in the cards. If there are concessions as negotiations continue, that number could grow. Martino outlined that if the owners agree to pay those full prorated salaries for more than 50 games, perhaps we’ll see expanded playoffs, which was part of the players’ last proposal the league rejected. Perhaps we’d see players mic’d up during games. Perhaps we’d see the union stop demanding full financial transparency from ownership.

But no budging from either side and the league’s 50-game plan seems more realistic, despite the frustration it could spark among fans. While a 50-game schedule would mean a lot more off days, creating health benefits for players related to both typical baseball maladies and the coronavirus, it could be argued it would be an illegitimate way to crown a champion. However, there’s an argument to be made that a 50-game sprint would be a fascinating contrast to baseball’s typical 162-game marathon, often criticized for its at times glacial pace.

If the two sides can come to an agreement, perhaps that wished-for July 4 Opening Day would still be possible, though teams would have to hustle to start a second round of spring training, which was originally pitched to begin next week. If they can’t, then the league’s mandated 50-game season might start closer to the end of July, with the postseason played as usual, during the month of October.

But with the league adamant about the playoffs wrapping up no later than early November, fearing an increase in COVID-19 infections come fall, time is of the essence. And that’s what makes Martino say that next week is when we’ll find out how much baseball will be played in 2020.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.