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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White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

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NBC Sports Chicago

White Sox Talk Podcast: Interview with Hall of Famer Harold Baines

Chuck Garfien sits down with new Hall of Famer Harold Baines.

First, Chuck, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka share their memories of watching Baines play with the White Sox (1:40). Then, Baines explains why he's always been so soft-spoken (8:45), how he was able to play 22 seasons in the majors (13:00), why he's never spoken to GM Larry Himes for trading him to Texas (15:30), the apology he received from President George W. Bush (16:30), what he thinks about the critics who don't think he should be in the Hall of Fame (18:25), a replay of Baines emotional interview with Chuck about his dad (20:50) and more.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

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USA TODAY

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson discusses inspiring a younger generation of black baseball players, bat flipping and much more on Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson appeared on Thursday's episode of the Pull Up Podcast hosted by Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and ESPN's Jordan Schultz to discuss many things including his MLB career, the charity work he does in the Chicago community and the need more expression and entertainment (overall) in baseball.

McCollum asked Anderson if the sport of baseball has evolved and what he would do to further these developments, based on the idea that the sport has a stigma of being boring, particularly within inner-city and/or largely black communities. Anderson stated, "They should allow players to have more fun.....just allow players to be themselves." 

Anderson discussed how being the only black player on the White Sox—the team that represents the South Side of Chicago—is extremely important to him and how great the White Sox organization has been at giving him every opportunity to be himself and "be comfortable". He expanded on how much he loves MLB life and how he wants to be able to pass on that love for the game to younger generations, especially the youth of the South Side of Chicago.

"I enjoy it [the responsibility of being the lone black player on the White Sox].....a lot of those kids in they area [the South Side], they kinda remind me of myself."

Schultz brought up the criticism of Anderson's bat flipping, asking him why it was so important for him to show that he was enjoying himself, at the expense of breaking one of baseball's "unwritten rules".

Being of a younger generation, Anderson lamented that it was indeed a new day in baseball and doubled down in saying that the simple aspect of having fun needs to be encouraged even more in the sport. 

"You're playing a game that you're failing most of the time and the times that you do succeed they don't want you to enjoy those moments. For me man, y'know, I think that's just a lot of pain showing.....from struggling, that's just that emotion that's coming out man. You know when you finally get to a point where you feel like you breaking through.....those moments that I want to remember and I want people around me to remember. That’s why I play the way that I do.”

Anderson is indeed having the best season of his career so far, with a slash line of .317/.342/.491 entering Friday morning. He is also nine home runs away from matching his season-high of 20 with over the half the season left to go.

With even more of a platform amid his career-year, Anderson has continued his crusade to make baseball fun again and doesn’t plan on changing up the way he plays the game anytime soon.


 

As touched on earlier in this post, Anderson wants to serve as a role model while also showing the youth that it is OK to be yourself as a Major League Baseball player.

In all the camps and baseball clinics that Anderon hosts, he always makes sure to answer every question about his unique experience in the MLB because he understands the value of kids getting to see someone who looks like them succeeding, even more so in a sport where the number black players sits at a mere 7.7% of the entire league

“Everything [is] not always good [for kids in inner-city communities], so I think that understanding that and kinda being a role model and motivating and inspiring those kids that look like me and I look like them, I think it's easier for those kids to look up to me. So that's why I go out and play hard and....enjoy the moment and do those crazy things on the field.....because that's what those kids like."

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