Takeaways from White Sox loss to Mariners
|Thursday, April 8, 2021, 11:43 AM- -|
Going for their first sweep of the 2021 season, the White Sox turned to Dallas Keuchel on the hill as he looked to out-match Justin Dunn. Keuchel is coming off an impressive 2020 season in which he posted a sub 2.00 ERA but has struggled his first two times through the rotation.
After allowing a third-inning run on an RBI groundout, Keuchel settled back in before Zach Collins, and the White Sox offense spotted him with three runs in the top of the fifth.
That was when the wheels began to fall off as Seattle struck for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. Two of them were charged to Keuchel, while the other five were charged to Matt Foster as the Mariners avoided the sweep with an 8-4 win.
Here are some takeaways from the game:
Terrific catching duo
Last season, when the White Sox added Yasmani Grandal to their roster, there were many questions about James McCann and his future. After all, McCann was a starting-caliber catcher, but he was nowhere near the level of Grandal. What ended up happening for the White Sox was incredible as they had probably the best catching duo in all of baseball.
With McCann now with the Mets, the White Sox needed a backup to fill in for Grandal and see time as a DH. Enter Collins, who is off to a great start and maybe an even better start than Grandal. Collins is certainly not going to see everyday reps behind the dish, but if he continues to come up with big hits in the clutch, his bat will stay in the lineup.
Essentially, Collins has shown the ability to produce so far this year, and once again, the White Sox may have one heck of a catching tandem on their hands again for 2021. When most teams struggle to find a serviceable backup, the White Sox once again have two catchers who could start on most teams in the league.
A strange outing for Dunn
When you rewatch this game from Wednesday, you can see how odd it was. On the one hand, you have the fast-working Keuchel, who, for the most part, kept the Mariners off balance apart from a shaky sixth inning. Then you had Dunn throwing for the M's, who only allowed three runs but walked eight hitters compared to just one strikeout.
When was the last time you saw a line like that where the team who took the eight walks lost? I honestly can't think of too many times when that happened, but that was the case on Wednesday. Not only that, but the White Sox also lost by four runs as the seven-run sixth inning by the Mariners proved to be too much for them to overcome.
Had this been last season, the White Sox would have feasted off eight walks and probably would have hit a grand slam somewhere in there. Wednesday saw the White Sox constantly keep pressure on but failed to come up with a big hit. It is all part of the early season struggles that many teams go through when they break camp.
Sox try to stay afloat after injuries
As spring training came to a close, the White Sox were dealt a massive blow to their lineup with Eloy Jimenez hitting the IL. After attempting to rob a home run, Jimenez overextended his right shoulder on the fence resulting in a ruptured Pectoral Muscle. The diagnosis is not good as he will miss 5-6 months.
His bat was a considerable presence in the middle of the lineup and someone you could count on to deliver 30 plus homers and close to 100 RBIs from the right side. However, he isn't the most important player on that team as that title belongs to Tim Anderson. Unfortunately for Chicago, Anderson too is heading to the IL as he continues to nurse a hamstring injury.
While Anderson's injury may not be as severe as Jimenez, hamstrings are a tricky injury and often take longer to heal fully. Given how often he uses his speed to his advantage and the position he plays, Anderson could be out a while, as the White Sox will wait until he is 100 percent. Not only is he great in the field, but he is the table-setter for the offense handling the leadoff duties for this team.
A .300 plus hitter for the past few seasons, Anderson has gotten off to a slow start, but I think his hammy had something to do with that. Chicago needs to overcome these early-season injuries and keep within striking distance. The slower the start, the harder it will be for them to come back when they get healthy again.