By dropping 3 out of 4 games, Chicago White Sox show they’re not on par with New York Yankees – Chicago Tribune

The Chicago White Sox have three games left against the New York Yankees next weekend in the Bronx, so there’s still a chance to show they’re in the same league.

They might have been seen as equals at the start of the 2022 season, but the four-game streak that ended on Sunday suggests they are in different stratospheres.

The Yankees are the best team in baseball. The Sox are a talented team that fails to live up to its own high expectations. And it showed this weekend on the South Side.

Four homers and a seven-run eighth inning led the Yankees to a 15-7 win in Game 1 on Thursday, and they took a 5-0 lead after two innings on Friday, hammering four more home runs in a 10- 4 shellacking.

After the Sox picked up a 3-2 victory Saturday on Luis Robert’s hit, Michael Kopech imploded in a 41-pitch second inning Sunday, walking four, forcing in two runs and allowing a third to score on a wild field.

It was a prolonged hiccup on an otherwise dominant outing by Kopech, who allowed just one hit in six innings. But Joey Gallo’s walkathon and two-run homer against Jose Ruiz in the ninth proved enough in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory before 29,500, giving them three of four in the series.

“We had a chance, we were competing today,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “We were knocked out of one game. That score alone (15-7) was misleading, so, I mean, I think we can compete with anyone.

Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu agreed.

“I feel like our team has a lot of ways that can lead to a win,” LeMahieu said. “We play a very good defense and have a very good throw, which keeps us going in every game. Offensively, we just have a lot of ways to score. A few games there where we just found a way to win.

“We see them three more times pretty quickly. They’re a good team, one of the best teams we’ve seen this year.

Sox pitchers allowed just two hits on Sunday, but the offense managed just four, including a hit by Robert when they trailed by four with two outs in the ninth.

A lot can change by October. Maybe the return of injured Sox stars Lance Lynn and Eloy Jiménez would make the difference if the two teams meet in the playoffs, or maybe the Sox could win next weekend’s series in New York. and show that they are in the same area code as the Yankees.

“We came here and played good baseball, and at the end of the day we took three out of four,” Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson said. “I know they’re probably a little stoned right now. Look, they played well last year, but like I said, they’re a little beat up and we were good to go.

Dylan Cease knocked out 11 Yankees in four innings in Game 1, but every mistake he made cost dearly. Ditto Kopech with his brief loss of control. How much did Kopech cost and how much was the patience of the Yankees?

“A bit of both,” LeMahieu said. “We’re doing a good job of keeping the pitcher in the zone. But he wasn’t throwing either.

Even if the Sox win American League Central, they may have to beat the Yankees at some point in the playoffs to qualify for the World Series, a goal that seemed attainable early in the season.

They can replay the end of last year’s Field of Dreams game until the apocalypse, but until the Sox show they can consistently beat the Yankees, that magical night last August will be treated as an outlier.

On Sunday, La Russa inserted José Abreu as the designated hitter for the sixth time this season, giving their struggling first baseman a day off. Abreu snapped an 0-for-21 drought on Saturday but has yet to find his shot and has been inferior defensively.

Abreu has always been a reluctant DH. And like managers Robin Ventura and Rick Renteria before him, La Russa seems reluctant to make Abreu at least a part-time DH.

“He plays first most of the time, but he knows that once in a while (we) relieve him just because he’s so active,” La Russa said. “It’s hard not to (leave him at the start) because you watch him, he makes a lot of plays. But I think he understands, and this year, in fact, he’s been good as a DH. It didn’t take anything away from his strike.

Abreu went 0 for 4 and saw his average drop to 0.197. He is averaging .190 and .551 OPS playing first. At 35, it might be time for Abreu to at least share first base with Andrew Vaughn, because that will happen sooner or later anyway.

La Russa was candid ahead of Sunday’s game while discussing Dallas Keuchel’s comment about wanting to pitch more than five innings on Saturday, assuring the media that lifting his starter was one of the easiest decisions he’s made. taken.

“We the team are mostly grateful and excited for the five innings he pitched,” La Russa said before pointing out that Keuchel was “not good” in pitching beyond the fifth. “With the guys coming in, I think the team would have appreciated him saying, ‘Boy…'”

La Russa has not finished thinking. He took another tangent, so we can’t really say what he thought the team would have liked Keuchel to say after Saturday’s win. We can only assume that La Russa wished Keuchel had thanked Kendall Graveman for two strong runs and Robert for going through the clutch instead of bringing up the management decision.

It’s not easy to tell the players you love and respect that they’re getting older, but you have to. La Russa once credited close friend and former coach Jim Leyland with persuading him to tone down his badass act during his first go-around as Sox manager.

“Jimmy always had a knack for being able to chew someone today and laugh with them tomorrow,” La Russa told Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci in 1996. “He was the one who told me in 1982 that I had to let the players see the other side of me, a lighter side, or they would fade away.

Unfortunately, a lighter side from La Russa isn’t what the Sox need right now.

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