HomeTrending MLB NewsOpening Day, New Horizons For White Sox

Opening Day, New Horizons For White Sox

With the arrival of a new season came a lot of changes for the Chicago White Sox. Notable changes included shakeups in the front office, most of the coaching staff, and even a new play by play announcer. Of course, so many new players now make up half of the roster. 

Since 1901, they are 66-56 on Opening Day, including a 16-8 record since 2000. Their longest Opening Day win streak was seven wins in a row between 2008 and 2014. Their longest Opening Day losing streak was five losses in a row from 1993 to 1997. They also have faced the Tigers 26 times and have a .500 record against them.

It was the same story as it has been for many seasons. No matter who starts the game, they bust their butt giving up less than three runs. Sometimes even just one. However, their offense did not come to play. By not putting together long innings, they only got three hits and left all of them on. The Tigers’ ace Tarik Skubal threw six shutout innings, giving up only three hits on 89 pitches.

The positives were that like the aces before him (Mark Buehrle, Chris Sale, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease), Garrett Crochet pitched brilliantly. When you come off Tommy John Surgery and haven’t even started any games as a major leaguer, it is impressive to make the team as a starter- let alone the Opening Day starter. Crochet threw six innings on 87 pitches, striking out eight batters. Even more impressive he walked no one, since he looked to have full command of his pitches.

The only run he gave up was a sacrifice fly to Andy Ibanez, who drove in former Cubs SS Javy Baez. Baez was put into scoring position by stealing second base and CF Parker Meadows sacrificed him to third base. That was something the Sox were missing, playing small ball to put some runs on the board. They also struck out way too much with eleven total.

It did not help that a few strike calls were questionable, with the throw being out of the strike zone either at the top or bottom. That puts batters behind in the count and the pitcher ahead, which is why Skubal had very quick innings to shut out the Sox.

New acquisitions Nicky Lopez and Paul DeJong made a difference defensively, making some nice plays. C Martin Maldando made some snappy plays to keep pitches in front of him that were bounced in the dirt. Dominic Leone pitched a 1-2-3 inning, picking up where he left off as did Deivi Garcia.

In spite of the new defensive additions, those additions were hitless- including two of the main contributors. Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Andrew Vaughn got the three singles that ended with no advancement or runs. If this is how the pitching and the defense play (like the front office wanted when making moves in the offseason), then Sox fans can breathe a little a bit. The thing they cannot breathe on is how the offense looks like the same old Sox- leaving runners on, swinging at bad pitches and generally looking lifeless.
The takeaways from Opening Day: they have an ace in Crochet and made good decisions on both the bullpen and the defense. The other takeaway was it wasn’t manager Pedro Grifol’s fault they lost, as it was a chronic lack of production on the part of the offense. There are 161 games left, so don’t run through all your worry yet Sox fans. You have all season to worry.

Jeff Stine
Jeff Stinehttps://mlbreport.com/
Host of three podcasts: On The Radar, Off the Radar & Radar's MMQB. CEO of On The Radar Entertainment blog. Host of two YouTube shows on movie reviews and baseball observations.


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