If you’ve been following along thus far, you know two things about this year’s edition of the Chicago White Sox on Sony’s staple baseball simulator, MLB the Show.
- The game absolutely loves the White Sox’s offensive potential. The virtual White Sox rake in this game.
- The game is not a fan of the pitching depth on the Southside, and for some reason they don’t like Lucas Giolito to recreate his 2019 success at all.
Those two things were abundantly clear in the last round, when the offense carried the team to an upset of the Los Angeles Dodgers in three games, and they were just as prevalant in this series against Cleveland.
While I was surprised that the Sox pulled off the best-of-three upset over the Dodgers, I think that the American League Central powers — particularly the Indians — are overrated by many. The only thing about this series that shocked me was the way that it unfolded, not the result.
Here’s the recap of the Quarterfinals best-of-three between the White Sox and Indians.
Game 1: White Sox 3, Indians 2 (F/17)
In Game 1 of the TCD MLB Tournament Quarterfinals, the White Sox got on the board early when Tim Anderson scored on an Eloy Jimenez bases-loaded walk, giving the White Sox a 1-0 lead over Jefry Rodriguez and the ninth-seeded Cleveland Indians.
In the bottom of the second, the Indians jumped ahead of the White Sox on a pair of RBI singles by Delino DeShields Jr, and Jordan Luplow against Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
Giolito and Rodriguez would hold the opposing offenses at bay from there, with both turning in strong starts. Giolito turned in six innings of two-run ball on six hits, while Rodriguez settled in after three first inning walks, tossing five innings of one-run ball.
The White Sox tied the ballgame in the top of the eighth inning on an Edwin Encarnacion sacrifice fly. That would be the last run for a while.
In the top of the 17th Nomar Mazara finally broke the stalemate with a home run to dead-center, giving the White Sox a 3-2 lead.
With the game hanging in the balance in the home half of the 15th, Dylan Cease entered the game with the bases loaded and two outs. He got Delino DeShields Jr to ground out to Danny Mendick to escape the jam, and then threw two more scoreless frames to secure the victory.
Game 2: Indians 7, White Sox 3 (F/11)
After a 17-inning affair in Game 1, it was again the White Sox offense striking early in a rainy Game 2 at Guaranteed Rate Field, this time in the form of an Eloy Jimenez home run against Indians’ starter Mike Clevinger in the bottom of the second inning.
Francisco Lindor evened the score with a double to left field the next half-inning, scoring Carlos Santana and tying the ballgame up at one-a-piece. In the top of the fifth, Lindor picked up his second RBI of the contest, singling home Delino DeShields Jr to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead.
The White Sox would reclaim the lead in the home half of the sixth when Jose Abreu drove in a pair on a double to centerfield against Clevinger, putting the Sox on top 3-2 after six in Chicago.
After tossing 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Dallas Keuchel, Reynaldo Lopez surrendered a two-out RBI triple to Tyler Naquin, allowing Cleveland to tie the game up at 3-3. The Indians would eventually plate four runs in the top of the 11th inning against Steve Cishek, giving Cleveland a 7-3 victory, and forcing a deciding game Game 3 in Cleveland.
Game 3: White Sox 10, Cleveland 9 (F/10)
After a big Game 2, Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor got things going early for Cleveland against Gio Gonzalez, crushing a home run to deep right field to making it 1-0 early. Delino DeShields Jr added a solo-shot of his own in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead.
Indians starter Shane Bieber would preserve that lead until the fifth inning where the Sox’s potent offense struck again.
Nomar Mazara kicked off the scoring with a two-run home run off of Bieber, tying the ballgame up at 2-2, but the Sox weren’t done there. Yoan Moncada gave Chicago a 4-2 lead with a two-run bomb of his own, this one scoring Tim Anderson who reached on a Francisco Lindor error two pitches prior. The Sox would add one more on an Edwin Encarnacion single that scored Jose Abreu, making it 5-2, after five innings.
As consistently as the White Sox offense has been very good in this tournament, the White Sox bullpen has been equally consistent in the other direction. The ‘pen surrendered a run in the sixth when Delino DeShields Jr hit his second long ball of the game, and then four more runs in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Indians a late 7-5 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion homered in the top of the eighth to cut the deficit to one, but Cleveland got the run right back in the home-half on an RBI single by Roberto Perez.
Trailing by a pair, and down to their final three outs, the White Sox offense came through once again. Brad Hand walked Jose Abreu to open the ninth, and Yasmani Grandal tied the ballgame up with a two-run home run on the very next offering from Hand.
In the top of the 10th, Jose Abreu drove in Nomar Mazara on a sacrifice fly, and Yasmani Grandal added another run, singling to centerfield and scoring Tim Anderson to give the Sox a 10-8 lead.
The Indians cut the Sox lead down to one in the home half of the 10th when Cesar Hernandez took Alex Colome yard, but Colome would get Tyler Naquin and Delino DeShields Jr to fly out and secure the victory.
It took three extra-innings affairs that spanned a total of 38 innings, but the White Sox and their red-hot offense capped off another series victory, this time against the rival Indians, and will take on the Minnesota Twins in the TCD MLB Tournament Semifinals.
Complete Quarterfinals Results
- (2) Astros vs. (10) Mets
- G1: Astros 6, Mets 4
- G2: Astros 9, Mets 7
- (3) Yankees vs. (6) Nationals
- G1: Yankees 3, Nationals 0
- G2: Nationals 2, Yankees 1
- G3: Nationals 6, Yankees 5
- (4) Rays vs. (5) Twins
- G1: Twins 4, Rays 2 (F/10)
- G2: Twins 8, Rays 1
- (9) Indians vs. (17) White Sox
- G1: White Sox 3, Indians 2 (F/17)
- G2: Indians 7, White Sox 3 (F/11)
- G3: White Sox 10, Indians 9 (F/10)
Here’s what the bracket looks like heading into the semifinals: