Just as they’ve done throughout the tournament, the White Sox rode their bats to victory in this best-of-five against the Minnesota Twins.
But now, a meeting with the undefeated Washington Nationals awaits them in the Finals of the TCD MLB Tournament this weekend.
Game 1: Twins 6, White Sox 0
Carlos Rodon was shelled by the Twins early in Game 1, allowing six earned runs on nine hits to the high-powered Twins offense, as Rich Hill blanked the Sox for seven innings en route to a win for Minnesota.
Nelson Cruz got the Twins offense going in the bottom of the second, and the Twins never took their foot off the accelerator, plating five more as they took a 1-0 lead over the Sox in Game 1 of the semifinals.
This was the first — and last — game of the tournament that the White Sox failed to score a single run.
Game 2: White Sox 5, Twins 3
Gio Gonzalez wasn’t great in Game 2, but he was good enough to get the job done as the White Sox evened the series up at a game-a-piece with a 5-3 win in Minnesota.
Yoan Moncada got the Sox on the board early after being blanked in Game 1 with a solo shot against Jake Odorizzi in the top of the first inning. The White Sox took a narrow 4-3 lead into the ninth before Tim Anderson added some insurance with an RBI double that plated Danny Mendick to make it 5-3.
Aaron Bummer got the save, this one of the five-out variety. Bummer entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning with the bases load and one out, and escaped the jam with a pair of ground balls before shutting the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Game 3: Twins 7, White Sox 4
Here’s a phrase that many White Sox fans have a legitimate fear of hearing, “Alex Colome wastes a Lucas Giolito quality start by allowing three in the ninth.”
Nomar Mazara put the Sox up early with a two-run single in the bottom of the fourth, but Eddie Rosario tied it up in the sixth inning with a two-run homer. Josh Donaldson followed that up with a two-run shot of his own in the seventh, his second of the series.
A Tim Anderson two-run double in the seventh would even the score at 4-4, but Alex Colome allowed three runs in the ninth inning, and the Twins took command of the series with a 7-4 win in Game 3.
Game 4: White Sox 7, Twins 6
With the Sox facing elimination once again, the offense would play hero and see that the ‘Ricky’s Boys’ took this series back to Minnesota.
In the top of the first, Josh Donaldson hit his third home run in as many games, giving the Twins an early lead. Max Kepler would double-down in the second, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead. Tim Anderson went deep in the bottom of the third, cutting the deficit to just one, but Josh Donaldson would strike again in the fifth inning.
With three home runs in the series already, Donaldson hit his fourth, this a two-run shot that gave the Twins a 4-1 lead.
With the Sox trailing the Twins by three in the ninth, ‘Ricky’s Boy’s’ went to work. Luis Robert doubled, scoring Yasmani Grandal and then Nomar Mazara scored Eloy Jimenez on a sacrifice fly to make it 6-5. Danny Mendick tied it up with a double that scored Adam Engel (pinch runner), and Tim Anderson singled to win the ballgame and force a deciding Game 5 in Minnesota.
Game 5: White Sox 8, Twins 6
In a winner-take-all Game 5, we revisited our Game 1 pitching matchup between Carlos Rodon and Rich Hill. Rodon fared better this time, leaving the ballgame with the White Sox leading 3-1.
The ageless wonder Nelson Cruz took Rodon deep in the bottom of the second, the only blemish on Rodon’s day. Luis Robert gave the Sox the lead in the top of the fourth with a two-run double off Rich Hill. Jose Abreu made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth that scored Nomar Mazara.
In the top of the seventh, Eloy Jimenez added a little insurance for the shaky Sox ‘pen with a solo home run to left field, making it 4-1 Chicago.
That’s when Steve Cishek and Jimmy Cordero did their best to blow the series, allowing an RBI single to Josh Donaldson in the seventh, and a two-run single to Jorge Polanco the following inning.
With the game tied at four heading into the ninth inning, the Twins called on Devin Smeltzer to hold it there, to which he failed miserably. Eloy Jimenez would hit a grand slam, giving the White Sox an 8-4 lead in Game 5, but fear not, the White Sox bullpen would do their part in making it close.
Aaron Bummer — who to this point had been lights out in the series — allowed the Twins to score a pair on a Byron Buxton sacrifice-fly and a Mitch Garver single that scored Josh Donaldson. In a role reversal for this series, Alex Colome got the final out, nailing the series down for the White Sox, earning them a date with the undefeated Washington Nationals in the Finals.
- (5) Twins vs. (17) White Sox
- Game 1: Twins 6, White Sox 0
- Game 2: White Sox 5, Twins 3
- Game 3: Twins 7, White Sox 4
- Game 4: White Sox 7, Twins 6
- Game 5: White Sox 8, Twins 6
- (2) Astros vs. (6) Nationals
- Game 1: Nationals 4, Astros 2
- Game 2: Nationals 5, Astros 2
- Game 3: Nationals 8, Astros 6
Here’s the bracket heading into the TCD MLB Tournament Finals between the White Sox and Nationals:
The White Sox have overcome higher seeds and largely poor pitching throughout by way of their offensive onslaught in this tournament, a prediction by many for the real White Sox heading into 2020, but can that offense topple the undefeated Nationals’ three-headed monster on the mound of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin?
Stay tuned to find out this weekend!