Just a mere hours after the Chicago White Sox offense exploded for 11 runs on a whopping 21 hits on Saturday night, the boys were back at it on a getaway-day at Kauffman Stadium. On Saturday night, it was Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez both securing their first four-hit games, and on Sunday it was Nick Madrigal‘s turn in just his third major-league game.
What a relief it was for Madrigal after he came out of the shoot 0-9 in his first two major-league games this weekend. “It’s hard when everyone knows that you haven’t got a hit yet, so they kind of joke with you, and the pressure builds up,” Madrigal said. “Once I saw that first one fall, I felt the weight lifted off me definitely. It’s something I was thinking about, and it’s a huge sigh of relief once I got the first one.”
“I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I’m going to be honest with you. It’s something I was thinking about and it’s a huge of sigh of relief once I got the first one.”
As an encore to Saturday’s performance, the White Sox delivered nine runs on 14 hits on their way to their fourth consecutive victory, and their first sweep of the Royals in Kansas City since September of 2015.
Yasmani Grandal — who after a slow first week, is heating up — drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single, and then plated the second run when he walked with the bases loaded in the very next inning for his second RBI of the day, and then added one more for good measure in the White Sox seven-run seventh inning with another RBI single. Grandal’s on-base percentage is up to .400 with 10 RBI, and he’s looking like the $73 million dollar man we expected at the dish the last week.
Grandal admitted that moving to the American League and seeing guys that he’s never faced before on the mound contributed to his slow-ish start.
“[I’ve] definitely been working through some mechanical issues,” said Grandal. “Not being able to ever face guys with the Indians and Minnesota, and even these guys, it takes time. You just try to make them throw as many pitches as they can, so you can see them and hopefully try to make an adjustment from there. But after still working on some mechanical issues here and there, it seems to be working.”
The offense as a whole is red-hot, boasting a .797 OPS and a league-best .281 batting average thanks largely due to 27 runs scored on 43 hits during the current four-game winning streak.
While the team plated nine runs on Sunday, they did it without hitting a single home run in the game, showing off the multiple ways that this deep lineup can hurt an opposing pitching staff and defense when they make mistakes. If an opposing team struggles to play clean baseball and gives the White Sox extra outs, they’re going to make them pay. If an opposing pitcher struggles to find the zone, they’re going to make them pay for that too, and if it’s not via the walk, everyone in the lineup has proven that they’d be glad to crush a mistake pitch when it comes their way.
Yeah, three of the four wins in that same span of days came against the largely inferior Kansas City Royals, but that’s a necessary trait for a team that wants to contend. You have to beat up on the teams that you’re supposed to beat up on, period. The White Sox did just that, they came into Kansas City and crushed the Royals this weekend.
The offense is cooking, the starting rotation has looked much better the second time through the rotation, and the bullpen has been pretty damn good all season. Things are looking good for the White Sox right now.
Now they have to head north to Milwaukee and take on a team that’s been sitting idle all weekend, just lost Lorenzo Cain — a force in their lineup that has made a career out of killing the White Sox during his time with the Royals — and are scuffling out of the gates. This series again is one that you can be satisfied with no less than a split, and with a weekend tilt with Cleveland to follow, the White Sox realistically need to win three-of-four against the reeling Brewers this week.
Featured Photo: Chicago White Sox via Twitter