Problems Not Solved

In yesterday’s post, we postulated that the offense really needed Dylan Carlson back and perhaps Daniel Ponce de Leon could be an answer for those middle innings.

Like that gif from Scrubs says, “Wrong wrong wrong wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong.  You’re wrong.”

Carlson returned to the lineup last night but there were no notable changes to the results.  In fact, Lance Lynn held his former team hitless until Paul Goldschmidt singled with one out in the sixth.  That was an efficient use of the Cardinals’ hits, of course, as it drove in a run (Tommy Edman had walked and stolen second) and put the Cards up 1-0.  Unfortunately, it was only followed by four more hits over the course of the game, none of which were as effective.

Kwang Hyun Kim was matching Lynn zero for zero, but he exceeded him when the runs came.  I was at a Bible study through the beginning of the game, but listening to the radio broadcast on my way home, you knew trouble was coming.  John Rooney and Ricky Horton were commenting about how Kim was hanging pitches, that there wasn’t much movement on things.  Perhaps it was because of the issues with the bullpen, but Mike Shildt went to talk to him, but left him in the game even with Ponce de Leon warming up.  That, of course, wound up proving very costly as Andrew Vaughn homered after a Yermin Mercedes single, giving the White Sox the lead.

After scratching for six innings just to get a run, the odds were that a 2-1 game was already going to go to the opposition, but after a walk, Shildt finally went to Ponce de Leon and the results, well, they were more in line with the old Ponce than what we’ve seen the last couple of nights.  Maybe it was being used in three out of four days, maybe it was just an off night, but Ponce hit the first man and allowed a double to the second (Tim Anderson) that scored two, though the defense was able to cut down Anderson trying for third.

4-1 felt like 10-1 but the White Sox weren’t done with Ponce de Leon.  He walked Adam Eaton to lead off the seventh, then lollipopped a pickoff throw over Matt Carpenter‘s head, so much so that Eaton, had he been paying attention to the coaches, would have made it to third easily instead of stopping at second.  Ponce de Leon was then able to strike out Yoan Moncada, but he threw a wild pitch moving Eaton over to third while walking Jose Abreu.  That was his night, with the book closing after Kodi Whitley allowed a sacrifice fly that gave us the final 5-1 score.

So two outs, two walks, one hit, one error, one wild pitch, two runs charged to him, one inherited runner allowed to score.  Again, maybe it was a bit of overusage, and it wasn’t quite the destruction we saw earlier on in the season, but it’s not really helpful.  That said, looking at his work as a reliever, he’s put up a 3.68 ERA in 7.1 innings even with last night’s outing, so maybe we shouldn’t write him off completely, at least for lower leverage situations earlier in the game.

Paul Goldschmidt is our Hero, because he had two of the five hits and the only RBI.  Yadier Molina also had two hits.  You might not be surprised, given the week he’s been having, that Edmundo Sosa got the other tally.  A rough night for everyone else offensively.  I could give the Goat to Carlson, because his 0-4 perhaps blunted Goldy’s night, but after sitting out two games with back problems I just don’t know if it’s fair to do that.  I’ll give it to Nolan Arenado, who also went 0-4 and left three on.  He’s got big shoulders, I believe he can handle it.

Jake Woodford was activated on April 30.  He has appeared in four games this month, two of them back to back.  Before last night, he hadn’t been seen since the second game of the Padres series.  Not that I’m clamoring for Woodford to get more time or think he’s the key to the bullpen, but he’s had some decent outings and doesn’t necessarily have to be saved for multiple inning usage.  I know, I know, that’s what I said about Ponce yesterday and look out that turned out.  Again, you don’t want to see Woodford in the eighth of a close game, but I am not sure he has to sit on the bench for 10 days at a stretch.

Tonight is Harvard-Westlake High School Night at Guaranteed Rate Field.  I imagine any alumni in the area are going to make their way to the ballpark to see Jack Flaherty and Lucas Giolito match up.  Hopefully the younger Flaherty gets the better of that upperclassman!

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NL Central Standings

TeamWLPct.GB
Brewers3830.559 -
Cubs3830.5590.0
Reds3531.5302.0
Cardinals3533.5153.0
Pirates2344.34314.5

Last updated: 06/17/2021

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