After Sunday’s 6-0 loss to the fourth-place Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was disappointed. His squad just dropped two of three to a team in fourth place. His offense got shut out and, Yoan Moncada’s 17-game hit streak was snapped with an 0-for-4 day at the plate.
The 76-year old manager can’t always get what he wants but he can try sometimes. Tony La Russa isn’t letting his third baseman’s 17-game hitting streak end without a fight.
In Moncada’s sixth-inning at-bat, he tattooed a line drive with a 107.3 mph exit velocity. The ball handcuffed the second baseman, Whit Merrifield, and snuck under his glove. In real-time, it looked like an error and was ruled as such.
But Tony La Russa saw things differently. After the game he let it be known that he would be taking the scoring decision up with the league office.
“When I was working for MLB, you could appeal it,” La Russa told reporters. “I mean, he hit the ball sharply, and it handcuffed the infielder. That’s a base hit. So, we’re going to do everything we can to have it reviewed.”
La Russa also alluded to the fact that the scoring decision may have had something to do with hometown bias from the official scorekeeper.
“Merrifield is a talented infielder, tried to get a glove on it and got handcuffed,” La Russa said. “It’s a base hit. Yesterday our guy at third base backed up a little bit, and they have him a base hit for it, so it’s home cooking.”
La Russa then paused, realizing what he was doing, and backed off his accusation a bit.
“Maybe,” he continued. “But the run didn’t score, no reason that ball should remain an error.”
Moncada was on an absolute tear for the Chicago White Sox. Over his last 15 games, he is hitting .328 with a .400 OBP and a .431 slugging percentage.
His hit streak dates back to August 14th against the Yankees. In that stretch, Moncada had eight four multi-hit games. Moncada’s 17-game hit streak was also the longest for a White Sox player since José Abreu hit in 22 straight in 2020.
But on Sunday he struck out during his first at-bat. Then he grounded into a forceout during his second at-bat. He got one final chance to keep the streak alive in the eighth inning but struck out swinging.
Regardless of the outcome seeing Moncada play at a high level is a positive sign for the White Sox. For the season, Moncada is slashing .260/.371/.764. He has 115 hits, 11 home runs, and 53 RBIs. It is a far cry from a year ago when Moncada was dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19. He looked sluggish throughout the season and even had a scary moment in Cleveland where he struggled to catch his breath.
The league has yet to change the ruling on Moncada’s hard-hit ball leading one to believe the league office deemed it an error as well. Moncada has three games in Oakland to try and start a new streak as the season winds down.