Tuesday, October 3, 2023

White Sox Impressive Team Effort Tops Twins


If I were to tell you before the season started that the White Sox lineup on July 7th would include, Gavin Sheets, Jake Burger, and Seby Zavala then you might think you were watching the Charlotte Knights. Throw in Billy Hamilton, Brian Goodwin, and Luery Garcia and you might think you were watching a rebuilding team.

But they were all in the lineup card that Tony La Russa turned in to face the Twins in the third game of a three-game set. Not only did this rag-tag group of names take the field for the first-place White Sox, but they also dominated. The White Sox finished off a series win with a 6-1 victory Wednesday afternoon at Target Field. It was one of the most complete/ impressive games the team has played all season.

Usually, teams come out flat when they have to play a day game following a tense game the night before. Especially when the game was a rain-soaked one that White Sox had to grind out to escape with a victory. But the White Sox came out energized. They were aggressive at the plate, hustled on the base paths, and played sound defense.

“It says a lot about this organization. It says a lot about each and every one of our teammates,” Tim Anderson told reporters after the game. “We know they come to the ballpark ready to compete. We go out there and give it everything we got and see what happens.”

Leury Garcia got the party started with a two-run homer in the second inning on a deep fly ball to left field. In the fifth inning, Billy Hamilton got his first of two hits on the day, lining a double to left field. Tim Anderson drove him in with a double of his own. Anderson showed why he should have been an All-Star, going 4-for-4 with a walk an RBI and a run scored.

In the sixth inning, Adam Engel hit his second double of the day when he tested the arm of Trevor Larnach who was victimized by White Sox baserunners all afternoon. Then Engel stole third base. Garcia hit a triple to drive him in and finished just a double shy of the cycle going 3-for-4.

“He’s a really good player,” Tony La Russa said. “He’s a complete defensive player, he’s above-average everywhere and can hit from both sides. The pressure, he embraces it. He should never be an unsung hero because you guys have seen him a lot, he’s very important to this club.”

Jake Burger drove him in with a sharp fly ball to center field that crashed off the wall resulting in a double. It was his first major league RBI. In the seventh inning, Brian Goodwin tacked on another insurance run, by hitting a double to drive home Tim Anderson.

That was all the insurance Lance Lynn would need who was great once again. The big right-hander tossed six innings and earned a quality start. He allowed one run on four hits, with six strikeouts and three walks. He lowered his ERA to 1.99 and improved his record to 9-3.

The bullpen stepped in and locked the Twins down for the final three outs, with Garrett Crochet escaping a jam created by Codi Heuer in the seventh, then Ryan Burr and Jose Ruiz each tossing a clean inning. Seby Zavala was making his first start of the season. He has never caught Lance Lynn but made an impression.

“I haven’t been here to see what they do in the Minor Leagues, but guys come ready to play.” Lance Lynn said. He later talked about Zavala saying
“he was on top of things, knew exactly what I like to do, how I like to do it and we had no issues.”

The victory improved the White Sox record to 51-35 overall and extended their division lead to eight games.

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