SOX PUTTING ON SHOW
Team continues to shine on offense, but injuries keep piling up with Robert hurt
On most nights, the White Sox are mustsee TV.
Or should we say must-TV see.
The television screen is the only way to see them in 2020, and it’s almost always entertaining viewing, especially of late when red-hot shortstop Tim Anderson is up to bat.
Or when ultra-talented 22-year-old rookie Luis Robert is up.
Or Eloy Jimenez or Yoan Moncada, rounding out the Sox’ foursome of explosive 20-something hitters.
“It’s been a blast to watch the last couple days,” said right-hander Dylan Cease (4-1, 3.16 ERA), who allowed two runs over 6„ innings to win his fourth consecutive start in a 10-4 win over the Tigers on Tuesday. “This is the most entertaining team I’ve been on. Especially when they hit bombs and everybody [in the dugout] freaks out. It’s pretty awesome.”
Now if the Sox can somehow find a way to stay healthy. In a season filled with a rash of injuries, Robert was the latest, leaving in the eighth inning with a sore right hand. He was the second key player to exit in as many nights, following catcher Yasmani Grandal (stiff back). Robert, who is day to day, came up shaking his hand after attempting a diving catch off Austin Romine’s line drive.
X-rays were negative, and manager Rick Renteria said the injury was not serious. On Monday, Grandal left with a stiff back.
Meanwhile, the Sox put on another good offensive show and wasted no time doing it. Anderson, who went 4-for-5 to raise his batting average to .379, led off the first inning for the second consecutive night with a home run, greeting left-hander Tarik Skubal to the major leagues with the Sox’ 11th homer in three games. Anderson also doubled and singled twice, scoring three runs and driving in three.
“We’re having fun,” Andreson said. “When we have fun the rest takes care of itself. We had some good at-bats and kept putting up runs.”
Jose Abreu singled twice and doubled his first three times up, driving in three runs to tie Bibb Falk for 12th on the Sox’ all-time list with 627 RBI.
It was the third game in row the Sox opened the record books. Moncada, Grandal, Abreu and Jimenez strung together four consecutive homers Sunday, the 10th time it happened in the history of the game, and Anderson and Moncada launched back-toback home runs against Matthew Boyd to start the first inning Monday, kicking off a six-homer barrage and making the Sox the first team in the modern era to hit two consecutive homers to start a game within a five-game span. Anderson and Jimenez did it against the Tigers last week.
The Sox are 13-11, winners of three in a row, very entertaining and a playoff contender, but still, as general manager Rick Hahn said Monday, “a work in progress. We know that.”
“We know this year was always going to be about taking that next step to putting ourselves in the best long-term position. Doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have high expectations for this season. Doesn’t mean we won’t be able to meet the high expectations for this season.
“If we were fully healthy, I would probably feel a little better seeing those flashes on a more consistent basis.”
With four consecutive quality starts, Cease is finding the consistency that was lacking as a rookie in 2019.
“Every start I’m learning something and getting more precise,” he said. “The biggest thing is we’re winning games.”
Cease struck out only three and his season high is five, but “I think he’s actually getting better,” Renteria said. “The command is starting to come. We’re seeing him inch forward.”
Luis Robert is day to day with a sore right hand after leaving the game Tuesday against the Tigers after attempting to make a diving catch off Austin Romine’s liner in the seventh inning.