The White Sox offense exploded Thursday night to a 10-4 win over the Indians. That win allowed them to seal the series victory over a Cleveland team that looks like it should win the AL Central with ease. It also pushed the White Sox to a .500 record of 4-4 in this early juncture of the season.
1. Avisail Garcia once again had a good game, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, a walk, and no strikeouts. He’s hit safely in each of the White Sox first eight games this season. It’s still far too early to make any meaningful conclusion, but Garcia hasn’t slowed down yet. It will be interesting to see if and when his OPS drops below 1.000 for the season. Perhaps this is a resurgence, thanks to all pressure being removed, for Garcia. Or perhaps this is just a hot streak that even the worst major league hitters have. Speaking of performing well with the pressure removed, Matt Davidson hit another home run. He also struck out thrice, allowing his strikeout rate to stay above a comfy 50 percent.
2. Miguel Gonzalez managed to survive thanks to the offensive onslaught, but he didn’t look overly impressive as he lasted only 4.2 innings before being removed. Baserunners plagued him during his short start despite his ability to escape most of the jams he put himself into. His breaking ball lacked life and location, and his fastball was too hittable. Luckily for him, the White Sox offense decided to show up in a huge way.
3. Tim Anderson kicked the game off with a beautiful dinger on the first pitch of the ballgame. As he continues his sophomore season, it will be interesting to see whether he can produce the same type of power he did a year ago. His home run started a monstrous first inning for the White Sox offense, in which they batted around and scored seven runs. Just a week into the season, the White Sox did something they didn’t accomplish all of last year by hitting two home runs in a single inning (h/t @ckamka).
4. It was a busy day for White Sox prospects as pitchers Lucas Giolito, Spencer Adams, and Dane Dunning all made starts for different minor league affiliates. Dunning’s day was the most impressive of the three as he pitched eight innings of one-run ball while striking out 13 and walking none. Adams also had a good day, going seven innings while giving up 3 runs on 8 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks. Giolito’s night, on the other hand, was not so pretty. He stuck around for just four innings where he gave up 3 runs, walked 4, and struck out 4. Reports from Charlotte indicated that his fastball velocity is still somewhat of a concern. He seems to command the ball better when he sits in the low 90s than closer to 94 or 95, but the White Sox would certainly hope that he can figure out how to command his fastball with higher velocity. Zack Collins threw out two runners in his start behind the plate, making him 6-for-8 in such situations for the season.
5. Just a couple days after Rick Renteria was asked about how he plans on using Omar Narvaez and Geovany Soto throughout the season, Soto is headed to the disabled list with an elbow injury. Renteria remarked that he expected the catching duties to be split more evenly. With Soto’s injury it seems that we will see even more of Narvaez than was previously anticipated. Kevan Smith got the call-up, but it doesn’t appear as though the White Sox want to see him start too many games during his presumably short stint with the team. This is of interest for two reasons. The first being that, because of Soto’s hot start, we haven’t seen Narvaez play much at all eight games into the season. The second is that Narvaez is still somewhat of a mystery, and watching him could have implications for the future as the Sox continue their rebuild.
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