White Sox manager Tony La Russa charges to the support of Jose Abreu, who was beaned; benches clear

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CBS Sports 31 July, 2021 - 12:00am 44 views

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Friday was a crazy day for the Chicago White Sox. They ended up winning, 6-4, but as usual the score doesn't nearly do justice to everything that went down. 

First off, they grabbed stud closer Craig Kimbrel in front of the trade deadline, giving them the most lethal eighth and ninth inning combo in the league when teamed with Liam Hendriks. Then there was a game against Cleveland. Late in said game, 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu was hit in the head with a pitch from James Karinchak

Scary stuff. That's 96 to the side of the head and there's only so much helmets can do. Even though the body language from both catcher Roberto Perez and Karinchak suggests there was no way that was in any way intentional, White Sox manager Tony La Russa took great exception. 

Those videos kind of hit every note, right? It was pretty entertaining to see La Russa so hot, you have to commend the manager for getting the back of his player and it was great to see the two teams exchange good sportsmanship there with Franmil Reyes intervening and Abreu pretty clearly telling Karinchak there are no hard feelings. Not only that, but it appears Abreu escaped injury, since he stayed in the game (and ended up catching a pop-up for the final out). 

White Sox All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson said after the game that the whole team was upset when Abreu got hit. 

"Definitely we're upset," he said (via Scott Merkin of mlb.com). "You hit our man. They were throwing up and in all night. You're brushing guys off the plate the whole game and of course we're going to get mad at that situation. That's one of our big guys. Of course everybody's going to get mad and get pissed."

It's completely understandable and also a good thing that cooler heads prevailed once the benches were cleared. 

Oh, and remember how I said it was a crazy day? Earlier in the game, this happened: 

Holy Jose Canseco! That would be Yoán Moncada being gifted a home run by the Cleveland outfield. 

As noted, crazy day on the South Side. 

With the win, the White Sox now have a nine-game lead in the AL Central. 

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Chicago White Sox acquire closer Craig Kimbrel from Chicago Cubs, give up Nick Madrigal

ESPN 31 July, 2021 - 07:50am

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CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from the crosstown Cubs on Friday, a move that should give the AL Central leaders a fearsome bullpen for their playoff push.

The White Sox already had one of baseball's best closers in All-Star Liam Hendriks. Now the South Siders add Kimbrel, who has a 0.49 ERA and 23 saves in 25 opportunities for the Cubs this season and leads NL relievers in strikeout rate and opponents' batting average. Kimbrel ranks ninth with 371 career saves during his 12 years in the majors.

White Sox manager Tony La Russa said he had a plan for how to use both closers, but was not ready to divulge specifics.

"On any given day, one may be available, the other one may not be," general manager Rick Hahn said. "It puts us in a position where we have a very dynamic and impactful bullpen regardless of the situation that arises in each game."

The White Sox paid quite a price to get Kimbrel: They sent second baseman Nick Madrigal, a budding star who is out for the season with a torn right hamstring, to the Cubs along with right-handed reliever Codi Heuer.

"We knew that in the end we were going to have to make a very strong offer to get a player like Craig Kimbrel," Hahn said. "We made a conscious decision to prioritize today over the distant future. There was always going to come a point in the rebuilding process where we had an opportunity to win. We've had to maximize those opportunities."

The White Sox entered Friday with an eight-game lead over division rival Cleveland.

"Winning the division is the most important thing first. This is about trying to keep healthy and strong heading into October," Hahn said. "Lighten the load a little bit down the stretch run, then put us in position in October to have a dynamic group of relievers."

The Cubs are fourth in the NL Central and entering a rebuild. It was their second deal in two days with the crosstown White Sox, who also acquired reliever Ryan Tepera for a minor leaguer.

Madrigal, 24, and Heuer, 25, are both second-year players. Madrigal, the fourth overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft, batted .305 with a .354 on-base percentage in 54 games this season. Heuer is 4-1 with a 5.12 ERA in 40 appearances in 2021.

The White Sox had already addressed the loss of Madrigal by acquiring slugging second baseman Cesar Hernandez from the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

"We know we have to watch Nick Madrigal for the next five-plus years in a Cubs uniform making an impact and doing damage," Hahn said. "That's not going to be easy."

Indians vs. White Sox Game Highlights (7/30/21) | MLB Highlights

NBC Sports Chicago 31 July, 2021 - 07:50am

Benches briefly clear after José Abreu is hit in the helmet with a pitch during the Chicago White Sox’s 6-4 win against the Cleveland Indians: ‘It’s a scary situation’

Chicago Tribune 31 July, 2021 - 01:12am

Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa knew it wasn’t intentional, but he still had a point to make as he ran out of the dugout to defend his first baseman.

“I made it clear when I was out there that I knew it wasn’t intentional, but the ball was called in, and that guy is really a good pitcher but today his command was not there,” La Russa, 76, said. “And it’s a scary situation, so that was why I was upset because you called a ball in and the guy didn’t have his command and our guy got popped.”

The benches briefly cleared before order was restored. Abreu stayed in the game and gave Karinchak a hug on the way to first base.

Abreu caught a popup in the ninth inning for the final out as the Sox beat the Indians 6-4 in front of 36,123, extending their lead in the AL Central to nine games.

The eighth inning had a little bit of everything.

Reliever Ryan Tepera, making his Sox debut after a Thursday trade with the Cubs, allowed a tying home run to Indians designated hitter Franmil Reyes leading off the top of the inning. A single and walk followed, and the Sox called on José Ruiz.

A sacrifice bunt placed runners on second and third, then Ruiz stuck out Yu Chang and Ernie Clement flied out to left to keep the game tied at 4.

“He’s sort of an unsung hero for us,” La Russa said of Ruiz. “He’s really come into difficult spots and done yeoman’s work. That was probably the toughest situation and he’s had some tough ones. That one there with the go-ahead run just waiting, and he pitched out of it. Talk about a well-deserved win.”

Leury García reached on an error to begin the bottom of the eighth, moved to second on a passed ball and to third on a throwing error by catcher Roberto Pérez. With a 2-0 count, Zack Collins hit for Seby Zavala and drew a walk. Tim Anderson followed with a sharp single to right, giving the Sox a 5-4 lead.

“I was looking for a fastball and I didn’t miss it,” Anderson said. “Just looking for something to put in play or really put in the air. I was able to shoot the hole and put us up. They came at me with two fastballs, so I was ready out the gate.”

César Hernández, acquired in a Thursday trade from the Indians, reached on a bunt single, his second hit. That loaded the bases for Abreu, who was hit with the first pitch.

“I know he didn’t try to, but still though, our man’s on the ground,” Anderson said. “Of course everybody’s going to be mad in that situation. You’ve seen him shake it out. Everything is good. He was able to finish the game, and we were able to get a win.”

Added Sox starter Lance Lynn: “Right out the gate, up and in, it’s hard to swallow, that’s for sure. But Tony’s got our backs. Everybody knows that. He always has, always will and that’s who he is as a manager. He’s always going to have his team’s back, especially our MVP.

“High-kneeing his (butt) off getting out there. I loved it. You know that’s who Tony is.”

Sox closer Liam Hendriks struck out the first two batters in the ninth and got José Ramírez to pop out to Abreu for his 26th save. Hendriks will have more company in the bullpen with Friday’s addition of Craig Kimbrel in a trade from the Cubs.

“Everybody’s excited,” Anderson said. “All the vibes were good. We’re serious. We know we just got to keep pushing and welcome those guys and we’ve got to keep going, keep getting better.”

The move capped a busy trade-deadline week for the Sox.

“We didn’t need any help knowing what our goal was, but it definitely gives you a little boost knowing that the front office has your back and they’re ready to make a run with you,” Lynn said. “That’s what it’s all about. We’re looking forward to it.”

Copyright © 2021, Chicago Tribune

Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 6, Cleveland 4

cleveland.com 30 July, 2021 - 11:30pm

The South Siders showcase eighth-inning toughness and their MLB-best bullpen during Friday night’s victory

Lance Lynn labored this evening, as he faced very early trouble in the first inning. He uncharacteristically loaded the bases with nobody out to begin the game, but he got out of the jam after he gave up two runs.

The next four innings he pitched still saw some lengthy at-bats, so it was work for Lynn, but he tackled it as well as he could. Only giving up one more run, Lynn also made two outs at his mound; Andrew Vaughn is not the only future 2021 Gold Glover!

In total, Lynn went five innings and gave up three runs. Additionally, he gave up seven hits and one walk while striking out seven.

His 104 pitches are tabled like so:

His 87 pitches can be summarized like so:

Facing the most pressure of the night, Ruíz did not let the 3.47 pLI he faced stop him from doing what he needed to do to help the Sox win tonight’s game.

Franmil Reyes’ game-tying bomb to left field in the eighth was an astounding .246 WPA play, but his team would go on to lose.

With great pressure comes great reward if harnessed and used to one’s strength, and José Ruíz did just that! His .275 WPA paved way for a crazy bottom of the eighth that would not have meant much if the top of the eighth did not get handled properly. As someone who has had no faith in No. 66, I am very glad he convinced me to give him a little going forward.

Hardest hit: Yoán Moncada, almost robbed of an extra-base hit, smoked a 108.2 mph, .720 xBA baseball to right-center field that ricocheted off of Bradley Zimmer’s glove, as Daniel Johnson collided into him.

Yoán Moncada wins on the pinball machine!@ymoncada19 | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/bIcuQF8dnb

Unfortunately, during Ryan Tepera’s White Sox debut in the eighth, Harold Ramirez topped Moncada, just smoking a 114.8 mph single.

Weakest contact: Franmil Reyes, obvious softly-hit ball batter, recorded an un-smoked line out in the third at 68.0 mph. Luckily, Robert Pérez notched a 12.1 (!!!) mph sac bunt in the eighth so that Reyes can keep his hard-hitting slugger title.

Luckiest hit: Just like that, Reyes takes the soft-hitting slugger title right back. His 79.4 mph, .060 xBA single was unlike his launched home runs.

Toughest out: Roberto Pérez’s 105.8 mph, .530 xBA ground out in the second preceded YoYo’s home run in the second. If YoYo’s baseball would have been caught, he would have slighted Roberto right here, but luckily, he got his hit.

Longest hit: To end our fun little series with Reyes, his game-tying home run in the eighth traveled 393 feet at a 103.0 mph exit velocity.

Memes aside, I have never seen Tony La Russa hustle any faster this inning to defend his players. This was pleasant to see.

TLR found his WHEELS to go defend Abreu (I have never seen him run faster. Good to see it here in defense of Abreu) https://t.co/e58YCPUDSA

It was a 338-comment gamethread, with a lot of big comment numbers. Still AnoHito kept his streak going, eking out another win.

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