Sunday night, baseball fans in Chicago FINALLY got some live sports and it was the good ‘ol crosstown rivalry. I know it’s only one exhibition game that doesn’t count for anything, but we’re excited here, ok? We’re not going to break down every game of the MLB season, but there’s an exception for the first real game we’ve seen in months.
Here are some quick White Sox notes:
— Adam Engel went deep off arguably the Cubs’ best pitcher, Kyle Hendricks. It wasn’t one that barely went out either. The thing damn near landed on Waveland. That’s not as easy to do these days with all the renovations at Wrigley. Engel only homered 6 times last year and isn’t known as a home run hitter, he’s a fast guy that will make some amazing defensive plays. It’s just an exhibition game, but to see him unload on a pitch like that is a good sign and it’ll be less painful to see him in the lineup when the other guys need a break out in the outfield over the course of the season.
— The Sox unloaded in the 5th inning and scored all of their runs in one swoop. It was a nice preview of what this lineup is capable of. Engel started it off going deep, but the real damage came when the Sox rattled off 6 straight hits and of those 6, 4 were for extra bases including a triple. It all came from the heart of the order and that was without Moncada.
— Speaking of Moncada, he didn’t play last night as he goes through the protocols after dealing with COVID-19. It sounds like he’s close to being back and will play in at least one of the remaining exhibition games before the real season starts on Friday.
— Nick Madrigal only got one at-bat and didn’t start. Still, early on in his career, Madrigal might not be ready for the big leagues quite yet and we’ve still got the whole service time “game” with him. It seems like Renteria is perfectly fine with rolling with Leury Garcia at 2B for the time being, and White Sox fans should be, too. The guy can produce. Madrigal will get his time.
— Ross Detwiler looked great, Carson Fulmer continued to not look great. Walks and inconsistent pitching from Fulmer once again. He may never live up to the hype he had when he was drafted. As for Detwiler, it’s not likely that he pitches every game like he did last night, but if he’s at least solid, that’ll be a win. I think the relief pitching is going to be the biggest weak spot in for this team, so it was nice to see the bullpen have a pretty good showing overall, only giving up one run.
— Luis Robert will have some learning moments. He did smoke a double that ended up getting stuck in the ivy in center and got a single off Hendricks, but he also got caught stealing and struck out in his first at-bat.
— The Sox and Cubs have one more exhibition game against each other tonight, this time on the other side of town. Each club has a final tune-up game on Wednesday before officially starting the season on Friday. If last night was any indication of what the Sox season will look like, it could be an exciting one on the South Side.