Yep, we’re talking about White Sox playoff baseball. At least, we will be in a couple weeks when the postseason begins, because the White Sox 4-3 comeback victory over the Twins Thursday afternoon officially clinched the Sox a spot in the playoffs.
Jose Abreu keeps being Jose Abreu. The Sox first baseman went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, but the most significant play of the day was when he beat out an infield single in the 7th with 2 out to not only drive in the tying run, but keep the inning alive for Eloy Jimenez to deliver the winning run with an RBI double. The hustle he showed going down the line is championship-level hustle and should only help to enhance his MVP credentials. Home runs get the headlines, but that kind of hustle wins games, and ultimately championships.
The bullpen continues to be a strength. Reynaldo Lopez had a good outing, especially compared to his history against the Twins (it’s not good) as he only allowed three solo home runs (more on one of those solo dongs the Twins hit later), but the ‘pen held the Twins scoreless the rest of the way, and the Sox late-inning offense did the rest to give the Sox their 33rd win on this shortened campaign.
Tim Anderson didn’t get a hit. Clearly he’s slumping. Only hitting .365 now. What a bum…
Josh Donaldson did one of the most boneheaded things I’ve seen on a baseball field in a long time. He wasn’t thrilled with home plate ump Dan Bellino after calling a breaking ball for a strike in the first inning against him that later resulted in a strike out.
In the sixth, Bellino ruled that Donaldson’s check-swing went too far, and well, Donaldson didn’t like it. On the next pitch, Donaldson homered into the Sox bullpen in left field, and as he came around to home plate, he kicked dirt on the plate in defiance of Bellino.
Bellino immediately ejected Donaldson, who initially missed stepping on the plate, so he went back, stomped on the plate and kicked more dirt on it before walking away while jawing at the ump. From there, it was all downhill for the Twins, as the Sox came back to beat a Donaldson-less Twins team 4-3.
Interestingly for the Twins, it’ll be this same umpiring crew working their three-game set at Wrigley Field against the Cubs, and this crew already tossed Twins manager Rocco Baldelli once this week.
Up next for the Sox, they head to Ohio for a week, starting with three in Cincinnati against the resurgent Reds Friday night. They’ll take a 3 game lead in the division over Minnesota with them as they look for the franchise’s first division title since 2008.