The White Sox’s play-off predictions appeared bleak after the loss to the Guardians originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
When asked to describe his team’s overall effort in Wednesday’s game against the Guardians, acting White Sox manager Miguel Cairo received little response.
“We didn’t play well,” Cairo said post-match. “They played better than us. Easy like that.”
Cairo repeated the point several times in its post-match media session, after the Guardians handed the White Sox 8-2 at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Cleveland, having secured the series’ opening game on Tuesday, will leave Chicago with nothing worse than a serial victory in the pivotal matchup with the White Sox — whose predictions look grim with 13 games remaining.
The White Sox lost six games behind the Guardian — seven because Cleveland holds the division’s tiebreaker. The Guardians’ magic number for winning AL Central is seven.
We have to put it behind us [us]Cairo said. “We have to go back. I don’t give up. They don’t give up.
“We’ll be back [Thursday] And run it again. The season isn’t over yet. We still have to come in and play hard – the way it’s meant to be played.”
The Sox have 13 games left and are not sportingly left out, but they will have to play baseball perfectly over the next two weeks to catch Cleveland — that’s in an optimistic scenario.
Related: Track White Sox standings, playoff odds
Even if the Guardians have played about 0.500 baseball (6-7) over the last 13 games, the White Sox should go 13-0 to win the AL Central.
Is it a surprise that they are back six games in the division late in the season, especially given the expectations about the team entering this season?
“Nothing surprises you,” said starter Lance Lane, who allowed six runs (three win) in six rounds on Wednesday, especially when you play like sh — all year.
“We’ve been in six games all year apparently. We still have some time left, but we put ourselves in a hole, that’s for sure.”
Not just in the division, but in the wild card race — although it has expanded to three teams this season. The Sox is 5 and a half games away from the Mariners in third and trails the Orioles, the first team behind Seattle, by 1 1/2 games.
The White Sox’s wild card deletion number is nine.
After a choppy 11th inning in Tuesday’s loss to The Guardians, the Sox got off to a poor start on Wednesday. The Guardians scored two goals in the first half, one on a foul by third base officer Yoán Moncada.
more: Spotlight on Moncada’s field problems in losing Guardians
The Guardians also counted Moncada’s two hit singles in the first: one on a game routine that Cleveland’s Amed Rosario beat and another that ate him.
Moncada said of Rosario’s play, “I didn’t want to get into the hard bounce. This was my globe reading, just getting ready to fall back and then trying to speed it up at the end.”
Moncada’s singles run at home in the fourth inning was half of the Sox’s attack, while the Guardians’ proper put into the Baserunning Clinic, going from base to third base overnight to set up the run.
Against Lane, Triston Mackenzie hit 13 in eight rounds of action, allowing six hits and two hits.
The White Sox entered this series realistically in need of a sweep to stay in the AL Central race, if not the overall match image. They lost the first two games, as expected, is a great disappointment.
“Right now, it’s a punch in the gut,” Lynn said. “But we have to go back and try to save tomorrow and then see what we can do for the rest of the year.
“It’s never going to be easy. We put ourselves in a pit of not playing as best we can. We still haven’t been knocked out. We have a lot of work to do and need some help. So, it starts with trying to win tomorrow.”
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