Sox observations: Keuchel gets ‘short porched'


After getting rained out on Friday, there was plenty of action in game one of the White Sox’ series at Yankee Stadium. There were big hits at the plate and great defensive plays. Halfway home, tensions boiled over for a short fracas, which put a charge into each team and gave the afternoon some extra energy. In the end, the jolt wasn’t enough to jump start the Sox offense, and they dropped the game 7-5.


Apparently there’s still some bad blood between the White Sox and Josh Donaldson. In the bottom of the fifth inning, both benches cleared during a heated exchange between Yasmani Grandal and Donaldson. No punches were thrown, but Tim Anderson was so fired up that he had to be dragged back into the dugout by José Abreu and Gavin Sheets. This may have stemmed from a little spat last week between Anderson and Donaldson, when Donaldson physically pushed Anderson off third base to try to tag him out. The umpire ruled Anderson safe on that play because it was clear Donaldson forced him off the bag, but it was clear that Anderson took umbrage with the maneuver.


Giving up big home runs has been a big problem for Keuchel dating back to last season. But he could have a genuine gripe with the grand slam he surrendered to D.J LeMahieu in the second inning. Each ballpark in the country is unique, with its own dimensions and distinguishing features. At Yankee Stadium that unique feature is the “short porch” in right field, where the wall is only 314 feet away from home plate. That’s where LeMahieu went for his grand slam, but according to ESPN Stats & Info, the “blast” would’ve been an out in any other ballpark, and Keuchel would’ve escaped the bases-loaded jam without any damage.


Entering this weekend’s series, the White Sox offense ranked 23rd in MLB with a paltry .224 batting average with runners in scoring position. They didn’t fare much better on Saturday, going 3–13 with RISP (.231), which led to nine men left on base. Going against the league-leading Yankees, the Sox will need to make the most of every scoring opportunity to keep up with their high-powered offense.

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