White Sox playoff appearance bleakly appeared on NBC Sports Chicago after losing to Guardians
When asked to explain his team’s overall effort in Wednesday’s game against the Guardians, White Sox manager Miguel Cairo gave a simple response.
“We didn’t play well,” Cairo said after the match. “They played better than us. It’s that simple.”
Cairo reiterated this point several times in the post-game media session after the Guardians inflicted an 8-2 loss to the White Sox in the Guaranteed Odds Area.
Cleveland will leave Chicago for worse than a series win in the crucial matchup with the White Sox, whose playoff outlook looks bleak with 13 games remaining, after Tuesday’s series opening.
The White Sox are six games behind the Guardians – effectively seven, as Cleveland holds the division’s tiebreak. The magic number of Guardians to win AL Central is seven.
“We have to leave this behind [us]’ said Cairo. ‘We have to go back. I’m not giving up. They don’t give up.
“We will be back [Thursday] and play again. The season is not over. Still, we have to come and play hard – the way it’s meant to be played.”
The Sox have 13 games left and are not eliminated mathematically, but they would have to play excellent baseball for the next two weeks to catch up with Cleveland – and that’s in an optimistic scenario.
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Even if the Guardians had played nearly .500 baseball (6-7) in their last 13 games, the White Sox would have to go 13-0 to win AL Central.
Is it surprising that they’re back six games this season, especially given the prospects for the team going into this season?
“Nothing surprises you. Especially when you play like sh all year,” said starter Lance Lynn, who allowed six runs in six innings (three wins) on Wednesday.
“It looks like we played six games all year. We still have some time, but we’re definitely getting ourselves into a hole.”
Despite expanding to three teams this season, it’s not just in the league but in wild card racing as well. The Sox are in third place, 5 1/2 games behind the Mariners, and 1 1/2 games behind the Orioles, the first team behind Seattle.
The White Sox’s wild card elimination count is nine.
After the 11th inning they lost to the Guardians on Tuesday, the Sox got off to a bad start Wednesday. The Guardians scored two goals in the first game, one due to a shooting error by third baseman Yoán Moncada.
MORE: Moncada’s woes are marked by the loss of the Guardians
The Guardians also counted two field singles that hit Moncada in the first: one on Cleveland’s routine ground beat by Amed Rosario, and another that devoured him.
“I didn’t want to take a hard jump,” Moncada said of the Rosario game. “This was my floor ball reading, just prepare to step back and finally try to rush it.”
Moncada’s lone kick in the fourth inning made up half of the Sox’s offense, while a basically solid team of Guardians set up a base running clinch that went from first to third base overnight to set up runs.
Opposing Lynn, Triston McKenzie took 13 hits out of eight, allowing for six innings and two runs.
The White Sox entered this series, though not generally playoff official, realistically needing a sweep to stay in the AL Central race. Predictably, losing the first two games is a huge disappointment.
“It’s a punch in my stomach right now,” Lynn said. “But we have to go back, 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 hole for not playing as well as we could. We’re still not knocked out. We have a lot of work to do and need some help. So tomorrow starts with trying to win.”
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