Math, time worked against Sox after loss to Guardians appeared first on NBC Sports Chicago
Fans at Guaranteed Rate Field began heading for the exits after Guardians outfielder Myles Straw drove a go-ahead, two-run double into the left field corner in the 11th inning on Tuesday.
After three more runs were scored, boos from the remaining White Sox fans in the announced crowd of 23,243 echoed throughout the ballpark, and the Guardians wrapped up a 10-7 victory soon after.
For the White Sox, it was a tight end to a back-and-forth game full of drama, suspense and late rallies in a playoff-type atmosphere on the South Side.
But more importantly, in the bigger picture, it was a blow to the Sox’s playoff chances — with the math firmly working against them with 14 games left in the season.
The Guardians lowered their magic number to clinch the AL Central to 10 games with the win, extending their lead to five.
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But Cleveland also clinched the season series over the Sox with Tuesday’s win, which serves as the first tiebreaker this season (there will be no Game 163).
Simply put: Cleveland now leads the Sox by six games, and both teams have 14 games remaining.
Even if the Rangers play .500 ball (7-7) the rest of the way, the White Sox would have to go 13-1 to win the division. They are 5 1/2 games out of a wild card spot.
“I mean, you’d be lying if you – we know where we are,” Sox outfielder AJ Pollock said when asked about the math ahead of the Sox. “We know the story.
“The goal was to win the first game, you know.”
The White Sox were able to do that, despite a slow start from ace Dylan Cease, who later settled in to deliver a quality start (six innings, one run), and the offense – which backed him up with three run in his final game. inning.
Both sides served in the ninth inning to force extras, and the Sox escaped the clutches of victory when José Abreu — with two hits and two strikeouts — evened things up with an RBI single.
“That’s playoff baseball, right there,” Straw said of the tight game. “That’s what you expect in the playoffs. Just stick to those games and battle.
“Nothing is going to be easy, so try to win those games however you can.”
Things came to light for the Sox in the 11th; the Guardians scored five runs (three earned) off Jake Diekman in a sloppy inning. Diekman threw two wild pitches and the Guardians stole three bases – scoring on one after a throwing error by catcher Seby Zavala.
Miguel Cairo, who was particularly hard on himself after the game and took responsibility for the loss, preaches taking things one day at a time while serving as the White Sox’s acting manager.
BIGGER: Cairo is blamed for Sox’s sinking loss to Guardians
The team has played some of its best baseball this season in recent weeks under Cairo, but time is running out on the Sox even if they don’t look too far ahead.
“I’ve been in situations where the math doesn’t seem right and the key is just holding on, just to win the next game,” Pollock said. “And the staff above makes you feel that, you know? And if we can feel that, it’s a fundamentally sound baseball club, but let’s see how they feel when you come a little closer and when they feel us.
“That’s the goal. Must win series, must win tomorrow to have a chance at that. Keep on fighting.”
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