White Sox playoff outlook bleak after latest loss to Guardians

White Sox playoff outlook bleak after latest loss to Guardians

White Sox playoff outlook bleak after loss to Guardians appeared first on NBC Sports Chicago

When asked to describe his team’s overall effort in Wednesday’s game against the Guardians, White Sox acting manager Miguel Cairo had a simple answer.

“We didn’t play well,” Cairo said after the game. “They played better than us. Simple as that.”

Cairo reiterated that point several times in his postgame media session, after the Guardians handed the White Sox an 8-2 loss at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Cleveland, after taking the series finale on Tuesday, will leave Chicago no worse off than a series-clinching win in the crucial game with the White Sox – whose playoff prospects look bleak with 13 games remaining.

The White Sox fell six games behind the Guardians – effectively seven because Cleveland is the division tiebreaker. Seven is the Guardians’ magic number to win the AL Central.

“We have to put it behind us [us],” Cairo said. “We had to come back. I’m not giving up. They are not giving up.

“We will be coming back [Thursday] and play it again. The season is not over. We still have to come and play hard – the way it’s supposed to be played.”

The Sox have 13 games left and are not mathematically eliminated, but they would have to play perfect baseball over the next two weeks to catch Cleveland – and that’s in an optimistic scenario.

RELATED: Track White Sox standings, playoff odds

Even if the Guardians play around .500 baseball (6-7) over their last 13 games, the White Sox would have to go 13-0 to win the AL Central.

Is it surprising that they are six games back in the division race this late in the season, especially given the expectations of the teams going into this season?

“Nothing surprises you. Especially when you play like sh– all year long,” said starter Lance Lynn, who allowed six runs (three earned) in six innings Wednesday.

“We’ve been out six games all year, it seems. We have some time left, but we put ourselves in a hole, that’s for sure.”

Not only in the division, but the wild card race – despite expanding to three teams this season. The Sox are 5 1/2 games back of the Mariners for third place and trail the Orioles, the first team behind Seattle, by 1 1/2 games.

His number nine is the elimination of the White Sox wild card.

After a sloppy 11th inning in Tuesday’s loss to the Guardians, the Sox got off to a weak start on Wednesday. The Guardians scored twice in the first, one on a throwing error by third baseman Yoán Moncada.

BIGGER: The Guardians of Moncada’s woes were seen to lose

The Guardians also tallied two infield singles that hit Moncada in the first: a groundout that scored Cleveland’s Amed Rosario and a flyout.

“I didn’t want to go into the difficult bounce,” said Moncada about Rosario’s play.

Moncada’s solo home run in the fourth inning capped the Sox offense, and a sound Guardians pitching staff put on a base clinic, going to third base all night to plate runs.

Against Lynn, Triston McKenzie struck out 13 in eight innings of work, allowing six hits and two runs.

The White Sox entered this series realistically needing a sweep to stay in the AL Central race, if not the entire playoff picture. It’s disappointing that they lost the first two games, predictably.

“Right now it’s a punch in the gut,” Lynn said. “But we have to come back, try to rescue tomorrow and then see what we can do the rest of the year.

“It’s never going to be easy. We put ourselves in a hole by not playing as well as we could. We’re not done yet. We have a lot of work to do, and we need help. So, he starts trying to win tomorrow.”

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