Moncada’s pitching woes were first shown in the Guardians loss on NBC Sports Chicago
The tone of the White Sox season was set early with an 8-2 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After Steven Kwan did what Steven Kwan does best – leading off the top of the first inning with a line drive single to right field – Amed Rosario stepped to the plate and tapped a soft grounder to third base.
Yoán Moncada went to the field with that baseman and fired it to first, but too casually. Running down the line, Rosario beat out the infield single, setting the Guardians up with two runners on and one out.
Unfortunately, Moncada’s tough day at the office had just begun. Three batters later, with the bases loaded and one out, he walked José Abreu for what could have been an inning-ending double play, but instead allowed an unearned run to score. On the next pitch Andrés Giménez scored a ground ball that deflected off Moncada’s glove for a single, allowing another run across.
Then, on the first pitch of the third inning, Moncada and outfielder Andrew Vaughn nearly collided while chasing Josh Naylor’s pop fly into shallow left. The ball bounced off Vaughn’s glove on an error and Naylor crossed home plate two batters later.
Apparently, that first narrative – and Moncada’s role in it – were discussed in manager Miguel Cairo’s post-match media session with reporters.
“He (Moncada) went and got it and he (Rosario) was safe at first,” Cairo told reporters when asked what his view was on Rosario’s infield single.
Asked if he discussed the play with Moncada after the game, Cairo said: “Afterwards I said something, but that stayed in the dugout and it stayed in the clubhouse. That’s something between me and me and that’s it.”
Moncada also spoke to reporters after the game through team interpreter Billy Russo and went into a bit more detail.
“I didn’t want to go into the hard bounce. That was my read on the ground ball,” Moncada said via Russo. “I would have preferred to stay back and then I tried to swing it at the end. But it wasn’t enough.”
Moncada later said his conversation with Cairo explained his thought process on the play just as he had to reporters.
Not one player drops from a massive loss of the magnitude of Wednesday’s game. Moncada, in fact, drove in two White Sox runs with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
But the sloppiness wasn’t just a direct cause of runs — the Guardians scored two in the first and a third en route to eventually taking a 6-0 lead — they also added high leverage mileage to starting pitcher Lance Lynn. Lynn allowed six runs in six hits, but only three were earned.
It was a stretch in the 11th inning on Tuesday night, when Cleveland scored five runs with the help of a handful of White Sox miscues en route to a pivotal 10-7 victory.
“We did not play well. They played better than us,” Cairo told reporters. “They came to play today. We didn’t.”
The truth of those words was clear to all.
Tim Stebbins of NBC Sports Chicago added.
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