'Losing stinks': Sox drop sixth straight as Grifol doubles down

May 27th, 2024

CHICAGO -- The White Sox opponent changed from Baltimore to Toronto for Monday afternoon’s contest at Guaranteed Rate Field, but the losing outcome remained the same in a 5-1 loss.

And Pedro Grifol’s terse postgame assessment of the White Sox playing flat as Baltimore swept a four-game set Sunday didn’t change when he was questioned about it prior to the series opener. Grifol stayed with his statement even when apprised some of his players were not in total agreement.

“You know what? I’m doubling down on what I said yesterday, ok?” Grifol said. “I thought we were flat. And that’s where I’m going to leave it. They have their opinions. I have mine. This is not divided by any means. This is not them against Pedro, Pedro against them.

“It’s just a situation. I thought we were flat. They didn’t think we were flat. It’s over. We gotta go out there and play baseball.”

Grifol once again would not specifically go into what flat does or doesn’t look like, adding that everyone who watched Sunday’s loss to the Orioles had their own opinion. It’s ultimately about respecting the uniform and the opportunity to be a Major Leaguer in his mind.

“Obviously everyone in this building has earned the right to be here, but you still gotta earn the right to stay here,” Grifol said. “You can’t take any days off. You can’t.

“Not here. This is the big leagues. And if you want to take days off, then this is not the place to do it. I am even keeled. I’ve been managing for 200 and whatever games. And everybody has that point where [they’re] like, ‘Ok, we gotta turn it up.’ That was yesterday.”

Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish, who finished fourth in the 2023 American League Cy Young vote, no-hit the White Sox for seven innings Sunday. The White Sox knocked out three hits in the first inning alone off Chris Bassitt on Monday, but could not score. They outhit the Blue Jays, 10-6, yet still fell to 15-40 overall, and 1-10 in their last 11 against the AL East.

Their offense finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, unable to get on the board until ’ solo home run in the eighth.

“Definitely the biggest thing is scoring [runs],” White Sox first baseman Andrew Vaughn said. “That’s how you win ballgames. We didn’t cash in. Losing stinks. I think that’s the biggest thing. No one in here wants to lose, from the top down.”

“We just need to have good at-bats,” Grifol said following his team’s sixth straight loss. “Today our at-bats were a helluva lot better. Our guys competed.”

White Sox players gave credit to Bradish for Sunday’s dominance when questioned before the latest loss. They also admitted frustration could be in play for this rough run getting rougher by the day, as shown by Grifol’s comments.

“Right after a tough stretch like that, emotions are high,” Sheets said. “Everybody's pissed off, everybody's disappointed and that's what happens. You go right into interviews and obviously we had a closed door meeting that got outside the doors. Everybody's frustrated in that moment.”

“We've been battling and grinding, busting our butt, and yesterday we didn't have much going,” second baseman Nicky Lopez said. “[Grifol’s] the manager, he's entitled to do what he wants to do. It's our job to go out there and play.”

Rookie starter Nick Nastrini (0-4) took a step forward by allowing three runs over five innings against the Blue Jays (24-29) compared to Toronto’s nine-run outburst over 3 1/3 innings when the right-hander started against them on May 22. His execution was better overall, although he walked four and allowed two home runs with five strikeouts.

The White Sox narrative briefly switched away from the playing flat comments, which was the prevailing storyline over the past 24 hours.

“I’ve already flushed yesterday’s game. I’ve already flushed my comments,” Grifol said. “I’m not backing down on my comments, but I’ve flushed them already. The only reason we’re talking about them here is because you guys are asking me the questions. You ask me, I’m going to answer them.

“This is not about wins and losses. This is about the responsibility we have as individuals and as a team to come out and give the very best we have every single day.”