White Sox 'left everything on the field' in loss

October 2nd, 2020

It wasn’t supposed to end this way for the 2020 White Sox.

Not for a talented young team filled with so much promise. Not for a team that had the best record in the American League as recently as Sept. 17. Not for a team that won the first game of this best-of-three AL Wild Card Series in Oakland behind ’s masterpiece.

But Chicago's 6-4 loss to Oakland in the franchise’s first win-or-go-home playoff contest on Thursday at the Coliseum dashed the team's hopes of a championship season following three years of rebuilding.

Manager Rick Renteria used nine pitchers, who combined to throw 163 pitches and walk nine. The offense went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12, ending the series 4-for-28 with RISP overall and 27 stranded.

It was far from a perfect finale, but as they did in every other moment this season, the White Sox fought until Oakland closer Liam Hendriks struck out for the final out.

“We can live with this one,” said shortstop , who had three hits in each of the three games. “We gave our all, I know we gave our all. But this is something that I hope gets a lot of guys excited.”

“Despite the fact it was a short season, there was a lot of growth,” catcher said. “Guys learned a lot about themselves. And just getting the experience playing in the playoffs, it goes a long way.”

’s first career playoff home run, covering 487 feet, gave the White Sox a 1-0 lead in the second; that advantage had jumped to 3-0 going into the bottom of the fourth. But Oakland rallied for four runs in that frame off , and , the Sox fourth, fifth and sixth pitchers of the game, respectively.

Renteria was not messing around when he said that this game would be all hands on deck.

Foster walked Mark Canha and Matt Olson with the bases loaded to force in runs, and after the White Sox tied the score in the fifth on Mazara's second run-scoring hit of the game, Chad Pinder’s two-run single off -- who threw 45 pitches over two innings -- proved to be the game-winner. Pinder's hit came after ’s catcher’s interference and a pair of walks extended the frame.

The White Sox had chances in the seventh and eighth, but grounded out with the bases loaded to end the seventh, and hit into a double play to end the eighth.

But even with the loss, the White Sox made a positive impression on the team that knocked them out.

“Hats off to the White Sox. They’re a fantastic team,” Hendriks said. “They’ve got a great lineup, and they’re going to be a powerhouse in the AL Central for several years just based on these young guys they’ve got in their lineup and the rotation behind Giolito and [Dallas] Keuchel. It’s going to be really fun to watch those guys play for a long time.”

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Pinder said. “You have to give credit to the White Sox. Those guys came to play. Not seeing them all year and seeing them in this series, the talent they have over there is incredible.”

started for the White Sox but lasted only 15 pitches and four batters in the first. Renteria lifted him with runners on first and third and two outs, bringing in rookie southpaw , who struck out Olson to end the inning.

But Crochet left with discomfort in his left forearm in the second after striking out Khris Davis, changing the pitching alignment from that point forward.

Despite the injuries -- also made an early exit after experiencing discomfort in his injured foot -- and the White Sox first playoff appearance since 2005 ending in defeat, the players have a great deal of hope for the future.

“It's just the start of something,” Anderson said. “It was good for us to get in. Guys got a taste of it, and I think it's just going to make them more hungry to get back there. We battled today. I couldn't be more happy and proud of the way we fought, and I know that we gave our all.”

An emotional Renteria is already looking ahead to 2021.

“I briefly walked through the clubhouse and said, ‘Way to battle,’” Renteria said. “There’s not a whole lot you can say, because right now they’re feeling the loss. Losing is not easy. They left everything on the field today.”