Playoff prospects bleak for White Sox after losing to Guardians

TECHNOLOGY

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

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

Cairo repeated that point several times in the postgame media session after the Guardians handed the White Sox an 8–2 loss at the guaranteed rate field.

Cleveland will match Chicago with a series win in a pivotal matchup against the White Sox after winning the series opener Tuesday.

The White Sox trailed the Guardians by six games, but were effectively seven games behind with Cleveland holding the division tiebreaker. The magic number for the Guardians to win his AL Central is 7.

“We have to put it off [us]said Cairo. “We have to go back. I’m not giving up. They’re not giving up.”

“We will be back [Thursday] Play it again. The season is not over. We still had to come and play hard — that’s how it’s supposed to be played.

The Sox are mathematically undefeated with 13 games remaining, but need to play perfect baseball over the next two weeks to catch up to Cleveland. This is an optimistic scenario.

Related: Track White Sox Standings, Playoff Odds

500 baseball (6-7) in the last 13 games, the White Sox need to go 13-0 to beat the AL Central.

Especially given the expectations around the team going into this season, is it any surprise that they’re six games back in division racing late in the season?

“Nothing surprises you, especially if you’ve been playing well all year,” said starter Lance Lynn, who allowed six runs (three earned) in six innings on Wednesday.

“It looks like we’ve played six games all year. We still have time, but we’ve definitely fallen into a hole.”

Not only in divisions, but also in wild card races, which have been expanded to three teams this season. The Sox are 5 1/2 games behind the Mariners, putting him in third place and 1 1/2 games behind the first team behind Seattle, the Orioles.

The White Sox’s wild card elimination number is 9.

After 11 dismal innings against the Guardians on Tuesday, the Sox got off to a bad start on Wednesday. The Guardians scored two in the first, one on a throwing error by third baseman Yoan Moncada.

more: The agony of the Moncada defense after being defeated by the Guardian

The Guardian also tallied two infield hits that hit Moncada in the first place.

“I didn’t want a difficult bounce,” Moncada said of Rosario’s play.

Moncada’s solo home run in the fourth inning accounted for half of the Sox’s offense, but the basically-sound Guardian team did a base-running clinic, going from first to third base all night to set up runs.

Opposite Lynn, Triston Mackenzie stole 13 in eight innings, allowing six hits and two runs.

The White Sox went into this series that realistically needed a sweep to stay in the AL Central race, if not the playoff picture. As expected, it’s a huge disappointment that they lost his first two games.

“Now it’s a gut punch,” Lynn said.

“It’s never easy. We put ourselves in a hole because we didn’t play as well as we could. So we will start by winning tomorrow.”

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