NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.
Result: White Sox def. Athletics 5-1
Record: 49-36 this season, first in AL Central (2 games ahead of Twins)
W: Gio Gonzalez (4-2)
L: Chris Bassitt (3-6)
Game summary: During the first couple months of the season, the White Sox had a habit of falling behind early and often. Because they often dug themselves into holes, they dropped a multitude of games and quickly fell to the cellar of the division.
The tides turned in May and it was the White Sox who jumped out to early leads. Now they sit at the top of the division, and if they keep replicating performances like Sunday's, don't expect them to relinquish that spot any time soon.
The heart of the order was responsible for the first-inning scoring in the finale vs the A's. Yasmani Grandal knocked in Yoan Moncada on a single to center. Then, Jose Abreu hit a two-run blast to left, his 25th of the season. It marked the fifth time in the last six games Chicago scored at least one run in the opening frame.
The White Sox pitching was in top form, albeit not in a conventional sense. Michael Kopech, Sunday's starter, went four innings, striking out six batters and allowing one run. Gio Gonzalez followed up with four innings of shutout baseball while striking out five.
Eloy Jimenez put the exclamation mark on this affair, hitting his 30th homer of the season to put the Sox ahead by four. He joined Grandal and Anthony Rendon as the only players in the AL with 30 or more long balls. The White Sox took two of three from Oakland and remain two games ahead of Minnesota in the division.
White Sox lineup
Edwin Encarnacion: 0-4 (.317 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-3, HR (30) RBI, 2 R (.249 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 3-4, 2 2B, RBI, R (.283 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 2-4, RBI, R (.307 BA)
Jose Abreu: 2-4, 2B, HR (25), 2 RBI, R (.302 BA)
Tim Anderson: 1-4, 2B (.276 BA)
Luis Robert: 1-4 (.253 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 0-3 (.279 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 1-4, 2B (.256 BA)
Yasmani Grandal singled to center field, Yoan Moncada scored. 1-0 CHW.
Jose Abreu homered to left field, Grandal scored. 3-0 CHW.
Khris Davis homered to left field. 3-1 CHW.
Moncada doubled to center field, Eloy Jimenez scored. 4-1 CHW.
Jimenez homered to left field. 5-1 CHW.
Notable performance: Pitchers are having a hard time figuring out how to stymie Moncada these days. In his last six games, he's batting .458 (11-for-24) with four doubles, two RBIs and six runs.
MLB The Show: White Sox pitching staff stymies Athletics, clinch series originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago