It looks like Tim Anderson will have to settle for personal achievements this season.
After overcoming a 4-run deficit Sunday night to force a Game 4, the Chicago White Sox gave their fans an ending more disappointing than the Sopranos Series Finale, getting wacked 10-1 by the Houston Astros.
The White Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but the Astros once again battled back to take a 5-1 lead and would never trail again.
Houston overpowered the White Sox in every facet of the game, including at manager. Dusty Baker sonned his former rival Tony LaRussa all series, countering every move LaRussa had with a better of his own.
Both men have said the rivalry is behind them, but a beating like this seems personal.
As for Anderson, there is still plenty to be proud of this season. The White Sox won their first division championship in 13 years and appeared in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in team history.
TA7 Stepped It Up
Now TA7 will always be known as a hitter, but another aspect of his game that has drastically improved is his defense.
In 2019, the last full MLB season, Anderson had 26 errors and a .951 fielding percentage.
This season TA cut his errors down to 10, while raising his fielding percentage to .971.
The 77-year-old Tony Larussa has been outmatched by 72-year-old Dusty Baker so far. The Hall of Fame manager needs to figure out a way to get his team back in the series.
Lacking Clutch Hits
Despite scoring four runs in Game 2, the White Sox were a woeful 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding nine in the process.
This has led to their eventual downfall in each game, but even more so in Game 2.
The White Sox had multiple opportunities to put the game out of reach, but simply didn’t capitalize.
The series now shifts to Guaranteed Rate Field, where the White Sox had the best home record in baseball during the regular season.
After failing to secure a much-needed split in the first two games, any idea of a World Series for Anderson and the White Sox must be put on hold for now. It’s officially win or go home everyday from here on out.
Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson set a MLB record for most hits in his first 5 playoff games after going 3-for-5 today in a loss to the Astros in Game 2 of ALDS. The White Sox shortstop has 13 hits in 5 career postseason games.
Tim Anderson and the American League Central Champion Chicago White Sox stumbled out the gate Thursday night in Houston, falling 6-1 to the Astros in Game One of the American League Divisional series.
Anderson, who’s .309 batting average was 4th in the American League this season, was 1-4 Thursday night.
This entire season the White Sox offense has followed the lead of their superstar shortstop. Game 1 was no different.
Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. scattered 4 hits over 6 2/3 innings pitched, and Houston cruised to an easy victory.
Anderson’s average day at the plate is a complete 180 from his hot start to the 2020 playoffs.
Last season against the Oakland A’s, Anderson started the series with three straight hits en route to 9 hits in 14 at-bats (.643 BA).
The White Sox, who are making consecutive post season appearances for the first time in franchise history, now fall to 2-6 against Houston in 2021 and 0-5 at Minute Maid Park.
First pitch tomorrow is at 2:07pm eastern, and if Anderson and the Sox aren’t able to put this game behind them and win Game 2, their World Series hopes could quickly turn into division series nightmares.
Anderson didn’t have a game changing day but he gets to go back at it four more times if the baseball gods allow it.
"These are the moments you want to be in. It's what you play for," Tim Anderson said. "Competing at the highest level where everybody is tuned in." pic.twitter.com/6t8CC7xFi5
Dusty Baker’s quest to win that elusive first world championship couldn’t have started in better fashion as the Houston Astros put the squeeze on the Chicago White Sox in game one of the American Division Series at Minute Maid Park.
H-Town’s fabulous Baker boys played rough with Chicago starter Lance Lynn and Dusty’s decision to start Lance McCullers paid dividends in their 6-1 victory to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five series that continues Friday in H-Town.
MLBbro Making A Difference
Michael Brantley was a catalyst to the premature departure of Lynn. He went 2-for-4 and sent Lynn to the showers early by taking him down in the fourth inning.
Brantley’s two RBI single busted the game wide open in the fourth inning. The all-star outfielder laced a shot up the middle for a base hit that scored Jake Meyers and Jose Altuve’ which basically put the game on ice at 5-0.
Small Ball Is Real Baseball
The Astros started playing the hits in the third inning by resorting to their National League roots.
Despite being a prolific power hitting team they played station to station ball to open their lead.
Brantley’s base hit will be remembered as the final blow to Lynn’s evening, but his sacrifice bunt after Altuve walked helped lead to a wild pitch.
Alex Bregman then hit a grounder to third and Yoan Moncada decided to throw home but it was too late to get Altuve.
Suddenly the Astros had a 2-0 lead which felt larger than it was. Alvarez, the next batter, blasted a double off the wall in left-center that scored Bregman.
#ForTheH took advantage in the bottom of the third!
After Bregman scores Altuve on a nifty slide at home, Alvarez doubles to one of the deepest parts of the ballpark and scores Bregman.
By the fourth inning there was no questioning the decision of which manager made the best decision who would be on the mound to start in game one.
Dusty Wins Round 1 In Battle Of OGs
White Sox manager Tony LaRussa made the choice to roll with experience instead of youth. He gambled and lost this time.
The Hall of Fame manager – who returned to the franchise that he first led to the playoffs in 1983 – opened the festivities by giving Lance Lynn the start which was a head scratcher to some especially when it didn’t work.
Two legendary baseball minds going at it. Tony LaRussa vs Dusty Baker. Should be a great series.
That decision made Baker’s life easier as Houston’s offense kept the pressure on the White Sox during what has to be considered a disappointing start by Lance Lynn.
Lynn, 34, who got the start ahead of the 27-year-old Lucas Giolito, had trouble with his location.
Giolito had been the most consistent starter during the second half of the season. Now he has the task of facing trying to deliver a clutch performance so they don’t head back to the southside of Chicago down 2-0 this weekend.
I will always believe in Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox. Let’s go get a BIG game two win, #WhiteSox fans!