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White Sox lose, 7-4, as Jake Burger walks it off

Heartbreak comes in many ways for us fans, and today was a good reminder that the 2024 Chicago White Sox are full of pure pain. In the most predictable ending ever, the White Sox lost to the Marlins, 7-4. You cannot script this game any worse as a White Sox fan, but can’t script it any better if you are Jake Burger. These are the types of losses that only 26-66 teams deal with day after day, so let’s break it down to see the breakdown in real time.

It was a bullpen day for the Marlins and a Jonathan Cannon start for the White Sox. Edward Cabrera would be the first arm used, but Chicago could not take advantage of Miami’s starting pitcher issues early on. The Marlins had a few web gems through the day, including an outstanding catch from Jazz Chisholm Jr. to take away an XBH from Andrew Vaughn.

Then in the top of the third inning, Nick Gordon took a hit away from Paul DeJong on a hit-and-run with Gavin Sheets on first. The catch would help lead to a clean inning from Cabrera to extend his outing.

It wasn’t until the top of the fourth inning that the South Siders started some scoring. Lenyn Sosa singled with two outs and Danny Mendick had a towering home run to left to give the team a 2-0 lead.

That would be the end of the short leash for Cabrera, as Anthony Bender entered. Korey Lee and Tommy Pham had back-to-back hits, Vaughn walked, but Luis Robert Jr. was unable to add any insurance runs. The Marlins fought back in the bottom of the inning as two walks put two runners on and Vidal Bruján doubled to score in a run. That would be all they would get, as Cannon continued a solid outing.

Mendick reached again in the top of the sixth and Korey Lee had a stand-up triple to drive him in to add a run. (Lee’s triple was the first by a White Sox catcher since 2019.)

Gordon made an almost identical diving catch as he did earlier on a ball from Vaughn that would end up as a sacrifice fly to score Lee and extend the lead to 4-1.

Cannon ended his day after six innings, three hits, one run, and three strikeouts. Overall a very good outing, although something to clean up is the walk total, as he had four. Cannon is looking to be a solid starting arm moving forward with this young pitching core, and his development just passing the halfway point of the season is promising.

Tanner Banks took over to start the seventh, and you know, he looks like Garrett Crochet out there if you’re really, really, really far away from the screen. Banks didn’t pitch like Crochet though, allowing the dreaded leadoff walk to Bruján and a double to Nick Fortes to cut the deficit to 4-2. A ground out would move him over to third, and another ground out would score him to quickly make this a 4-3 game. John Brebbia had a scoreless inning after allowing a two-out double and a fly ball by Bryan De La Cruz that luckily died at the warning track.

Kopech would come in to close, as we would all hold our breaths. The dreaded leadoff walk came again to Bruján, and he would advance to third on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Josh Bell drove one to left on a close play from Tommy Pham, but instead of a catch the ball bounced off the wall and the game was now tied 4-4 with a runner on second.

Here’s where it gets funny, because #ThatsSoWhiteSox. Kopech intentionally walked Jesús Sánchez, then balked both runners into scoring position (nullifying the intentional walk), and who else but Jake Burger would show up to the plate? Burger, who remains a fan favorite despite being traded from the White Sox last year, hasn’t been having the best year with the Marlins. He was 0-for-4 at the plate today. But instead of an easy out to take it to extras, nope! Instead, Burger had a storybook ending and a walk-off, three-run home run to end the game for the Marlins, because why not.

Well, at least everyone in Miami their got free burgers, but can’t say this doesn’t sting a little.

Instead of the team winning their first road series since early May, they lose the series and the game against a struggling 32-58 Marlins team. It was another occasion for Kopech that shows he is not built for closing, and there’s only so many times you can trot a guy out there expecting different results. A 4-1 lead going into the seventh inning was not enough, as the bullpen blew another quality starting pitching outing yet again.

The team will go back to Chicago to start a series against the Minnesota Twins tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. CT. We will see you then.

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