When you’re 7-20, it’s hard to be enthusiastic, and Luis Robert showed as much on Saturday.
During the first inning, the Chicago White Sox center fielder hit a weak dribbler off to the left side of the pitcher’s mound.
Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Chris Fauchner had to hustle to get to the ball, otherwise it would have been in no-man’s land.
When he back-handed it, knowing Robert’s speed, he had no choice but to jump-throw, and the ball had a long skip toward first base.
However, it turns out Fauchner might have had time to set his feet and throw, because Robert wasn’t hustling.
It’s very clear that had Robert hustled down the line, it would have been an infield single. Instead, it was a ground out.
Pedro Grifol is in his first season as an MLB manager after spending 10 years as a coach with the Kansas City Royals, and today’s managers often like to support their players and give them the benefit of the doubt. However, this was not the case.
Grifol benched the former top prospect almost immediately, and in the top of the second inning, he was replaced by Oscar Colas.
Some wondered if Robert had pulled up due to an injury, but reports quickly surfaced that it was a manager’s decision. After the game, Grifol confirmed it was he who benched Robert for his “mental lapse.”
Chicago entered the day at 7-20, which is a 42-win pace, having lost their last nine games. Robert, like the Sox, is ice-cold also, hitting .215 with a .661 OPS.
After a 93-win season in 2021, many thought 2022 would be the year of the White Sox, but they took a huge step backward by going 81-81 and firing Tony La Russa.
With Grifol’s hiring, there was hope that Chicago could revert to their 2021 ways, but it’s been far from that.
Despite the benching, it looked like the Sox were going to come away with a victory – Lance Lynn even had a no-hitter through six. But it became hell quickly.
The no-hitter was broken up after a solo home run by Wander Franco, and that was the start of a 10-run seventh inning for the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay had nine hits – five of them for extra bases – in the frame, and they came away with a 12-3 win to make Chicago fall to 7-21 on the season.
The bludgeoning was so bad that fans started to chant “Sell the team” toward Jerry Reinsdorf.