CHICAGO — The White Sox’ reaction after Saturday’s 10-inning 2-1 win over the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field was toned down from past walk-off games.
Directly, the joy diminished slightly because of the way the game ended. With the bases loaded with two outs and Tim Anderson at bat, Jose Cisnero hit a 96.4 mph four seamer that blew past catcher Eric Haas’ grab and unfortunately landed in the facemask of home base umpire Cory Blazer. A direct hit.
With Haase looking for a baseball and the players worrying about the Blazer, Yoan Moncada came home from third base with the game-winning hit. After the game, the White Sox players and manager Pedro Griffol were concerned about the condition of the Blazers.
“If you catch the umpire, do you score and win?” said Anderson, who got the Blazers to their feet first. “Please pay attention to everything. I was really happy to win.”
“It’s a strange scenario,” said relief pitcher Liam Hendricks. He recorded his seventh scoreless run, making his second appearance after battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “My first instinct is to make sure he’s okay first and foremost. I think that’s how I’m wired. I hope the pitcher is okay as well, as it can be daunting.”
Romy Gonzalez bunted Moncada to third base to start the 10th inning, but Yasmani Grandal kept Moncada at bay with an 11-at-bat grounder to second base. The Tigers deliberately walked Gavin Sheets, and Cisnero hit Jake Berger’s right wrist to put the bases loaded after the Blazer’s first foul-ball call was overturned by a White Sox challenge.
Cisnero’s final ball went over Haase, who was holding a low outside angle. The baseball rolled to Haase’s right after hitting the Blazer.
“I was about to go on the slider. Sith said he heard the sinker,” Haase said. “It’s pretty close, obviously, but it’s a disappointing place. I hope Corey is okay.”
“It was a bang bang play,” Moncada said through translator Billy Russo. “I was just able to react and score.”
Major League Baseball has released a statement saying the Blazers are under evaluation. We will share updates as they become available.
What makes this match a little more special is that all three runs were scored on wild pitches. Elias said it was the first time in the live-ball era that more than three runs were scored, all of which were scored on wild pitches or passed balls.
The White Sox got their first run in the fourth on Andrew Benintendi’s single and stolen base, then Detroit starter Michael Lorenzen’s first double wild pitch of the season.
“Three runs, three wild pitches. Sometimes that happens. You really can’t explain it,” Moncada said. “Whatever they try to give us, we must take it.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a question answered before it’s been asked,” Grifol said. “This is a major league win and our guys did a really good job.”
Hendrix’s flawless physique was in his first appearance since Monday’s emotional win over the Angels. He knocked out Haase on a pop-up to second baseman Elvis Andrus, struck out Nick Maiton on a fly to center fielder Louis Robert Jr., and struck out Zack Short. Hendrix left another memento of his strikeout after hitting a 96.8 mph fastball in that at-bat.
“Velocity felt good,” Hendricks said. “Everything is moving forward. It’s moving forward. I also have a few more days off than I used to, which means Monday through Saturday, which means… I’m out and putting my feet down.” It is.”
“I always expect him to have good innings, so no shock,” said White Sox starter Dylan Seeth, who gave up two hits and one run in five 1/3 innings. “He continues his efforts to regain what he can.”
The White Sox, who went 15-15 at home and 25-35 overall, want to get back into the American League Central division, win or lose.
“Today was definitely a good win,” said Anderson. “Hopefully, we can continue to ride this momentum. Please continue to strive for good baseball.”