BALTIMORE – There are 162 games in Major League Baseball in a given regular season, and even the elite teams will lose at least 50-60 of them per year.
But there are some that stand out among the rest and are ones that can’t be forgotten due to the painful nature of the ending. A defeat like this can sometimes encapsulate a season as well, and one could put Thursday’s White Sox into the category.
Just like the 2022 campaign itself, what went down on Thursday night at Camden Yards was ugly, and provided arguably the most painful loss of the season to date. What’s interesting is that it could have very well been one of the team’s more encouraging victories of the season.
For the first time in the second half of the season, the White Sox were on the verge of a series win over a team over. 500 as they led the Orioles 3-2 with two outs in the ninth. Liam Hendriks was on the mound against Kyle Stowers and got him to pop up down the left field line in foul territory with the sure-handed Adam Engel giving chase.
But he inexplicably dropped it and Stowers homered, and suddenly what looked like a certain win was headed to extras. Fans know what happened after that, as the White Sox failed to score in the 10th or 11th before Baltimore broke through in the bottom half of the latter inning to win it 4-3.
Gone was a chance at a series win, gain a full game on the Guardians who lost, and now the team along with the fans were saddled with a terrible loss.
Now at 63-62, the White Sox remain four games behind Cleveland for first in the American League Central division with 37 games to go. The team now begins a nine-game homestand on Friday, starting with the Diamondbacks for three before the Royals and Twins roll into Guaranteed Rate Field.
Even with a mediocre division, the White Sox are going to need a major turnaround to make the postseason for a third-straight year. This homestand would seem like the time since only Minnesota is above .500, but chances have been missed by this team before.
Just look at Thursday night, when the team suffered one of their most painful losses for the season with victory in their grasp.