MLB: Brewers up next for woebegone White Sox

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The Milwaukee Brewers just finished hosting the “tougher” side of Chicago and won three of four games against the Cubs, who were a .500 club until losing to Milwaukee on Thursday.

This weekend, the Brewers will host the softer side of Chicago as the White Sox arrive for a three-game series starting Friday night.

After nearly two months of the season, the White Sox have the worst record in the major leagues, with a .263 winning percentage that puts them five games behind the No. 29 team, the Miami Marlins, in the MLB standings.

Among the negatives surrounding the White Sox, there are a couple of eye-openers.

First, Andrew Benintendi — a career .271 hitter and a fine outfielder and baserunner in a nine-year major league career for four teams — is the worst player in baseball in 2024 when it comes to wins above replacement, according to Fangraphs WAR (-1.7).

Then, the White Sox just suffered their first winless homestand of seven games or more in franchise history — and this is a franchise that dates to 1901. They’ve lost eight straight and 12 of the past 13.

Chicago manager Pedro Grifol didn’t have much analysis after the White Sox’s 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday dropped the team to 15-42.

“Fifteen and forty-whatever is tough,” Grifol said. “I don’t break it down that much to 0-7, the first one in history … I break it down that today we didn’t win a baseball game.”

Brewers manager Pat Murphy didn’t need to sugarcoat anything Thursday because Milwaukee is clicking, having won six of its past nine to go 10 games over .500.

“Doing the little things — I hope that’s sinking in,” Murphy said. “You’ve got to play good defense, that’s a requirement. We’ve done that. We haven’t been as good as we can be, but we’ve been really good at times on defense. For sure on the infield, we’ve been great. But you’ve got to have multiple ways to beat a team.”

In Milwaukee’s 6-4 win over the Cubs Thursday, Sal Frelick raced home from first on Joey Ortiz’s double, crossing the plate to score on a creative headfirst slide, arching around the tag of Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead in the second inning.

“Little things,” Murphy said. “Like Sal scoring from first with a great slide. That doesn’t go unnoticed when you can do those little things. Those are the things that excite me.”

Murphy also has one of baseball’s hottest hitters in his lineup in shortstop Willy Adames, who went 7-for-14 in the four-game series against the Cubs.

Adames has a nine-game hitting streak, which began May 21, in which he’s 14-for-34 with 10 RBIs.

In Friday night’s opener, Grifol is sending his best starter, Erick Fedde (4-1, 2.80 ERA), against Milwaukee rookie Tobias Myers (1-2, 4.43) in a matchup of right-handers.

Fedde is 2-1 with a 4.67 ERA in four appearances (three starts) against Milwaukee in his career, throwing 17 1/3 innings, with 11 strikeouts.

Myers has struck out 23 in 22 1/3 innings over six appearances this season, five of them starts. He got his first MLB win in relief by pitching a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts in Milwaukee’s 7-5 victory over the Miami Marlins on May 21 before returning to the Brewers’ rotation.

This will be his first appearance against the White Sox.

–Field Level Media

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