Jake Burger blasts off White Sox in ninth inning walk off

Jake Burger White Sox

Photo by Chris Perez


Miami, Florida – Going hitless into the final inning, Jake Burger overcame his struggles smashing the game-winning three-run homer to beat the White Sox. The 7-4 victory was Burger’s fifth career walk-off helping to clinch a series dub over his former team. Fans both human and canine alike in attendance for Bark at the Park were treated to an incredible finale.

Vidal Bruján led off the ninth with a walk followed by a sac bunt from Nick Fortes resulting in Bruján aggressively wheeling himself to third. With two outs, Josh Bell, who was also hitless, unleashed the game-tying RBI double swinging a deep ball Tommy Pham couldn’t catch at the wall. Closer Michael Kopech intentionally walked Jesús Sánchez before committing a balk moving up the runners. On the 1-1 count, Burger ripped Kopech’s fastball deep to left-center field completing the comeback.

Miami also welcomed the return of Edward Cabrera, back from the 60-day injured list due to right shoulder impingement. Cabrera pitched three and two-thirds innings giving up two runs (both earned) on four hits punching out four. He also surrendered a home run. In the postgame presser coach Skip Schumaker graded it as an OK performance. This was the right-hander’s first start since May 7th against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the win, the Miami Marlins improve to 32-58.

Offense struggles amidst stout defense

Cabrera pitched effectively the first pair of frames striking out two complemented by terrific catches from Jazz Chisholm Jr., and Nick Gordon. Cabrera dug himself out of a jam during the third stranding two runners in scoring position. The righty’s inning started well enough retiring the first two hitters. However, Cabrera walked Andrew Vaughn and then gave up a double Luis Robert Jr. before regaining control against Gavin Sheets.

His start would end in the fourth. Danny Mendick got the better of him redirecting the 2-2 slider over the left-field fence making it 2-0 White Sox. At 82 pitches coach Schumaker thought it best to pull his starter subbing in Anthony Bender. The reliever also ran into trouble but slipped out of a bases-loaded situation unscathed.

Miami responded that same inning via Bruján’s RBI double bringing the Marlins to within a run. The rally was cut short when Fortes lined out to the second baseman Lenyn Sosa stranding Bruján at second and Gordon at third. Momentum swung back in Chicago’s favor scoring via a triple and an error on the same play during the sixth. Korey Lee lined one to right fielder Dane Myers who committed a fielding error. The White Sox tacked on another thanks to a sac fly.

The Fish kept things interesting putting up deuces in the seventh. Fortes came clutch with his own RBI double coupled with a run-inducing groundout by Bell. The relief corps kept lowly Chicago off the scoreboard setting the stage for some late-game magic.

Impressions

That was one of the craziest comebacks I’ve seen in a while. Between the dropped catch by Pham and Burger’s bomb, I was left saying “What did I just witness?” Sure it’s a battle between the cellar dwellers but everybody loves a last-minute thriller. Kudos to Burger and Bell for being playmakers. Their season has been a big disappointment so far and to see them end the weekend on a positive note is uplifting. Meanwhile, the Fish got back Cabrera. Considering he’s been out for roughly two months the start was fine to me.

I went in expecting he’d issue four or five walks, however, the right-hander looked good early in. The first pitch strike percentage was at 41.2% which is less than ideal although, again, he’s been out for quite some time. Baby steps. He felt comfortable and that’s important. Let’s see how the 26-year-old does for the rest of the season.

(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)