White Sox 4, Astros 1: No Cole, all Nova

The official record will show that Gerrit Cole was a late scratch from this start with hamstring discomfort he experienced during his pregame bullpen session.

The results suggest that the American League Cy Young candidate didn’t want to face the bottom of the White Sox order, lest he lose to a lights-out Iván Nova for the second time this season.

Whichever one was more true, Cole made the right call. The White Sox took advantage of the Astros’ sudden bullpen game while Nova went the distance once again. In the second game of a doubleheader that was delayed by rain, Nova did everybody a solid, sparing the bullpen with a complete game that needed only a tidy 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Only a Tim Anderson error stood in the way of a Maddux, as he put Aledmys Diaz on second to start the third inning with a wild throw. Diaz came around to score an unearned run on a George Springer single two batters later.

Fortunately, the White Sox had a 3-0 lead at the time, they got the run back an inning later, and Nova didn’t allow any other damage. He retired 17 of the last batters he faced, or 16 in a row before Yordan Alvarez singled with two outs in the ninth. Nova then fell behind 3-0 on Carlos Correa, but came back to get a game-ending groundout.

(Fun fact: Nova didn’t record his first strikeout until he had two outs in the bottom of the seventh.)

The White Sox offense didn’t exactly light up the Astros bullpen in Cole’s absence, but it got the job done with a little help from Chris Devenski, who threw the first two innings.

With two outs and two on, Adam Engel lined a single to left that scored James McCann for the game’s first run. Up came Ryan Cordell, who hit a weak dribbler down the first base line. Devenski had time to scoop and flip, but he failed at the first part and batted the ball away from himself for a bases-loading error. Ryan Goins then capitalized with a sharp single to center to make it a 3-0 game.

Two innings later, Cordell reached via more legitimate means. With two outs and Yolmer Sánchez on second, he ripped a double to right for another run, making it a 4-1 game. Cordell’s hit was the only extra-base hit of the night.

Bullet points:

*Anderson had a game to forget. Along with his 20th error of the season, he was the lone White Sox to go hitless, and was picked off the only time he stood on base.

*Sánchez contributed to Nova’s complete game with a sliding stop and throw after ranging to his left on the outfield grass in the first.

Record: 53-65 | Box score | Highlights

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Yolmer's gatorade

Ivan Nova wants to play in the major league next year. He is racking up some meaningless wins for the Sox. I bet there are a few pretender contender teams kicking themselves for not scooping up Nova for a lottery ticket prospect.

karkovice squad

If only this version had surfaced earlier.


Congrats to TA on his third consecutive 20 error season.


Anderson did not look good at all on Tuesday. In addition to the error, he had some horrible at-bats.


Congrats to you on the snark.


Thanks, I try.


Great job by Nova.
I wonder if some of what he accomplished, though, was due to having McCann behind the plate, rather than Castillo. I don’t understand why Castillo caught the opening game with Cease. With a capable catcher in the first game, the costly passed balls do not occur and Cease avoids taking the loss. Plus, if McCann is behind the plate, a much better game is called and perhaps Cease does not give up either of the two homers Houston hit. It’s great that Nova got the complete game, but with the trade deadline gone, any extra effort to make Nova look good should take a back seat to putting Cease in the best position to succeed.
I guess the only good thing about the situation is this: Cease now knows that even with a complete clown behind the plate he can still deliver a quality start against a great team.


Nova last 5 starts, 37in,20hits,5 runs/3 earned and3 complete games.


I was curious to see how getting rid of the waiver deadline was going to look, honestly seems like it may be hurting the Sox a touch. In previous years Nova, and possibly Jay, would have been ideal August waiver trade candidates with how they’ve performed recently. Obviously they would still only be getting lottery ticket type prospects, if that, in return so it’s not some huge deal.


Robert has a career game- 4 hits, a double, a triple, and a great catch in center. But we get to see Adam Engel flail away for both games of a DH. And what’s worse, Hahn will lie through his teeth about why Robert might not be ready to start next season in Chicago. What a disgrace.


Nova should be in line for an extension from Hahn. That will be our big free agent pitching acquisition this winter.

lil jimmy

They need to add two. If Nova is the second, that’s fine. Sixth starter, long relief. He’s durable and already comfortable. As we have seen this year, the sixth starter gets plenty chances to start.

lil jimmy

The point is they need two. The other one has to be better. Derek Holland need not apply.