White Sox 7, Angels 2: The show underneath the show

Because Bill Walton brought his weirdness to a baseball broadcast, the larger baseball world was unusually riveted by an August White Sox game for once.

Credit the White Sox for putting on a show, even as an undercard.

Lucas Giolito struck out 11 Angels over six innings for his 13th win, the Sox weathered another night of the Mike Trout show, and James McCann contributed his second eighth-inning grand slam in three games to enable the Sox to cruise to the finish.

Giolito’s posted a strong line — 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 11 K — that belies how hard he had to work. It wasn’t just the strikeouts elevating the pitch count, which finished at 113. He spent most of the game in the stretch, because the Angels put the leadoff man on in four of Giolito’s six innings.

He limited the damage to a leadoff “triple” coming around to score in the third (David Fletcher hit one over Eloy Jiménez’s head, but an average left fielder probably flags it down), and a Trout solo shot in the fifth. The Angels had better opportunities for a crooked number but couldn’t capitalize. Giolito loaded the bases with a single, HBP and walk with one out the first inning, but wriggled out of it with a strikeout and groundout.

He opened his night with that Houdini act, and he closed it with one as well. He started the inning by giving up a single and a four-pitch walk, and Yolmer Sánchez and Tim Anderson could only get the out at second on a potential 4-6-3 ball. Brian Goodwin entered to pinch-hit and get the matchup advantage, but he popped out to shallow left for the second out, and Giolito finished the inning by fanning Fletcher.

The Fletcher strikeout was emblematic of Giolito’s effort. Fletcher had only struck out 43 times over 115 games, a big reason why the Angels had baseball’s second-lowest strikeout rate. Giolito raised that rate with 11 punchouts, and his fastball did the heavy lifting. He threw 68 of them out of 113, getting 14 swinging strikes. It paired well with his slider, which got whiffs on eight of 30.

All the while, the offense gave him enough despite its attempts to govern the output. They took a 2-0 lead in the third by swinging the bat — Leury García doubled, Tim Anderson singled him home, and Anderson came around on a balk, groundout and #WILDPITCHOFFENSE.

An inning later, the Sox bunted into another run. Jon Jay bunted Welington Castillo to third, and the Angels for whatever reason played back on Yolmer Sánchez with a runner on third, so Sánchez dropped his mandatory squeeze bunt for a 3-1 lead. It seemed unnecessarily cautious when they swung the bats well against rookie Patrick Sandoval, but they never trailed.

And McCann made sure that there would be no late-inning hijinks, either. Once again, García and Anderson reached with hits to put runners on the corners with nobody out in the eighth. García broke for home on Jose Abreu’s grounder to short, but was able to return to third because Max Stassi couldn’t handle the throw cleanly. That set the table for McCann, who cleared the table by sending a 1-0 Ty Buttrey slider nearly 450 feet out to left.

Bullet points:

*Trout went 1-for-4, but the hit was a homer off Giolito. He also reached base on Giolito’s first-inning HBP, and again when Evan Marshall fumbled a soft chopper toward the first-base side of the mound. Fortunately, Trout decided to retire himself by breaking for third on a grounder to Tim Anderson, and Anderson made the easy throw to cut down the lead runner.

*Aaron Bummer cleaned up Marshall’s mess, throwing two perfect innings his way (five groundouts, one strikeout).

*Trout also cut down McCann at third when McCann tried to tag up on a fly. His first slide was safe, but it also took him past the bag, and he couldn’t get back to it before a tag was placed.

*Walton was fun … for a night. He had the attention span and misdirected energy of a grade-school field trip to a minor-league game, but he also dropped a lot of good book titles, had a more sensible attitude toward sports labor than Hawk Harrelson and Tom Paciorek did last year, and created some abstract word tales I didn’t mind hearing:

It’d be fun to hear again, but not anytime soon.

Record: 55-66 | 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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I dont find it the least bit surprising that Bill Walton isnt ignorant when it comes to labor policy in sports.


The Walton experiment was fine for one night on a West Coast telecast, and the Sox played a good game, so it was fun to watch.


I really thought Ricky would bunt less often as this team got better, but now I’m not so sure. He’s really out of control with his bunting- it’s got to stop.


If only you could both manage and general manage.


When that second bunt was dropped down perfectly, I told my wife Ricky was probably creaming his road grays.


I hate bunting as much as most people, but I actually didn’t mind it here. Normally I want to take 3 cracks at singling the run in, but I said to my wife I wasn’t sure the cement truck that is Castillo could score on a single. So yeah, they played for 1 run, and that’s all they got. With the bottom of the order up, I was happy with 1 run and not squandering another man-on-second-no-outs opportunity.


I absolutely loved this. I would love if this were a once a year occurence. Even twice a year and it’d get old fast. But this was one of those games I will never forget.

Just a taste:

“he’s not a bummer, hes an asteroid soaring through the universe”

““We’re all security guards…. in the game of life.”

On His favorite disneyland ride: “I cannot make a quantitative, binary decision. I like a lot of things.”

Benetti: “So your little league team played the shift?”
Walton: “No, no. We played to win.”

“That’s Trout swimming upstream, avoiding all the flies, sending one ricocheting through the universe”


I was just saying they should do this every year. I haven’t watched a Sox game in weeks but as soon as I got home I flipped it on.

Also, he also had an issue making a binary decision when discussing his favorite Supreme Court justice(s)

lil jimmy

For those who knew her. North Side Represent, Sarah, passed away suddenly. Uribe Down wrote a Fan Post that breaks that news, and my heart. Such a sweet, loving, down to the bone Sox fan. I will miss her.


That is terrible news. She was a sweet person.


thank you for sharing this terrible news. NSR was a rare beacon of light in the gloom of White Sox fandom


What !? Oh my goodness thanks for sharing


Best segue ever from Bill Walton last night:

“Speaking of concussed…” 

Patrick Nolan

Walton was legitimately insane. I had so much fun watching last night. 


“What is the record for the most strikeouts in a single inning?” – Bill

“Ah, currently three.” – Jason

Haha, but not quite: 


4 – but never 5. 


I dissent from anything positive being said about the Walton participation. To me, he is an arrogant moron about a number of things, although he knows nothing about baseball and I found that I was unable to listen. I switched to Bill Maher, and then when I switched back, I turned the sound off. Whenever, I turned it back on, i could only listen for a few minutes. It was insulting to baseball and he is a cretin fuck.


It is Bill Maher who is the cretin fuck


Arrogant fuck would better apply. Both the political left and political right are critical of him on various issues, and I certainly don’t agree with him on everything. But I think he’s interesting. Walton is not.


You say interesting, many say racist. 


I’m not going to advance a political discussion here.


I agree, except I think he knows enough baseball but chose to play a buffoon instead. I, too, turned the sound off. I’d turn it on when something happened that I wanted to hear more about. I probably heard about half the game despite watching almost all of it.

And today people are talking about Walton and the White Sox, but they’re not talking much about the winning baseball game that occurred. That’s a shame.


You could well be right that he chose to play the buffoon. But that only supports my view that it was insulting to baseball.


You are correct.

karkovice squad

Walton’s brand of weird isn’t your cup of tea. That’s fair.

But insult to the game? How did the sport and the Sox ever manage to survive Bill Veeck?


Bill Veeck loved baseball; Bill Walton made a mockery of it

karkovice squad

Will Harridge begged to differ after Gaedel’s contract.


That must be the same Will Harridge who facilitated the Kansas City A’s effectively becoming a farm team for the Yankees in the 50s Talk about a mockery.

karkovice squad

Not really helping your case that Walton’s some egregious affront to the sanctity of the game.


I think that I said insult to the game, not violated the “sanctity” of the game. Walton did no permanent damage; it was one game after all. But a color guy pretending not to know the rules in a bombastic tone? I think it’s an insult.




Christ, you’re intolerable.


Really? I don’t get that much, but maybe people think it. Be well.


You know what’s insulting to baseball? Trading for Machado’s brother-in-law (one of the highest paid and worse baseball players in MLB) so you can try and trick your fan base into thinking you are trying to win. Your pal Reinsdorf and Hahn are the cretin fucks that are insulting to baseball.

If Walton wanted to insult baseball, he picked the right team to mock. If you don’t like Walton, that’s cool, each to his own. Insulting to baseball? LOL!