Lucas Giolito labored all evening until he collapsed with one out in the sixth. The White Sox offense was no-hit by Casey Mize into the sixth inning, and they only came up with three hits all night.
And yet they still won, because they bunched the bulk of their baserunners into the same inning, and Eloy Jiménez delivered a soaring three-run homer to make the most of the lone rally. After entering their half of the sixth trailing 3-0, they exited it leading 4-3, and the bullpen held up the rest of the way.
Giolito piled up strikeouts early, but he also piled up the pitches, and the inefficiency lingered longer than the whiff dominance. His slider wasn’t competitive, and while his fastball and changeup usually are enough by themselves, the Tigers managed to fight a lot of them off, getting into deeper counts.
Giolito survived those battles early to get through five on a respectable 81 pitches, but he slowly unraveled in the sixth. Jonathan Schoop singled on a second consecutive elevated 0-2 fastball to start the inning, and Giolito struggled the rest of the way. He walked Miguel Cabrera on four pitches, then fell behind 3-0 to Jeimer Candelario before walking him on six pitches.
With the bases loaded, he tried punching himself off the ropes. He struck out Willi Castro, then gave up a sac fly to Jorge Bonifacio that allowed him to get within an out of a quality start. Alas, Miguel Cabrera took a running lead on him to steal third, the high fastball popped out of James McCann’s glove, which allowed Candelario to take second, and both scored on Daz Cameron’s first major-league hit for a 3-0 Detroit lead.
While sweat poured off Giolito’s brim, Casey Mize appeared to be stored in a cool, dry place. He needed only 57 pitches to get through the first five innings, facing the minimum without a hit allowed. He did walk a batter, but he erased it with a double play.
Perhaps the interminable top of the sixth messed up his rhythm, but he looked beatable when he next took the mound. He walked Nomar Mazara to start the inning, then hung a splitter to Yolmer Sánchez, who stayed back long enough to flip a double inside the right-field line to spoil the bid. Mazara held at third, but he came home on Nick Madrigal’s productive groundout to the right side to make it a 3-1 deal.
That’s when Ron Gardenhire pulled Mize, but that didn’t stop the bleeding. Jose Cisnero started his evening by plunking Tim Anderson with an 0-2 fastball. Representing the go-ahead run at the plate, Jiménez looked like he wanted to make that happen immediately, swinging under a too-high fastball on the first pitch. Two pitches later, Cisnero returned to that location, but Jiménez had it timed. He put an authoritative swing on it, and the 37-degree fly cut through the 66-degree night and landed two rows deep in left field to give the Sox the lead.
With Sánchez coming home, Mize allowed more runs (two) than hits (one) over his 5⅓ innings. The Sox maintained that weird wrinkle the rest of the way, finishing with the rare 4-3-1 line.
The bullpen made it work. Evan Marshall finished Giolito’s sixth inning, then pitched an easy seventh. Codi Heuer handled the eighth with ease, and Alex Colomé pitched around a leadoff error by Sánchez to nail down his 10th save.
*Jiménez provided two of the three hits, and his second allowed José Abreu to come to the plate with two outs in the eighth for his last chance at extending his hitting streak. It instead died at 21 games with an anticlimactic first-pitch nubber to the right side. That’s kind of his thing when he gets too anxious.
*Giolito did strike out seven with 23 whiffs, which shows that his definition of “struggling” is enviable to others.
*Sánchez took the extra-base hit lead over Madrigal with his double, 3-2.
*The Twins handed Shane Bieber his first loss of the season, so they’re still a game behind the White Sox, albeit two back in the loss column. Cleveland now sits 2½ games out.
Record: 28-16 | Box score | Statcast
I was really rooting in that 8th inning for the boys to do enough to get Abreu to the plate. I’m obviously disappointed that Jose could not extend his streak, but I’m glad that it didn’t feel like he got short-changed
I really liked that at-bat by Madrigal in the sixth. He got one guy in for our first run of the game and moved the other runner over to third. Contact is so important in those situations. Too many times the past few years, we’ve seen Sox hitters strike out when just putting the bat on the ball would most likely lead to a run. This time, Madrigal came through, and it helped us maintain the momentum after Mazara’s walk and Yolmer’s double.
I thought Giolito should have been pulled after he gave up that first run, because he was really laboring that inning and his pitch count was already at about 100. Fortunately, it didn’t cost us the game.
In a way, it was good that Abreu’s streak ended. He was swinging at too many bad pitches the past few games in an effort to keep it alive. Now the pressure to maintain the streak is over, and he can relax more at the plate.
As of this morning, the White Sox are at 100% in fangraphs’ playoff %
So glad to have Yolmer back with the Sox. He’s an upgrade defensively and offensively over the previous 2020 utility guys – Goins & Cuthbert. Glad to see Yolmer smack that double last night. It just felt right.
I agree. Except for that error in the 9th. Hahaha
That Mize is going to be a beast to deal with over the next few years.
I agree that Mize looks good. However, I’m not particularly fearful of the Tigers in the coming years. My sense is Al Avila’s rebuild is going to underwhelm.
Bummer continuing to progress, per Rick Hahn. He remains on track to potentially rejoin White Sox on final road trip.
Some encouraging news from Merkin
Seems like I’m the only one really beating this drum, but Renteria is not managing the pitching well at all. It appears that he keeps getting blindsided when pitchers are struggling. Giolito was missing his spots by a ton in that last inning and Renteria should have pulled him earlier. That last AB was just begging for it. It’s been a while since I saw Giolito lose his composure like that on the mound. It was pretty obvious. The fact that he couldn’t locate anything felt like a clear call to make a change. This just keeps happening.
Worried that Renteria is going to mismanage this team out of the playoffs.
I think he was trying to get an extra inning out of Giolito because of López tonight and a bullpen day tomorrow.
Perhaps if you are the only one noticing the problem, it’s not really a problem. Renteria has two starters that he can count on, no additional starter at the trade deadline, his best relief pitcher out for the last month and a half, and a couple unheralded rookies making up an important part of his bullpen. He is managing the pitching staff quite well under the circumstances.
Appreciate the condescension. Times through the order is a thing. Check it out.