In trying to extend their winning streak against left-handed starting pitchers, the Chicago White Sox had one bad inning. The third-inning circus featured defensive gaffes from Nick Madrigal, a failed sliding attempt by Andrew Vaughn, and Zack Collins having difficulties with pitch blocking. Just more poor defensive efforts have been far too common for the White Sox in this young 2021 season. The misplays forced Lucas Giolito to throw 39 pitches in just the third inning alone and allowed three runs.
Again, that was the only lousy inning of the night. Thanks to home runs from Collins, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu, the White Sox pushed their winning streak to 17 games against left-handed starters with a 10-4 victory. Just one short of the all-time record of 18 straight wins vs. left-handed starting pitching by the 2004/5 Atlanta Braves.
James Paxton was the victim, but his night didn’t last long. Paxton was ahead of Vaughn in the count, but his 1-2 fastball badly missed the target. Instead of climbing up in the strike zone, it was thrown low and away. That bad of a miss had the trainers rush to Paxton, who visibly looked to be in pain. Seattle lifted Paxton for Nick Margevicius, another lefty, after 24 pitches.
Despite having all of the warm pitches needed, Margevicius quickly lost the battle to Vaughn by walking him. Then his 1-2 slider against Collins ended up in the right-field seats. Quickly, Seattle was down 3-0 and one of their veteran starting pitchers.
After the Mariners tied the game in the third inning thanks to the White Sox defensive circus, Luis Robert put the Sox ahead in the fifth inning. Again, Margevicius was ahead in the count but hung a curveball. Robert did not miss crushing the breaker for his first home run of the season.
Lucas Giolito had a good night as his fastball velocity readings were a bit below from his Opening Day outing. Throwing 52 four-seamers, Giolito’s velocity range was 90.9 mph to 94.8 mph for the night. An average of 92.7 mph was 1.3 mph below what he averaged in Anaheim five days ago.
Nevertheless, Giolito still found a way to strike out 10 Mariners generating 43%+ whiff rates with his changeup and slider. His final line is not as impressive at 5.1 IP 4 H 3 ER 1 BB 10 K, but takeaway the third inning and Giolito’s night would have a different ending to it. A big reason why the White Sox must shore up their defensive woes because it is impacting how deep starters are going.
Jose Abreu added more insurance to the White Sox lead by hitting his second grand slam of the season in the eighth inning and the 200th home run of his career.
- Andrew Vaughn had a good night with his first career hit, a double, and finished 1-for-2 with two walks.
- Zack Collins was 2-for-4 with the three-run homer and a double.
- Luis Robert was also 2-for-4 and walked
- Jose Abreu had 5 RBI’s.
- Yermin Mercedes went 1-for-5, which lowered his batting average to .565
- Another feat the White Sox achieved is for the first time in franchise history they recorded 15+ strikeouts in back-to-back games.
Record: 3-3 | Box Score | StatCast
Can we change Madrigal’s nickname from Nicky 2-Strikes to Nick E-4?
Just bring back Yolmer…
lol, the pressure of this board riding him about his defense is getting to him
He’s becoming the master of bad defensive plays that add stress to the starters and bullpen, while somehow not actually recording errors. I’m sure his pitchers love that.
Touch ‘em all, Pope.
If Yermin doesn’t finish the season hitting .600 he’s a bust.
Jason’s call on that grand slam was fantastic! Although, I still prefer this one.
That’s pretty Hawk Harrelson-ian
I think it’s more in the Gary Thorne vein.
Everything is small sample size until Abreu is leading the league in RBI.
Interesting note: Yu Darvish and Aaron Sanchez were down 1mph+ on their heaters as well last night.
Jose Abreu is on pace for 243 RBIs and that is the only thing I choose to take away from this game.
And 54 grand slams. That might be a record
This will happen if they bat Mercedes in front of Abreu. He is sure to get on base 500 times this year.
It seems like Maddie has been around for awhile but he is still a rookie. Many complaints about Moncada, Anderson and even Abreu wasn’t a good 1st baseman when they first arrived. Maybe he was over-hyped to justify making a spot for him but he deserves time to acclimate.
Anderson barely played baseball in high school and went to JUCO for two years before being drafted, and both he and Moncada had physical tools that were still developing and would take time to harness fully. Madrigal was a PAC-10 collegiate prospect who was physically maxed out; his entire prospect pedigree was based on his best skills being basically MLB ready. And sure, maybe he was over-hyped, but given how integral a part he is to the success of 2021, they can’t afford to play wait-and-see like they did with Moncada and Anderson.
I know I’m about to speak both ends of the argument, but so be it!
On some levels I feels a lot to ask guys like Maddie and Vaughn to hit the burners because they’re thrown directly into a pennant-ready team. Guys like TA7 and Moncada just like Altuve, Correa etc. before them got leeway playing on truly garbage teams before the 1000W bulb called limelight was directed in their face. Some guys just aren’t built to be thrown directly into a pool and asked to swim (personal experience). Even Luis Roberts looked ready for a minute last year until he didn’t.
On the other hand, you have guys like Arozarena and Yordan Alvarez who get dropped on a pennant ready team and get it done. Maybe it’s luck of the draw only.
Both Vaughn and Madrigal are victims of expectations placed on them because of a front office that was all too willing to rush them, unproven, onto an ostensible championship contender because their ownership was too fucking cheap to get credible performance from proven free agents. Is it perhaps unfair to them to have such high expectations? Perhaps, but they’re making the big bucks and burning out their clocks to arbitration on a team that needs them to perform in the here and now, so time to put the big boy pants on.
Anyone complaining about the contributions of rookie Abreu needs their head examined.
After pulling it out of their ass.
I hope Vaughn, Collins and Mercedes push each other for playing time all season.