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Despite what the score says, the clash of baseball’s top two rotations met the billing in the first game of a three-night stay.
The White Sox bullpen made a mess of it.
Lucas Giolito threw six innings of one-run ball without his best stuff, outlasting a Freddy Peralta who was limited to four innings and 51 pitches. But the White Sox offense didn’t show up until Andrew Vaughn hit a solo homer in the eighth, and in the one inning between Giolito’s departure and the delivery of the first run, there shouldn’t have been enough time for things to go so wrong.
But Aaron Bummer and Ryan Burr proved otherwise. Bummer offered his usual mix of soft contact and a complete aversion to the strike zone, loading the bases before he could record an out and surviving an Avisail Garcíá chopper for an RBI groundout. He then struck out Omar Narvaez with a nasty slider to get within one out of minimizing damage.
Ryan Burr came in and maximized the damage instead. He first walked Luis Urias to reload the bases. Then he walked Rowdy Tellez to force in a run, after which Tony La Russa was ejected for the first time as a White Sox manager since 1983 for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire John Libka, who had a terrible night behind the plate. When Burr revisited the strike zone, he gave up a grand slam to Tyrone Taylor that turned the game into a blowout.
And the following inning, Tim Anderson was ejected from the dugout by Libka, and that one argument ran really hot.
It was a frustrating night for most everybody on the White Sox. Giolito scattered 11 baserunners over six innings, surviving six hits and five walks while only getting three strikeouts and six swinging strikes. He didn’t record a single 1-2-3 inning. Double plays helped him out of the first two frames, and the rest was elbow grease, which does not qualify as a foreign substance. Only one inning escalated beyond his control, and that’s when Rowdy Tellez delivered a bases-loaded single with one out in the fourth for the game’s first run. Giolito ended the inning with no further damage, getting a shallow flyout and a popout on three pitches.
Giolito’s night was inefficient in terms of baserunners, but not in terms of workload. He completed six innings on just 91 pitches, and might’ve started the bottom of the seventh if his spot in the order didn’t come to the plate in the top of that inning.
Gavin Sheets hit for Giolito instead, and he created the Sox’s best threat when he followed Zack Collins’ one-out walk with a single that put runners on the corners. Alas, Anderson bounced to third, and while the Sox received a brief reprieve from Luis Urias, who threw home for one out instead of going around the horn for two, Brian Goodwin flied out to left to keep the Sox scoreless.
The Sox had two other threats that similarly fizzled. In the second, Peralta was able to keep the inning going until he got to Giolito with the bases loaded and two outs. He struck out Giolito on four pitches.
In the sixth, Vaughn singled José Abreu to third with two outs, but Leury García chopped the first pitch he saw into a routine 6-3 to end the threat. The Sox were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position overall.
*White Sox pitchers issued nine walks, and part of it was due to a strike zone that squeezed them dry, even taking Zack Collins’ usual issues into account.
*Reynaldo López followed Bummer and Burr by throwing a Sox’s only 1-2-3 inning on six pitches, which is a great career move.
*Vaughn finished the game a triple short of the cycle, which accounted for more than half of the White Sox’s five hits.