Astros 21, White Sox 5: Josh Harrison pitched

I got pulled away from this game when the White Sox trailed 10-3, and given the way that it started, I didn’t feel an urge to get back into it.

But still, imagine my surprise when I got the final score notification and saw that it was 21-5. I’m not going to back and watch the whole thing, but here’s the…

Bullet point recap:

*Lucas Giolito got a couple of strikeouts in the first inning, but Trey Mancini took him out the opposite way for a solo shot in the second inning, and it slid downhill from there.

*Alex Bregman struck the biggest blow, taking a 91-mph fastball to the right-center gap for a two-run double in the third inning when Giolito was one out away from getting through three innings trailing only 1-0. A scalded liner by Kyle Tucker glanced off the glove of a leaping Romy Gonzalez to make it 4-0 before Giolito could finally escape.

*Giolito couldn’t record an out in the fourth. His ERA is now 5.34 after this ugly line: 3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.

*Bregman added two homers off Vince Velasquez and ultimately drove in six on the afternoon.

*The Astros swatted four homers and five doubles among their 25 hits. They went 14-for-19 with runners in scoring position.

*The White Sox last allowed 20 runs in that memorable 20-1 loss to the Twins back on May 21, 2009. They last allowed 25 hits on Aug. 31, 1974.

*The best part of this game was that Velasquez and José Ruiz covered five innings, even if they combined to allow 10 runs between them.

*Josh Harrison handled the final inning, and while he recorded a strikeout, he also gave up four runs. Perhaps two of them shouldn’t have scored because an unsuccessful diving catch by Gavin Sheets is probably a catch standing for most other guys.

*The White Sox offense spent most of the time in between on Luis Garcia, unable to capitalize on what mistakes Garcia made with his curve, while behind on the fastballs that could’ve otherwise been hittable. They made him throw 97 pitches over five innings, but they stranded 12 on the basepaths.

*Yoán Moncada was the exception. He dropped the barrel on 95 at the knees for a three-run shot off Garcia.

*The Sox could only score runs on outs the rest of the way. One run crossed on Andrew Vaughn’s second double play of the game, and another one on a González sac fly.

*AJ Pollock overran a ball he charged for an error, but he robbed José Altuve of extra bases, and maybe a homer, with a leaping catch at the center field wall He also tried to take out Altuve with a clean, hard slide into second base, so you can’t question the effort.

*Despite all of this, the White Sox finished the season series with the Astros a respectable 3-4, albeit with a -18 run differential.

Record: 61-58 | Box score | Statcast

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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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Augusto Barojas

The Astros left town after reminding the Sox who their daddy is, almost comical. The A’s swept Houston 3 games earlier in the year, I wasn’t drinking the coolaid that the first two games of this series meant that the Sox were suddenly much better than the first 110.

They’re still mired in mediocrity, but then so are the Twins/Guardians. We’ll see what they do this weekend with Elvis, at least Giolito won’t pitch, and Leury won’t play.

itaita

I wouldn’t overreact too much about this game. 14-19 RISP is outlier type numbers for any baseball game. And as much as it sucks to say but ive been pretty much treating Giolito starts like 5th starter ones for a month now. You just hope they put something decent together and if they dont not much you can do. Sometimes you just take a loss and move on. Cueto being there to effectively take his spot at the top of the rotation really helps.

I think it was a pretty solid series for the team vs the Astros who’ve had their number for years. They’re the worst matchup in the AL for the Sox in terms of strengths and weaknesses so you take what you can and move on knowing they’re not in the division. This is of course all hinging on them shaking it off and getting a series win vs the Indians. Nobody will care about 21-5 by Monday if they can take 2-3 from Cleveland.

soxfan

“treating Giolito starts like 5th starter ones for a month now”

Yup – depending on 1) if we get there and 2) how much luxury we have setting up the rotation, Giolito wouldn’t even make a start in a 5-game series. Cease and Cueto are obviously 1 and 2 and then there’s a choice between Lynn’s experience and Kopech’s upside. Gio might not even make the roster depending on what they do with guys like Velasquez and Ruiz.

ChiSoxND12

Gio wouldn’t make the roster?? Yes I agree if he was penciled in for 7ER over 3+ IP, I don’t believe anyone associated w the White Sox would have him on the roster

But c’mon

Augusto Barojas

It was a solid series against the best team, sure. But two wins vs the Astros doesn’t change the fact that this team has the same problems as they did a year ago – because they did nothing to address them in the offseason. League worst defense. No right fielder on the roster. Very poor ability to hit vs RHP. God awful managing, worse than last year. Two wins against the Astros following a sweep of the Tigers is nice, but doesn’t change any of that. They are competing for the AL Central, not the ALCS. The effects of their non-action the past two offseasons are still being felt, and remains an insult to the intelligence and loyalty of the entire fan base.

They would be winning the division already, and by a wide margin if they were actually an elite team. It isn’t making too much about one loss as much as it would be to make too much out of wins the first two series. They have the same roster holes that even some “fire” won’t fix, bottom line. Although arguably they are better now than a week ago because Elvis is better than Leury, and now even the Russa can’t put Garcia in the lineup.

Last edited 3 months ago by Augusto Barojas
soxygen

Agreed…Re not making too much of the first two victories: One of those two wins came on a day when the Astros were resting their starting middle infield…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to get the split and we definitely saw some fight and crisp execution in this series that the guys had not shown this year but for a dozen games here and there. But the Astros have been to the ALCS 5 yrs in a row, so they are the team to beat. We had a whole offseason to put together a team that can do just that. I don’t think that splitting a series in Chicago, winning one with Altuve sitting, and getting outscored by 15 over 4 games indicates anything other than that Houston is still a better ball club.

Back to the positives though, some nice at bats by Moncada in this series, Eloy and Gavin are both contributing to their respective (disparate) levels of ability, we got some good bullpen innings from guys we need to see in top form, and had some starters pitch well on days when their stuff was not sharp.

I’ll happily take it, and dare I say it, we’re entering yet another pivotal stretch. This road trip is really important.

Last edited 3 months ago by soxygen
ParisSox

I said the offense would come out against the lesser pitcher. I was wrong about which team.

White Sox Wade

Looks like we missed the window to get any significant value for Giolito via trade this off-season.

calcetinesblancos

Well, obviously if he’s doing well you’re not looking to trade him if you’re trying to contend. It’s just very disappointing. I’m also ecstatic that he rebuffed all efforts the Sox made to sign him.

gibby32

Yeah, but look on the bright side. He turned down a fairly rich extension from the White Sox last year that will not be offered again absent a big turnaround.

Esteban

Why Tony La M…. keeps so long his pitchers when they are hitted easily. Giolito has never been good vs Astros and yesterday.wasn’t the exception. Then Tony La M…. (not La Russa anymore for me) threw early the towel bringing rotten Velazquez to pitch. This “manager” is unable to motivate his team. There’s a lack of respect to fans from the front office and La M…. The Hispanos in this forum may translate well this M… Yesterday I saw the whole game as a curiosity, fans reaction caused laughs from Geof Blum and Jason during the TV broadcst.

huisj

To be fair, Giolito has had some of the best starts of his career against Houston. CG W with 1 ER last year, CG SO in 2019, and even a 7.1 inning 3 ER solid start in the middle of his terrible 2018 season.

Augusto Barojas

I blame the Russa for a lot of things, but suffice it to say I’m pretty sure they would have lost yesterday, by a lot, with any manager. But I completely agree that there is a complete lack of respect toward the fans by keeping TLR, as well as not having a real RF on the roster after having that problem the prior two seasons.

gibby32

This was the proper usage of Velasquez and Ruiz. The likelihood of a victory by the time VV was brought in was minimal.

calcetinesblancos

I think you accidentally posted the Bears score.

lifelongjd

Not sure when he would be available or how much it would cost to sign him, but the Sox should be all over Kyle Tucker. The guy absolutely kills us.

Augusto Barojas

You mean like a real RF who can field his position, and hit left handed? The Sox are not allowed. Kyle won’t be a FA for 3 more years, but we can look forward to Charlie Blackmon as our opening day RF next year.

gibby32

Maybe not the White Sox Opening Day starter, but Oscar Colas will keep the White Sox from Charlie Blackmon.

GrinnellSteve

It looks like we’ve finally turned the corner…

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Luis Robert has played 18 more games than Byron Buxton since 2020. Basically, one extra IL stint for Buxton. Have to start treating them as equals in terms of durability.

Augusto Barojas

Yeah, they’ve both played only 150 games since the start of 2021. Which is still 55 more than Madrigal. I don’t think Cub fans are too enamored with what they’ve seen so far from him, including missing 80+ games this year. He certainly would not have helped the Sox this year at least.

JimMargalusBiggestFan

Right now he could, as he seems to be heating up a bit, but he’ll get hurt again unfortunately.

gibby32

“Day to day” to Tony LaRussa means that you will not see him for a week minimum.

soxygen

Could be that that is a LaRussa issue…or the issue could be that the Sox have a “single-ply roster” and no farm system depth…

GrinnellSteve

I wonder if Tony is subconsciously projecting how long it would take for him to bounce back from some of these dings.

Nellie Fox

Wonder if Anderson can play right field , if Elvis thing works out. Still out on why grandahl still is with this club?

soxygen

I think you are about 10 months early with questioning why Grandal is with the club. If he isn’t hitting or can’t stay healthy by June of next year then sure, that would be a good time to ask whether the Sox would be better off paying him to play for someone else.

lastof12

I was unfortunately at the onslaught. The Sox were hitting Astros hard, but we all saw how much harder and much more frequently Houston was clobbering the Sox’ pitchers. This was the worst loss I’ve ever seen live and, yes, it was indicative of how much father Chicago needs to go to become an elite team. As bad as all that felt, they did split the series. And I’d highly doubt very many Sox’ fans would’ve predicted that. As frustrating as this team is, I believe they’re still capable of winning the division. “Buckle up and strap it down, fans.”