Tigers 7, White Sox 2: Lucas Giolito unravels

If you don’t subscribe to jinxes, then my post about the solidifying of the White Sox rotation arrived just in time, because the same points would’ve lost a little bit of their impact if they came after Lucas Giolito’s burp at Comerica Park in the season series opener against the Tigers.

If you do think jinxes are real, then … sorry.

The White Sox’s streak of 11 decent-to-excellent starts came to an end. Giolito started his night by striking out the first two batters on three pitches apiece, and then spent the rest of his time fighting the strike zone and the pitch clock.

Giolito walked seven batters over 3⅔ innings, and while a Tigers baserunning blunder bailed him out of one jam, the roof caved in during a four-run fourth.

If there’s any solace, a good night of pitching might not have mattered, because the White Sox supported Alex Faedo’s career night by striking out 10 times without drawing a walk.

They did tag him for a couple runs. Jake Burger singled, stole a base for the first time in his career, then scored on a Tim Anderson single in the third inning, and then Gavin Sheets answered for one of those four Detroit runs in the bottom of the fourth with a line drive around the right-field foul pole in the fifth.

The Tigers didn’t truly put the game away until Garrett Crochet’s own control problems arrived in the seventh, but even though the Sox weren’t out of the game, they never felt in the game, either. After Sheets’ homer, Tigers pitching set down the next 13 in order until Andrew Benintendi singled with one out in the ninth. Luis Robert Jr. then negated it with a game-ending double play ball.

The White Sox only had two at-bats with runners in scoring position, and Anderson’s single meant they finished batting .500 in that category.

Giolito allowed 13 baserunners over the course of 11 outs, missing high with his fastball and bouncing a lot of sliders. He had three incidents related to pitch clock, receiving a verbal warning from home plate umpire Sean Barber for coming to a set before the hitter was ready, then triggering ball four on a full count when he did the same thing later in the third inning. He also ran out of time on the first pitch of a plate appearance in the fourth, so you could say he was out of sorts in all regards.

The Tigers could’ve knocked him out earlier, but after loading the bases on walks with one out, Giolito got a shanked liner up the middle. Romy González handled it easily behind second base, then almost looked surprised when he saw that there was a second out at second base, because Riley Greene broke for third for some reason. That preserved the White Sox’s 1-0, albeit momentarily.

Crochet issued the other four walks over his four outs, throwing 21 of 41 pitches for strikes in his first extended appearance since returning from Tommy John surgery. He also hit a batter, so I wouldn’t underestimate the work remaining to regain his command, but Aaron Bummer stranded two inherited runners to preserve Crochet’s ERA. Bummer then went on to allow two runs himself in the eighth inning.

For the second straight series, the White Sox opened it with a dud of a performance. They showed the ability to rebound in Cleveland, and they’ll need to dust off that skill this weekend.

Bullet points:

*The White Sox hadn’t issued 10 walks in game without drawing a walk themselves since 1984.

*Gregory Santos had the only good night pitching, stranding the two runners he inherited from Giolito and striking out three of the four batters he faced.

*Anderson made a rookie-looking mistake in the second inning when he got caught in between a force at second and getting the speedy Akil Baddoo at first, and recorded neither out. But then he made a quick, strong and accurate throw to get Javier Baez later in the game.

*The White Sox struck out 13 times against zero walks overall, while the Tigers struck out 10 times against 11 walks.

Record: 21-31 | Box score | Statcast

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StockroomSnail

It’s hard to compete against a top 2 AL Central team.

ParisSox

The tigers may not have the talent yet but they have the coaching we should have had. I wouldn’t count them out for winning this division.

With that said it exacerbates the frustration when we compare pure talent levels.

LamarHoyt_oncrack

Other teams try and improve. The Sox stay the same or get worse each year, w/ the same holes and turd roster additions.

Maybe that isn’t such a good approach. Hmmmm.

DuckSnorting-CanofCorn

11 walks. Eleven. It’s nuts that they are still technically in it for division.

My favorite thing to do this year is not watch the game or check score and try to figure out how it’s going by only using the comments section from the first pitch threads. It’s quite entertaining.

Gotta find joy in the little things.

ElCaballo45

I thought I was the only crazy one who did this!!!

670WMAQtheElder

I missed the game. Did anyone check the HP umpires scorecard thing on twitter?