Astros 10, White Sox 0: The score of a Justin Verlander-James Shields matchup

Bullpen mostly preserved in series-opening loss, although Danny Farquhar was hospitalized

If this were Hollywood, the story of this start would’ve given James Shields a star turn.

Shields had just lost the White Sox’ previous game, giving up a walk-off single in the 14th inning after Rick Renteria used the entire bullpen. Given that he threw 28 pitches and Lucas Giolito could be moved up a day and still pitch on regular rest, it wasn’t a given that Shields would make tonight’s start as schedule.

Until!

With this as the backstory, it would’ve been beautiful if he somehow outdueled Justin Verlander to end the Sox’ three-game losing streak.

Instead, it went the more predictable route — a 10-0 drubbing to open the series.

Shields hung with Verlander through three, but the Astros started finding real estate down the lines and ended up hanging a five-spot on the White Sox. George Springer tacked on three of those runs with a Little League home run, made possible when Tim Anderson’s relay throw home clipped Marwin Gonzalez and caromed well off the path Shields had backed up.

That sealed the game, as Verlander held the Sox hitless into the fifth inning, and three Astros relievers combined to preserve the two-hitter.

The question from that point was how many more outs Shields could eat, and he only had four more in him. His night ended after a one-out double, yielding two runners to Danny Farquhar. Farquhar allowed both of those runs to score on a Springer two-run double, and then Carlos Correa homered to hit to make it a 9-0 game.

That was all Farquhar could provide, because he fainted in the dugout after the inning. Paramedics carried him out of the clubhouse and he was transported to a hospital.

Despite the emergency, the White Sox were able to preserve order in their bullpen through creative means. Aaron Bummer retired all five batters he faced, going three outs longer than his previous high this season.

And two days after Shields finished the game Carson Fulmer started, Rick Renteria had Fulmer return the favor. He handled the last inning and a third. Over that time, he gave up a no-doubter to Correa, a nubbed single to Yuli Gurriel and a double to Alex Bregman, but he also recorded three strikeouts. More importantly, he threw 18 of 24 pitches for strikes when his primary assignment was to throw them.

The pitching side was far more eventful for the White Sox than their hitting. Tim Anderson broke up the no-hitter in the fifth with a palpable single through the left side. He tried stealing on a 3-0 count, but Omar Narvaez walked. He then tried getting a Lance Johnson jump, but Verlander thwarted it. Anderson beat the rundown back to second, but Narvaez (correctly) advanced to second while Anderson was in the pickle, so Anderson’s TOOTBLAN was put on his tab.

Jose Abreu, who made strong contact all night, contributed an infield single in the sixth. It was smoked at Bregman, who knocked it down but couldn’t recover in time for a timely throw to first.

Bullet points:

*Trayce Thompson got back into action in his first game, replacing Avisail Garcia in right in the ninth inning and popping out to third.

*Garcia had an opportunity to draw his first walk of the season, but he swung at a not particularly competitive pitch in the dirt for strike three. He also committed an error in right field, giving up a base on a bobble during the five-run fourth.

Record: 4-12 | Box score 

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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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itaita

Can they just give the last few games to the Astros and let the Sox play the AAA team instead. Might make for a more competitive game.

Greg Nix

Of all the badness talk, I haven’t seen enough about Avi. He’s looked really, really bad.

Trooper Galactus

Well, aside from 2017, Avi’s been a pretty bad player, so this shouldn’t come as all too much of a shock. It’s weird that he hasn’t drawn a walk, though, as I don’t recall that ever being a huge issue for him.

karkovice squad

With only 8 strikeouts tonight, Sox hitters have their work cut out for the rest of the series to catch the Orioles’ 52.

Right Size Wrong Shape

RBDQ

More like RBDH.

L2R

I went 7-35. That’s fence post holes dug last evening. Laura, take that heap you collected in the basement and get it to the curb! Jim, you get any tiles laid?

As Cirensica

It is games like this that shows us how far the ChiSox are from being a contending team. It’s very far. Yes, we have good prospects in the minors but seeing how Moncada is taking time to mature. Same with Giolito. Eloy would be the same. Robert won’t be any different. Kopech would be the same plus he will have innings cap initially.

It looks optimist to think this team will be a .500 in 2020. I think the contending years may begin in 2021.

PauliePaulie

Timmay jawing at Verlander after his TOOTBLAN was embarrassing.

PauliePaulie

I read Verlander’s comments a little differently. As if he’s speaking from a manager’s perspective. “trying to steal on a 3-0 count down 5 doesn’t make sense” “celebrating it is really silly” “I proved that too you by picking you off, big mouth”
Seems Timmay is getting a rep. And I’m not sure it’s for the right reasons.

Marty34

Agreed. Anderson isn’t looking at the big picture stealing these bases. Poor job of not getting that point across to him by Renteria. As far as the unwritten rules go, I love them. It exposes who the knuckleheads are.

Marty34

That’s the beauty of the unwritten rules sometimes it’s the guy who is adhering to them that is the knucklehead. It’s going to be a long season. Dustups like these are reason to watch. More please.

Trooper Galactus

For a guy who says he was focused on the hitter, he sure took a lot of time to examine what Tim was doing.

Marty34

It’s alarming how bad they’ve been considering how they finished last year and the competition they’ve faced so far. It has to reflect poorly on the overall state of the rebuild. Whether it’s at the player, manager/coaching, or management level, something has gone off track. How long can it continue before the process isn’t trusted anymore?

Marty34

Thoughts and prayers. Silver lining is that it happened in a place where EMT’s were onsite.