Astros 4, White Sox 3: Michael Kopech survives start, but not short porch

Bullet-point recap:

*Michael Kopech pitched five innings, which is a victory in and of itself considering his last start ended after two outs with a pop in his knee.

*The actual victory eluded the White Sox because the Astros scored three of their four runs on two homers hit into the Crawford Boxes. J.J. Matijevic and Mauricio Dubon homered in back-to-back innings; the former would’ve been a homer in two of 30 parks, the latter four.

*Both homers came on fastballs that lacked their usual hop, and that was Kopech’s biggest issue. His fastball topped out 96 and averaged 94, which is 1-2 ticks below his usual.

*The White Sox had chances. They went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, and came away empty-handed from a second inning opportunity where they had second and third with one out. Josh Harrison popped out, and Adam Haseley struck out.

*The Sox also used the wrong part of the park. Luis Robert and AJ Pollock had two of the three deepest drives in the game, but both traveled to right center and died on the warning track, around 390 feet away.

*Robert was able to split the right-center gap for a double that drove home Danny Mendick for the first run of the game, which narrowed Houston’s lead to 2-1 before Dubon hit his two-run shot in the bottom of the inning.

*The Sox reclaimed those two runs in the top of the eighth with different help from the Crawford Boxes. Pollock’s drive bounced into the bottom part of the wall and shot off toward center field, confusing Michael Brantley and turning a double into an RBI triple. He then scored on Jake Burger’s groundout to make it 4-3.

*The tying run reached base in the ninth when Josh Harrison drew a leadoff walk on a questionable checked-swing call that went his way, but he advanced no farther. Haseley struck out for the third time on the night, Mendick flied out to right, and Andrew Vaughn to center.

*Pollock was charged with a throwing error when his attempt to get Alex Bregman at third in the first inning trickled past Jake Burger. Kopech should’ve been backing up the play, but he was hovering around the middle of the diamond. Kyle Tucker moved up from first to second on the play, but it led to no damage.

Record: 31-33 | 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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shaggy65

Kopech just looked a little tentative, which is hopefully just in his head rather than his knee.

The Sox had some hard hit balls that didn’t land today, but Josh Harrison came up in the biggest spots of the game and left 5 on base. I’m excited to get TA back tomorrow to lengthen the lineup.

As Cirensica

Josh Harrison should be DFA’d once Anderson returns today. Harrison serves no purpose in this team.

a-t

Trading blowouts and losing a very close one isn’t too bad a result for visiting Houston.

knoxfire30

9th inning , 1 run game and you have to let Haseley and Harrison bat… yikes

upnorthsox

Hhmmm….

9th inning , 1 run game and you have to let Engel and Garcia bat… yikes



peanutsNcrackerjack

My immediate thought was wouldn’t it be nice to have Hamilton (or another speedy base stealer) to get into the head of the pitcher once Harrison coaxed a walk in the ninth. That used to work last year, but I guess there’s no place for a run-only guy this year.

knoxfire30

Harrison K’d but the ump at 1st was asleep and a 90% full swing was a checked swing walk… id put a big asterisk on it.

The bottom of the order and bench options were pretty tough yesterday…

chipporter

I don’t see anything wrong with letting Haseley bat in that situation. He’s been hot.

gibby32

AAA hot.

ForsterFTOG

My untrained eye test tells me that Jake Burger can’t hit a good fastball and Haseley is not the answer.

chipporter

Yes, Kopech should have been backing up on the play and if he is, the runner stays at first. It’s a shame Pollack gets that error, should be Kopechs. PFP, or the lack of it, is just another in a long line of indicators that The Russa doesn’t have his team ready to play every day.

a-t

PFP is the responsibility of the pitching or bench coaches, not the manager. This is true even at the high school level