Athletics 2, White Sox 0: Giolito K’s 13 in a tough loss

Fighting fatigue in the second half, Lucas Giolito has seen a bit of a regression from the first half. The 2019 All-Star kept opponents to a slash line of .194/.276/.315 in his first 100 innings. In the last 30.1 innings, Giolito has seen hitters achieve more success with big jumps across the board hitting .269/.320/.504. It’s very plausible that Giolito may be running out of steam after such a great first half.

HR/9K%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPLOB%FIPxFIP
1st Half0.8130.1 9.5 0.1941.070.26275.0 3.213.95
2nd Half1.7629.5 7.0 0.2691.340.34279.8 4.163.88

Looking at the advanced metrics, Giolito hasn’t seen a significant drop in K% and has cut his walk rate by 2.5%. While the FIP is almost a run higher in the second half, his xFIP is slightly below. What appears to be causing the big jump in success for opposing hitters is they are hitting the changeup. Having no success against Giolito’s offspeed in May and June, the tables appeared to have turned since July.

Facing Oakland, a patient offense with surprising power, Giolito had to navigate his way around a lineup featuring five left-handed hitters prepared to wait for the changeup.

Tim Anderson had an excellent start to the game, making a terrific defensive play against Marcus Semien. On a grounder deep in the hole, Anderson made a fadeaway throw across the diamond for the game’s first out. Giolito would follow with strikeouts against Nick Martini and Matt Chapman on high fastball’s. Anderson would hit a double, his 18th of the season, but would be stranded on third base.

Oakland was threatening in the second inning as Matt Olson and Robbie Grossman both hit singles off changeups. Giolito would keep Olson and Grossman from scoring posting two more strikeouts against Mark Canha and Chad Pinder.

White Sox would strand another runner on third base in the second inning. Eloy Jimenez walked to lead off the inning and would reach second base on Matt Skole’s infield single against the shift. Yolmer Sanchez would follow with a fly out to right field, but it was deep enough for Jimenez to tag up and advance to third. However, it wasn’t deep enough for Skole to try and follow Jimenez on the basepath. From the cutoff man, Skole was cut down at second base for the second out. Ryan Goins struck out to end the threat.

Giolito mowed down the A’s in order striking out the side all with the high fastball. After three innings, Giolito had seven strikeouts in just 41 pitches. A reversal of fortune occurred for Giolito in the fourth inning. Matt Chapman almost hit an opposite-field home run that was saved by Jon Jay.

As he high pointed the ball, Jay had the ball in his glove but when coming back down his arm hit the wall and jarred the ball out limiting Chapman to a double. Matt Olson would later hit a ball far enough that Jay couldn’t reach for a two-run homer, his 23rd of the season. In all, Giolito allowed three hits in the fourth inning, all extra-base hits, and saw his pitch count climb to 64 pitches.

That inning would be his only blemish. Giolito struck out two more in the fifth inning. In his last frame of the afternoon, struck out the side again with the punch out being three different pitches: changeup, slider, and fastball. Altogether, Giolito was terrific still with his final line 6 IP 5 H 2 ER 13 K 1 BB setting a new career-high for strikeouts in a game.

Meanwhile, Chris Bassitt made it look easy against the White Sox offense. Anderson’s first-inning double was the only extra-base hit allowed as Bassitt pitched seven scoreless innings. In two starts against his former club in 2019, Bassitt pitched 13 scoreless innings.

Game Notes

  • White Sox finish the season series against the Athletics going 1-5 and being outscored 32-8. 
  • Jimmy Cordero pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen with three strikeouts. 
  • Kelvin Herrera made his return from the Injured List recording the last two outs in the ninth inning

Record: 52-64 | Box Score | Highlights

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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digger0910

He’s really good. And he’s a hell of a dude. Giolito’s emergence is the best part of this season. Moncada’s is right there too. Sometimes all the Sox bullshit feels worth it seeing these two guys rise up. 

dwjm3

Watching Abreu struggle to cover the fastball on that last at bat made me come to the conclusion that I don’t want him on anything longer than a one year deal.

digger0910

We’re lucky to have Abreu. He hits home runs, drives in runs, busts his butt and is a consummate mensch. If management would do their fucking job people wouldn’t be whining about Abreu so much. Abreu isn’t the problem the FO is. 

dwjm3

I’m not really sure why people use modern metrics with other players but seem to run to the counting stats for Abreu.  Furthermore, I don’t know if we should “feel lucky” to have a .6 f-war player.  I will say to your point there are greater issues than Abreu with this organization.

digger0910

You do you, I’ll do me. 

dwjm3

It doesn’t work that way…The industry decided advanced metrics are how ballplayers are properly valued and proceeded to construct teams based on him.  If you want to cling to counting stats more power to you but all it will demonstrate is that you live in the past.  We don’t determine the valuation metrics the industry does.

Furthermore, saying things like “he busts his butt” is like saying he has a great game face.  In essence it doesn’t mean diddly unless the numbers are there in the end.

digger0910

Ha ha!!

iowasox1971

Who exactly do you plan to replace Abreu with?
This past offseason, some geniuses on this board and others thought Yonder Alonso would be a logical replacement for Abreu once the 2020 season rolled around. That plan worked out great, didn’t it?
We have a lot of holes to fill on this team, but if you have an idea of who is a realistic target for us at first base, I’d like to know who that is. And by realistic, I mean someone who won’t cause us to have to deal our top prospects or top current players on our MLB roster, or cost $30 million per year.
Regarding advanced stats on Abreu: They would be much better if the team rested him about 10 or 15 games per season against certain pitchers he has a lot of trouble with. Some teams do that with their better hitters. But our lineup is so weak, we can’t afford to really do that. We need him in the middle of the lineup. Plus, he has been hitting in front of poor hitters for much of this season, so he doesn’t get much protection in the lineup. It’s a lot easier to draw walks or wait for better pitches to hit when you can have confidence the next guy is going to deliver.
Counting stats might not mean much to you, but Abreu is likely to finish the season with 30 homers and 100 RBIs. No one else on the team will reach those numbers. Advanced stats sometimes seem to reward players for being injured or sitting out against tough same-side pitchers. Counting stats don’t.

roke1960

Iowasox brings up a very good point. Look who’s hit cleanup for the Sox this year. Almost every game it has been either Alonso, McCann or Castillo. Even Jon Jay has hit cleanup. Are any one of those even remotely as dangerous as Abreu? Why would pitchers throw him anything good? I would like to see what he could do getting one day off per week and having a legitimate hitter like Machado behind him. Oh yeah, Jerry tried to lowball Machado, otherwise we would have seen him behind Jose this year.

roke1960

Here are the Sox cleanup hitters in the 115 games Abreu hit 3rd:
McCann 48
Alonso 42
Castillo 7
Moncada 5
Jay 4
Reed 4
Eloy 3
Goins 1
Skole 1
What a terrifying group of hitters. It just speaks of the utter failure of the F/O to not go out and get Harper or Machado at a time when they were so available.

digger0910

Or Harper and Machado, which they could have actually afforded. Not advocating that extreme level of long term financial investment into just two players, but highlighting the disparity between what was possible (the moon) and what they did (almost nothing – maybe lucking into finding a decent number 2 or 1a catcher who might stick). Focus needs to always be on the failure/refusal of the front office to put a legitimate, complete lineup together, when it would have been so easy to do (this season) with the ascension of Moncada and Tim, an improving Eloy, and Robert 1000% ready. (Won’t even bother getting into stunting Eloy and Robert’s development for service time games.)

Rather, people want to complain about Jose Abreu’s advanced stats like HE’S a problem for the White Sox. Jose should be a real, real nice lower middle of the order veteran bat. Not be counted on to carry a lineup ridiculously featuring the cleanup hitters Noke listed. And yes, the kind of dude he is does mean diddly for the present and future of the club. The front office can’t be trusted (by fans or players) to do anything right. It’s nice to have a player of Abreu’s stature and reputation want to stick around and be a face of the franchise. 

roke1960

If they can get a legit middle of the order bat next year, then the top 5 could feature some combination of Robert, Moncada, Eloy, Anderson, Madrigal, in addition to a big bat to hit 3 or 4. Then Jose can hit 6th. He could still be a very productive number 6 hitter.

digger0910

A DH and RF who could bat 4 and 5. Robert, Moncada, Eloy at the top. Jose 6. Anderson and Madrigal toward the bottom. That would be pretty, pretty fun. 

Typo in the above post. Meant Roke not Noke! 

dwjm3

Abreu is a problem for the White Sox. Any replacement level player in your lineup is a hole by definition and needs to be rectified

digger0910

You’re right. Ditch Jose Abreu that will fix this mess. 

dwjm3

Nice straw man you constructed there

digger0910

Let’s throw in a red herring! I love argument buzz terms. 

ForsterFTOG

It’s a start.

PauliePaulie

The OP was a 1 year deal for Abreu. So- Vaughn, Jimenez, Collins, Adolfo, Sheets, Kole Calhoun are a few not expensive options for ’21.

digger0910

We’d move on from Jose Abreu to…Kole Calhoun? Boring alert. 

Does Jimenez know how to play first? Throw a positional switch into his development?

Has Collins had any sustained success at any level yet?

How many games has Adolfo actually played vs how many reps someone at his age/development should actually have? He can’t be even considered for any role on the White Sox until he can stay healthy for a minute. I’m a big fan of his but certainly aren’t counting on him to be on the Sox in 2021. 

Sheets seems to be getting better. Let’s hope that continues?

None of these seem particularly realistic right now, or anything to bank on. It would be great if Vaughn is real and good and here in 2021. Let’s all hope together, seriously.

I get the “OP” was a 1 year contract. “Ditch” Jose was hyperbole. Good job to you both identifying that. My point is that Abreu is not the Sox’ problem. He’s an already here, professional hitter who can play first and DH on a winning team, who (almost, i guess) everyone loves. Fix the other glaring problems on the team and Jose settles into an appropriate role. 

PauliePaulie

Jose Abreu is becoming a White Sox problem. The defense has always been terrible, the offense is obviously declining. He is showing himself to not be a playoff caliber 1B/DH. The Sox need to set up a situation where they can move on sooner than later.
Counting stats are an especially bad way to gauge players with the bouncy ball and swing changes around the league. A 30 HR year is is not impressive in isolation.

marquettepark

Come on, spew some more garbage….and I’m being polite. 

zerobs

Who exactly do you plan to replace Abreu with?

If another team can’t wait and signs Abreu as soon as free agency starts, let them. Otherwise, he waits until the other priorities are resolved. Abreu is barely above scrapheap at this point, so I’d be willing to punt 1B with scrapheap guys like Ji-Man Choi or Steve Pearce as long as improvements are made at multiple positions elsewhere in the roster. If we can get two starting pitchers in (tossing in overpaid Alex Wood and Madison Bumgarner as examples) and add a consistent 2-3 WAR DH that could play first if needed (tossing in an overpaid Castellanos or Moustakas), then I’d maybe consider where Abreu fits in.

Could probably get Kyle Seager on a salary dump.

digger0910

This is satire, right?

IllinoisJones

are you Jose Abreu’s cousin or something

digger0910

No, I am not 

5742mail

How much protection has Jose had since he’s been here? This year is probably the worst. With Ricky not being sure about how to make a lineup is were the confusion start. An everyday lineup of Garcia,Moncada,Abreu,Jimenez and Anderson 6th. Robert will move into the leadoff spot followed by Moncada,Abreu,Jimenez—. Anderson sixth,Garcia,Mccain.. Garcia is either your second baseman or right fielder Madrigal would have to beat out Garcia. And most of all watch what you ask for, is Washington missing a beat without Harper or Philly tearing up the league with him. We need to try something new,Engel and cordell have shown they’re not ready so let’s try Gonzalez and Booker.

ForsterFTOG

‘White Sox finish the season series against the Athletics going 1-5 and being outscored 32-8.’
And to think they did it without Mulder, Hudson and Zito.