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Astros 3, White Sox 1: A few bright spots amid lots of strikeouts

Houston bullpen quashes chances of getting an effective Lucas Giolito off the hook

Chicago White Sox v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The White Sox are getting good at checking boxes for positive developments during losses.

For instance, the White Sox struck out 14 times in total, including eight of their last nine outs against the back end of the Houston bullpen after spending the early part of the game hitting fly balls off the end of the bat.

On the other hand, this game still had things going for it, including:

No. 1: Lucas Giolito throwing another quality start.

Giolito allowed two runs on seven hits and a walk over 6 23 innings. He got burned on a couple of pitches up in the zone in the fourth inning. Jose Altuve hammered a first-pitch fastball out to right after reaching the warning track his first time up, and Alex Bregman roped a slider through the left-center gap for an RBI double.

Otherwise, Giolito kept the Astros in check. He only struck out three and got six swinging strikes over his 100 pitches, but the Astros are collectively the best in the league at avoiding strikeouts, and by a large margin. They’re also the best in baseball at scoring runs, so pitching into the seventh is a victory, even if the lack of a support means it’s a loss in the box score.

No. 2: Yoan Moncada racking up three hits and a stolen base.

Moncada was one of the strikeouts late in the game, but he came through with three singles earlier in the evening, and added an easy stolen base on the battery of Collin McHugh and Brian McCann that set up ...

No. 3: Jose Abreu’s 98th RBI of the year.

... an Abreu double that scored Moncada. Abreu is now just two shy of his fourth consecutive RBI season in as many tries. He also reached base on two errors and stole second himself, which is his third of the season and second in four games.

There were a few other nice moments during an otherwise quiet evening. Tim Anderson caught Yulieski Gurriel treating a pop-up behind second base far too casually, throwing behind him in time for a 6-3 double play and the TOOTBLANiest of TOOTBLANs. Kevan Smith gunned down Josh Reddick at second from one knee to end an inning, and Nicky Delmonico made a nice leaping catch against the wall in foul territory.

It’s the kind of game that illustrates the disparity in talent, but had enough things going for it to keep one’s attention as the sun sets on the season.

Record: 60-90 | Box score