Spent the day stomping around Chicago and finally caught up with today’s action, in bullet-point form:
*The White Sox put on a show for the last Family Sunday of the season, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Kansas City Royals. The Royals are not mathematically eliminated, but they’re 5½ back of Minnesota with seven to play.
*Lucas Giolito picked up his third win of the season by allowing just one run on five hits over seven innings while striking out five. The only damage came from a Lorenzo Cain solo homer on an 92-mph fastball on the inside corner in the fourth inning.
*In many ways, it was the quintessential Giolito start -- a fastball around 92-93, a changeup that was effective enough even when floated, a breaking ball (slider) that kept opponents honest, and some strong defensive support. No individual element was overpowering, but he finished with as many baserunners (five) as strikeouts while throwing 65 of 98 pitches for strikes.
*The Sox gave him plenty of support throughout the game. They jumped on Ian Kennedy early with opposite-field power. Yoan Moncada came up a foot short of leaving the yard to left center, and was followed by Avisail Garcia hitting a no-doubter to right center. They almost added a third first-inning run, but Melky Cabrera made a diving catch on Kevan Smith’s attempt at a bloop single.
*Smith got his revenge by jumping on a spinning slider for a solo homer in the fourth inning.
*Adam Engel still can’t hit, but he made up some ground with his wheels today. In the field, he robbed Eric Hosmer of extra bases in the second by staying with a crazy liner. On offense, he drew a leadoff walk from Kennedy in the fifth, drew a clumsy pickoff throw, then scored on a Yolmer Sanchez double that stretched the Sox’ lead to 4-1.
*It was then Tim Anderson’s turn to show off his wheels. With one out in the sixth, he reached on an infield single when Hosmer couldn’t scoop the throw, stole second, then scored on a bloop single to right by Smith. Anderson got a great read on the single, then used all of his wingspan to dive around Sal Perez’s tag.
*The Sox buried hopes of a Kansas City comeback with a three-run seventh, all accomplished over the first four batters. Yolmer Sanchez singled through the right side, Moncada walked, Garcia sliced a double to right to score Sanchez, and Nicky Delmonico’s shot to third sneaked under Cheslor Cuthbert’s mitt for a two-run E5.
*When the Royals assess the ways the season went wrong, they’ll look at their 9-10 record against the rebuilding White Sox and wonder.
*Meanwhile, the White Sox won’t lose 100 games. They have to go 5-2 to reach my prediction of 68 wins.
Record: 63-92 | Box score