This was the kind of a game where Tim Anderson backing up Adam Engel’s ill-advised dive attempt in the fourth inning is lauded as a highlight.
The Chicago White Sox’s 4-0 whitewash by Carlos Carrasco and Cleveland was the sort of game not for watching, but for laying down and avoiding.
Let’s not excruciate over the minute details of tonight’s debauchery. Just grin and bear Carrasco’s recent dominance of the White Sox:
- Tonight: 7 IP, 2 H, BB, HBP, 11 Ks, 87 game score
- 2017-18: 4-0, CG, 36 1⁄3 IP, 19 H, 4 ER, 0.99 ERA, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 39 K, .606 WHIP
His opponent tonight was Lucas Giolito, of the inscrutable Giolitos.
One one hand, you could say Giolito’s start was encouraging. He had a bit of bite to his pitches, both with velocity (ramping up to 95 mph, and averaging 93) and movement (the long-lost curve guest-starred tonight). And for three innings, Giolito was perfect (well, two walks, but no hits and no damage, which on Giolito’s 2018 grading scale, we’ll round up to perfect).
Flip side, Giolito again lost his control, throwing fewer than half of his pitches for strikes (93 pitches/46 strikes), walking four, giving up four earned, melting down with two outs in the fourth (walk, walk, bloop single, double), averaging 18.6 pitches per inning, and tallying a paltry 39 game score.
And yet when it comes to the sad trombone, Matt Davidson has Giolito beat.
Davidson’s DL stint apparently found him accidentally fastening on his 2017 cleats upon return, because he is in free-fall, mad hatter mode — i.e. sombreros all over the place. One day removed from a golden sombrero-plus-a-first-pitch-HPB in Boston, Davidson duplicated the feat sans HBP tonight, making it eight strikeouts in his last nine plate appearances. He has struck out seven straight times. In his past two games, Davidson is averaging 4.44 pitches per plate appearance, and remember, that includes a first-pitch drilling. Not one of Davidson’s eight strikeouts came on a called strike.
So, how about winding things up on the plus side?
The White Sox bullpen did not revert to early-2018 form by faltering in the face of a short outing by a starter. The motley crew (for this contest, Xavier Cedeño, Luis Avilán, Bruce Rondón and Hector Santiago) ran its scoreless streak to 19 2⁄3 innings, covering four innings of three-hit, two-walk, five-K ball. Badass mofo of the bullpen tonight was Cedeño, who inherited Giolito’s no outs, man-on-first mess-in-the-making in the sixth and spun 10 strikes in 16 pitches, punching out Melky Cabrera, allowing a ground-rule double to Lonnie Chisenhall and then stranding Wahoos on second and third, weepy or moany or chagrined, whatever it is those irritating Clevelanders do when left wanting.
Oh, and the unheralded cracker jacks of the offense tonight were Kevan Smith and Charlie Tilson, tapping out the only two hits for the South Siders. Honorable mention goes to Yolmer Sánchez, who got hit in the first, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and stole third to become the only White Sox player to reach third base tonight.
Big Game goes tomorrow, and you just know he is ready to Bust. Someone. Up.