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Astros 2, White Sox 1: More injuries than runs

A. Garcia, Davidson leave game as Houston sweeps season series

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros
Get ‘em Next Year: The White Sox have gone winless in seven tries against the Astros.
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox are very bad, and the Astros are very good. You know how this story goes. Sunday’s game was probably the most competitive contest between the two clubs all year, yet the Sox still found a way to lose and finish out the year 0-7 against last year’s World Series winners. Lucas Giolito went a career-long 7⅓ innings and allowed only seven baserunners (three hits, three walks, one hit-by-pitch). He was highly effective against baseball’s most potent offense, but he still took the loss on account of offensive ineptitude.

Sox hitters somehow managed to strike out only five times, yet they couldn’t get the big hit they needed to drive in more than one of their ten baserunners. Their lone run came in the top of the seventh, when Tim Anderson drove in Yoan Moncada on a sacrifice fly (immediately following yet another bunt with two on and nobody out). That tied the game at one, following a solo homer by Jose Altuve in the fourth.

The offense stranded nine runners, mostly against southpaw Dallas Keuchel, who coaxed a whole lot of ground balls. Keuchel got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second with a weak grounder by Adam Engel, then got a double play off the bat of Jose Abreu in the third. Engel then hit a one-out double in the fifth and advanced to third on an error, but Anderson and Avisail Garcia (hitting 1-2) couldn’t get him home. The opportunities were certainly there; the results were not.

To add injury to insult, Garcia and Matt Davidson both got hurt and had to leave the game. Garcia’s hamstring issues resurfaced while he was running out a ground ball in the fifth inning, and Davidson took a pitch to the left arm and left the game in the eighth. Neither injury appears to be serious (Davidson probably would have been removed for a pinch-runner anyway), but both players have already spent time on the disabled list this season, and losing their bats again for any period would be painful.

The White Sox are now 30-60, and are back on pace for their worst season in franchise history. They’re also six games “ahead” of the Marlins for baseball’s third-worst record.

Other Stuff

  • At least this game was brisk—it was over in 2 hours, 28 minutes.
  • Giolito exited after allowing a single and a walk in the eighth, but Joakim Soria struck out Alex Bregman and froze Altuve with a beautiful front-door curveball on 3-2. That’s a nice recovery for Soria after his blown save on Thursday.
  • Every Sox starter reached base except for Anderson, who drove in the only run. Yolmer Sanchez was the only one to reach twice, with two walks.
  • According to Chuck Garfien, this is the first time the White Sox have ever been swept in a season series of seven games or more.