Sooner or later, the extreme good vibes that had followed the heretofore-woebegone Chicago White Sox over the past 15 games was due to run out.
In Thursday’s 9-4 loss, nine unanswered runs — including a grotesque five-spot as the Boston Red Sox batted around in the ninth — was like the Zoltar arcade machine not dispensing a fortune but a right cross.
And yet, through six-plus, this ballgame was so very promising.
Lucas Giolito was aces, carrying a no-hitter into the fifth and thoroughly outdueling former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. Giolito’s full aresenal was in ascendance, working his curve, fastball and changeup for strikeouts. The righthander’s continued second-half breakout — to the tune tonight of 6 1⁄3 innings, two hits, one earned, two walks and eight Ks for a dynamite 75 game score — was the bright spot of tonight’s game.
Secondary to Giolito’s dominance was the instant offense provided him by the Chisox. Avisaíl García murdered a two-run shot to center field in the first, chased by Matt Davidson’s dribbler up the middle to score another. In the second, García brought home Yolmer Sánchez on a sacrifice fly.
That early 4-0 could have held up, perhaps, if Giolito had 213 pitches in him instead of the career-high 113 (74 strikes) he did end up throwing.
But the naughty version of the White Sox bullpen mostly surfaced for today’s game. Jeanmar Gómez relieved Giolito in the seventh and not only charged a run to Giolito’s tab, but gave the lead completely away after surrendering Mookie Betts’s 29th homer of the year.
The game remained 4-4 into the ninth, thanks to rookie Ryan Burr’s scoreless inning bridge to Thyago Vieira. However, Vieira proceeded to blow that bridge to smithereens, giving up five earned on four hits in the ninth, and allowing every Red Sox fan still left at Sox Park to emerge from drunken-muttered-expletive obscurity to cheer their Sawx to a win that posited them 51 games better than .500. On August 30.
Tomorrow, though, TOMORROW, heh. It’s the Michael Kopech revenge game. Watch out, Bosox. If Giolito squeezed you hard tonight, Kopech gonna krush. Or something.
All right, friends, that about wraps this debacle up. The White Sox are still 11-5 since mid-August, just one game out of third place, and perhaps the sweet, sweet anesthesia of endless Eloy debating and White Sox front office deck chair-shuffling will keep us all otherwise distracted for the next 20 hours or so.