It’s hard to have high hopes heading into Houston, particularly with the Astros already having polished off two 10-game winning streaks in this young season, but the Chicago White Sox were flat from the first pitch on Monday, in a gutting, 3-0 loss.
Though the rumors going into the game were that Ryan Burr would be used to open the game, it was really just a run of the mill bullpen day. Burr continued his no earned runs allowed streak since coming back from the IL, but a run did still cross home plate. After a Charlie Tilson error, Carlos Correa drove in Alex Bregman with a sac fly to start the game. Other than that, Burr was good, throwing two innings with just that lone unearned run.
Jace Fry took over in the third, and it did not go well. He was unable to escape the inning, as he recorded only two outs. Plus, he allowed this:
and two more hits on top of that. Jose Ruiz came in for the last out of the third, limiting the damage to just one run.
Meanwhile, Houston’s Brad Peacock was mowing down Sox batters. It took until the third inning for the White Sox to collect a hit, a Jose Abreu double, of course. But that was it, even for contact in the early going. Peacock struck out seven different batters, as White Sox pitchers whiffed just one. In the bottom of the fourth with Ruiz still in, another home run came off Houston bats, this time by Tyler White, increasing the deficit to three.
Oddly enough, it was Josh Osich who had the first bit of real pitching success for Chicago. He went six up, six down, with one strike out. Even odder, Oshich didn’t induce a single swing & miss with his four-seam fastball and cutter.
The Sox did threaten Houston in the seventh. After two quick outs, Yolmer Sanchez and Charlie Tilson singled. However, that was all the movement, as Leury Garcia struck out to end the inning.
After more trouble on offense and as the inevitable loss became more clear, Juan Minaya entered the game. Like Osich, Minaya threw two shutout innings to keep the game close. But it was all for naught, as the Sox bats could just not get enough going in the 3-0 loss.
Eloy Jimenez in his first game back did not do particularly well. But that’s what happens when a hitter goes from facing Triple-A pitching straight to the lion’s den of Astros pitching. Jimenez went 0-for-4 with one strikeout and did not look comfortable at the plate in his first game back.
In either an impressive display by Astros bats or an indication of how poor Sox pitching was today, the Houston offense had only four swings & misses according to Brooks Baseball. In total, the Astros only struck out four times while reaching base 10. This looks like it could be a very long week for the South Siders.
Dylan Covey is set to start tomorrow night, opposite Justin Verlander. Does Covey have another “2018 duel with Chris Sale” in him? Dunno. But Danks for Nothin is on the call, and if the White Sox effort mirrors Monday’s, expect every bit the wry and downtrodden gamer.