Let’s face it — unless you’re blindly fanatic, you figured winning one out of four in Houston would be pretty good, right? And when you looked at the pitching matchups, you figured tonight would be that one win, what with the red-hot Lucas Giolito facing Astros rookie Corbin Martin, who has all of 9 1⁄3 innings of major league experience.
But, lo and behold, the White Sox pulled off a big surprise last night, thanks in part to the amazing rarity of a triple play and grand slam in the same game (fourth time in 40 years in MLB). In fact, the whole game was pretty amazing, with four double plays to go with the triple defensively, and three more homers offensively, two by Eloy Jiménez and one from José Abreu.
That makes today’s game and the possibility of a split pure gravy.
Sox pitching has done well the whole series — 11 earned runs in three games to an offense that good ain’t shabby. True, without George Springer and José Altuve at the top of the order, Houston has a problem, so it may not be purely a case of playing up to the opposition. But we can always pretend.
After scoring nine runs last night, Ricky Renteria is going with the same batters, but just to show he isn’t complacent, he’s shuffled them around even though Martin, like Gerrit Cole last night, is a righty. No word on whether that decision was made by picking names out of a hat, or using a dart:
It will be up to Giolito to continue the pitching success, backed mentally by his newfound neurofeedback skills that keep him cool and collected under pressure (unlike last season), and physically by advice he got from Frank Thomas on pitching inside. (Maybe Thomas can take over as pitching coach. Couldn’t Big Hurt.)
Giolito keeps the advantage of not facing Springer, and Max Stassi, who’s hitting .160, will be doing the catching for Houston:
For those of you posting bets on roof shots, official word is the Minute Maid dome will be closed.
Game time 7:10 pm Central. NBC Sports on the tube, WGN on the boombox.
Despite the matchup, the Vegas boys have the ‘Stros as big favorites. But I really like gravy.