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Astros halt Cease’s doubleheader opener win streak

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Despite a quality start, passed balls help Houston take Game 1, 6-2

You get a ca—: Castillo was giving away passed balls like he’s Oprah giving out cars.
As Clinton said in an email after shooting this today: “Lol beef.”
Clinton Cole/South Side Sox

Chicago White Sox rookie Dylan Cease started the game in less than ideal form: Giving up a home run on the first pitch in the top of the first inning. Eight pitches later, with runners on second and third and one out, Cease intentionally walked Yordan Alvarez to load the bases for Yuli Gurriel. On a 2-2 count, Gurriel hit a soft grounder for the 5-4-3 double play Cease needed to get out of the inning largely unscathed.

I feel obligated to include this because I support quality punnage, though the execution needs some work, @Astros. At least capitalize Cease, jeez.

Other than Jon Jay’s leadoff single, Zack Greinke grunted his way through the first, with Tim Anderson hitting into a double play and José Abreu striking out. Greinke sure is vocal on the mound, isn’t he? He sounds like he’s about to break out into a spontaneous karaoke rendition of Blitzkrieg Bop (Hey! Ho! Let’s go!).

The Sox threatened but didn’t score in the bottom of the second, and Welington Castillo made his case for the Slowest Runner in all of Major League Baseball award by getting thrown out at home. Lol beef.

In the bottom of the fourth, Abreu hit a single and Eloy Jiménez doubled him home, but after a walk to Ryan Goins, Yolmer Sánchez and Matt Skole were unable to bring any more runs across the plate. One inning later with the White Sox down, 2-1, Abreu doubled off the wall and drove in the tying run in Adam Engel.

Other than surrendering two solo home runs, Cease looked pretty solid. A terrible replay call passed ball in the sixth inning brought in the go-ahead run for Houston, and after walking the first batter in the seventh, Dylan’s day was done and Kelvin Herrera was brought in to ensure we would not win this game. After a stolen base, a fly out, a strikeout and back-to-back walks (one intentional), Jace Fry was called upon with the bases loaded to clean up Herrera’s mess. Welington allowed another run to score via passed ball, and Twitter had quite a bit to say about that:

Will Harris came in to pitch for the Astros in the bottom of the seventh, and dispatched all three batters he faced with just 13 pitches.

Gurriel laced a double down the third-base line to lead off the eighth, and Robinson Chirinos singled him in to push Houston’s lead to 5-2. The Sox were unable to do anything in their half of the eighth, and Osich walked a pair, threw a wild pitch (which looked more like a passed ball to me), and allowed one more run to cross the plate off of another hit from Chirinos to bring the score to 6-3 going into the bottom of the ninth.

Jake Marisnick robbed Eloy of a base hit to lead off the inning and neither Goins nor Sánchez were able to get anything going as the rain began, ending the game at 6-3.

Now, for my best and worst:

Tears of joy: A quality start for Dylan Cease: six innings, five hits, three runs (two earned), five walks and two strikeouts. The Astros had scored 30 runs in their last two games, yet only managed a pair against our resident doubleheader opening pitcher.

Ugly cry: Welington Castillo striking out twice, running the bases like an imbecile and allowing multiple baserunners to score on passed balls. Honorable mention goes to Tim Anderson making four outs in two swings of the bat, grounding into two double plays early in the game and making us wonder if he really does “like batting in the 7-spot because he’s comfortable there” or whatever Ricky keeps telling us to justify absurd batting order decisions. Move Timmy back to seventh in the order and remove Castillo from the roster, pretty please.

Stick around for the second game, Danks for Nothin has the gamethread going here. The game is expected to start at 8:00 CST and José Ruiz has been called up as our 26th man for the game.

P.S. If you didn’t catch the game, here’s part one of Sox Math:

Despite what you may think after today’s performance, we really did win a pair of games in Houston in May.