The Chicago White Sox are going streaking, finally! For the first time since July 19-20, the Sox have won consecutive games with the offensive onslaught last night, and with some good pitching in a 7-4 win over the Detroit Tigers tonight.
This one started off with a real non-White Soxian tendency. In the first inning, the Sox loaded the bases with two walks and a hit by pitch and actually capitalized. José Abreu took one of those bases on balls, which was his second of August — that matches his monthly totals in June and July (per James Fegan). More amazingly, with two outs Matt Skole found a gap in-between center, second, short, and right, just enough to drive in two runs. Though it was not scalded, @WhiteSox rocked some good copy nonetheless.
Absolutely Skole-ded. pic.twitter.com/JVQiGDArYT— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 5, 2019
Then, White Sox troubles arose. While the Sox did score two runs in that first inning, all three outs were strikeouts, and Tigers starter Spencer Turnbull kept getting swings and misses. Since this was Turnbull’s first start off of the IL, he did not go long and was removed after just three innings (76 pitches). In his nine outs induced, seven of them were punchouts, as the Pale Hose started to look like the sluggish Sox of the second half.
Meanwhile Lucas Giolito ran into trouble of his own. Three straight singles allowed in the second cut Chicago’s lead in half, and then a home run to lead off the third inning tied it. Giolito’s struggles continued that inning but he was able to end any damage thanks to a timely, and slick, double play.
Things oddly didn’t spiral out of control, as Sox bats quickly pounced on the man replacing Turnbull, Gregory Soto. After just three batters, Yolmer Sánchez drove in Tim Anderson, who singled earlier and got to third via a James McCann double. Even more odd, Ryan Goins drove in McCann, making it three runs scored with two outs in only four innings.
Meanwhile, Giolito started to get back on track, but quickly devolved. He was bailed out in the fifth inning with another timely double play, but was not as lucky in the sixth. After a leadoff triple from Brandon Dixon (the second triple of the game for the Tigers), he came around to score on an RBI ground out.
All-in-all, it was not a fantastic outing by Giolito, but he still came away with a quality start at least, and with the lead intact. He also induced a decent amount of swings-and-misses at 17, 11 with the change and six with the fastball. However, he allowed four extra-base hits and 10 total batters to reach base in six innings. Thanks to eight strikeouts and two double plays, that only led to three runs allowed.
But Giolito clearly did not have his breaking stuff, as his slider led to the first two runs for Detroit. He only threw the slider 11.2% of the game and didn’t even attempt to throw a curve. Normally his breaking pitch usage is closer to 20% of the time. Even his fastball usage was down a smidge, as he threw a significant amount of changes (37.4%, 13% higher than his season average). And yet, both triples came via the changeup.
Back to the game, as the Sox were quick to extend their lead. Though they again struck out for each out, as five hits helped lead to three runs on the board. Anderson started off with a smoked double, then McCann drove him in with was the hardest-hit pitch of the night, a 107.1 mph single (in fact, McCann had the two hardest-hit pitches of the night for the White Sox).
Abreu followed that up with a two-run single and Jay ended the insurance runs with an RBI single. That was basically the game, because the White Sox relievers held strong.
Jimmy Cordero was the first out of the bullpen and just fired a shutout inning. He had the five fastest pitches in the game, including one that hit 100 mph. Jace Fry came in the eighth and though he did not have a strikeout and threw more balls than strikes, it was still no hits and no runs for his inning. Alex Colomé came in to a 7-3 game, with a doubleheader looming tomorrow, and seemed just as rusty as Fry and Giolito were. He walked the first batter and allowed a single on the second. The Sox came remarkably close to two straight double plays, including one to end the game, but in the process, a run scored. Thankfully, that was the only damage of the inning as the Sox held on for a 7-4 win.
The Sox came away with 14 total hits, with the bottom third of the lineup getting the bulk of them since as each had multiple hits. Anderson led the way with three, and McCann and Sánchez had two apiece. Another little game nugget, out of the seven runs scored by the Sox, five of them came with two outs.
It was that kind of day for the Sox, as everything seemingly bounced their way.