Well, it’s been repeated so many times already, but the White Sox sure did look like the team who was off for the entire month of August.
Lucas Giolito threw another subpar game, this one pretty much over in the first inning, while the White Sox offense could muster just three hits, all from rookies (Danny Mendick two, Luis Robert one) in a 5-1 opener loss.
Lucas Giolito was ... bad. Certainly bad for a staff ace.
Lucas Giolito had a 44 game score today. His cumulative game score this season is 51.6.— Brett Ballantini (@BrettBallantini) August 15, 2020
The cumulative game score for every starter the Sox have faced this season—not the aces, but ALL the starters, even Roland Bolaños—is 50.7.
That is not ace performance. It's, maybe, average.
Adam Wainwright was much better. Perhaps not as worthy as Ricky Renteria felt postgame, but he outdueled Giolito, to be sure: a 60 game score, throwing five innings and allowing just a run on two Mendick hits.
Ha, you know you’re covering a crap game when the biggest leverage comes in the first inning. It was then that both Matt Carpenter’s bases-loaded HBP (making it 1-0) and Dexter Fowler’s 0-2 single (making it 3-0) shared the highest leverage of the game, at 2.74 LI.
At 1.11 pLI, Fowler faced the greatest total pressure in the game as well.
Fowler did not remained tied with Carpenter when it came to the most valuable play of the game, earning .160 WPA for his two-run single vs. Carpenter’s (second-best) .095.
With .173 WPA for the game — pretty much that opening-inning single — Fowler takes game MVP honors from Wainwright and Carpenter. Giolito, at -.316, was by far the least valuable player of the game.
Magic Number: 98
While Giolito did improve after an atrocious first inning, he still couldn’t smooth things out subsequently to keep himself in the game past five innings, taking 98 pitches to get there.