The highlighted battle between two high school classmates was, like all reunions, a bit unexpected, and a touch underwhelming.
There were four recorded errors, and countless more miscues that would make Tom Emanski cry. The San Diego Chicken brought a touch of nostalgia for what was Joe West’s 5,376th game, and a romantic subtext, presenting the umpire flowers in-between innings.
Yes, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were given some form of psychedelics during the pregame show, but these are all things that actually happened on a very eccentric night.
Things were clearly breaking the White Sox way from the start. St. Louis Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty was never hit hard, but the Cardinals could not handle a litany of in-play, soft contact grounders. The Sox started the game up 2-0 without recording a formal hit in the first. That trend continued throughout the night, as Flaherty’s pitch count skyrocketed and his patience with his defense proportionately dropped— a pattern that led to a stunted 3 2⁄3 -inning start while giving up seven runs (three earned) on 91 pitches.
Lucas Giolito, meanwhile, was mostly sharper. He wasn’t overpowering, but made it through six innings while striking out five, and largely stayed out of any big-inning possibilities. All Cardinals runs scored were off of Giolito and reliever Codi Heuer during his one inning of support, leaving Evan Marshall, Garrett Crochet, and Liam Hendriks with run-free outings.
Crochet was deceptive in not giving up a run, as his lack of control allowed for two walks and a hit before Tony La Russa was forced to bring in Liam Hendriks into a blowout to earn his 10th save of the season.
José Abreu set the pace on offense with a two-hit, four-RBI game that included a towering home run to left field. Yoán Moncada and Nick Madrigal were the only other Sox hitters to have more than one hit in the game.
The White Sox and Cardinals are back at it again tomorrow afternoon, as the White Sox go for the sweep. Carlos Rodón faces off against John Gant in a 1:10 p.m. start. Leigh Allan is our stopper out of the pen for game coverage, while Jeremy Karll works the calculator for Six Pack of Stats.