The truth is, the White Sox shit the bed. Tony La Russa allowed Lucas Giolito to completely run out of gas in (realistically) the fifth inning but didn’t do anything about it until it was too late. It didn’t help that Giolito’s pitching was hot garbage, either, but no one warming when he was clearly struggling is inexcusable. In the 40-minute-long — yes, you read that right — sixth inning, the Astros teed off on Lucas Giolito, Matt Foster, and Tanner Banks.
There wasn’t a single positive from tonight’s game. It was flat-out embarrassing, yet predictable. It’s also a good reminder that Rick Hahn didn’t learn a single thing after last season, and failed to give this team the tools they needed to succeed.
No, Hahn and La Russa didn’t play tonight, but that doesn’t mean this team wasn’t set up to fail on a large scale. Of course, the team takes some blame — the bats were ice-cold, Yoán Moncada once again injured himself running to first, and Joe McEwing has been sending players home from third as if he has no idea what he’s doing anymore.
This team seems fine with being mediocre at best, in what was supposed to be their championship window. But that window smashed all of our fingers when it was slammed shut by the complicit front office. It’s time for a closed-door, players-only meeting, boys.
Lucas Giolito struggled with his command all night, before La Russa took the ball in the sixth inning. Giolito only struck out three, allowed seven runs, and was tagged with eight earned. The final straw was a walk followed by a hit-by-pitch that loaded up the bases and wreaked havoc for a long sixth inning.
Giolito’s 86-pitch outing looked like this:
Framber Valdez dismantled the White Sox, at least when you compare his outing to that of Giolito. Valdez’s curveball and sinker mystified White Sox hitters. The southpaw allowed eight hits and racked up three earned runs, but was able to strike out seven and keep his opponents off the board outside of the one good White Sox inning.
Valdez’s 91-pitch outing looked like this:
Yordan Álvarez’s single to right field off Lucas Giolito put the Astros on top, starting the rally that knocked Gio out in the sixth. Alex Bregman scored on an error by Andrew Vaughn and Álvarez advanced to second. The LI tips the scales at 2.15.
Framber Valdez actually faced the most pressure this evening, with a pLI of 0.95. His pitch count was quite high, and he allowed the White Sox to tie the game up and stay tied for two more innings.
There are actually two WPAs that landed at .186. The first was the Álvarez’s sixth-inning single. The second was AJ Pollock’s three-run home run that tied the game 3-3 in the third inning.
Alex Bregman’s performance tonight was the best. His two-run home run gave the Astros the upper hand. Bregman crossed the plate three times on only one hit and two walks. Bregman’s WPA was .210.
Hardest hit: Yordan Álvarez’s hard-hit single in the sixth was smoked at 117.4 mph.
Weakest contact: Yuli Gurriel was able to single with a ball only hit at 65.6 mph off of Tanner Banks, during the sixth-inning bloodbath.
Luckiest hit: Luis Robert’s first-inning single to shortstop only had an xBA of .110, but his speed helped him beat out the throw.
Toughest out: Mauricio Dubon had an xBA of .770 in the seventh inning, but he lined out to shortstop and couldn’t beat the toss to first.
Longest hit: Alex Bregman’s two-run home run at the start of the first inning traveled 407 feet.
Magic Number: 4,878
Between Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa, there are 4,878 combined managerial wins.
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
LI measures pressure per play
pLI measures total pressure faced in-game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Who was your White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
AJ Pollock: 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 0.14 WPA
Danny Mendick: 1 H, 1 R, 0.04 WPA
Josh Harrison: 2 H, 0.07 WPA
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Giolito, Foster, Banks (combined): 5 HR, 13 ER, 7 Ks, 4 BB, -0.48 WPA
Vaughn, Abreu, García, Burger (combined): 8 Ks, 1 H, in 16 plate appearances
Jerry, Rick, & Tony
Poor base running/Super Joe
All of the above