Wow. Just wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Guess the thin air was too much for the White Sox.
Not the thin air of Denver. The thin air of being over .500.
They should be able to breathe easier, now that they’ve escaped those dizzying heights.
LET US GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING
If Lucas Giolito accomplished anything this game, it was to get Rick Hahn off of his keister and hunting for a starting pitcher by the trade deadline. Five pitches in, Giolito was down 1-0 on a Charlie Blackmon 424-foot homer. A mere 27 pitches later, he escaped the first inning down (only) 3-0, thanks to a brilliant barehand play by Josh Harrison.
Those are all the runs Giolito would give up in his five innings and 104 pitches, though the second inning was his only clean one. The Rockies changed tactics of badness from Tuesday, only hitting into one inning-ending double play, choosing instead to strand runners all over the place — 14, all told. That’s hard to do, but the Rockies are very bad.
THE WHITE SOX CLAW BACK
A three-run lead is nothing at Coors Field. The Sox cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth on a Yoán Moncada single, AJ Pollock double and Yasmani Grandal two-run single off of Antonio Senzatela, who came into the game with a 1.785 WHIP but had his longest start of the season, 6 2⁄3 innings on eight hits and one walk (why would the White Sox ever walk? silly question).
BUD BLACK TO THE (ALMOST) RESCUE!
Senzatela only left the game because he took a Leury García two-out liner off of the shin, at which point Bud Black, who could have brought in any reliever he wanted with unlimited time to warm up, chose to go with a lefty. Against the White Sox. The HOFBP isn’t the only brain-dead manager out there.
Singles by Seby Zavala, Tim Anderson and Pollock later, the White Sox were up, 5-3.
Did we mention it was 5-3 against a very bad team that was trying to set some sort of record for leaving men on base?
BUT IT WASN’T ENOUGH HELP
Colorado got one run back in the bottom of the seventh, off of José Ruiz. Joe Kelly started the eighth and gave up a double and a walk but struck out Kris Bryant for a second out when he felt a recurrence of the nerve injury that delayed his start to the season (postgame, Kelly was confident he would not miss time, however). Jimmy Lambert came in and got C.J. Cron on a foul pop up on his first pitch to stem the threat.
COMETH THE NINTH
The HOFBP brought in Kendall Graveman for the attempted save, which it would be nice to slam him for, but actually made sense since Liam Hendriks had thrown 27 pitches Tuesday night and Graveman just 11.
Logical, yes. Successful, no.
Graveman immediately threw a five-pitch walk (one borderline bad call), a four-pitch walk, and a 3-2 walk, leaving no room for anyone else on base. He then managed to throw a strike to Elias Diaz, who slapped it into right, which naturally scored two runs to win the game, because everybody runs on the White Sox outfield at every opportunity.
SHOULD WE MENTION THE WHITE SOX AND THEIR TERRIBLE BASE-RUNNING?
You mean like García getting picked off of third by the catcher on a Moncada walk? Or maybe José Abreu getting doubled off of second on a soft liner?
Nah. That would be mean.
SO, IT’S BACK TO A COMFORTABLE .500
With 17 more games in a row coming up against very bad teams, starting with Oakland on Friday.