Yet another close game between Houston and the Chicago White Sox, but this one didn’t go our way tonight. Both teams put up a fight, but the Astros were able to hang onto their lead this time to get the win.
Houston started scoring early against Michael Kopech, as he allowed the dreaded leadoff walk to José Altuve in the top of the first inning. Altuve would go on to steal second ... and third ... and score on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez for a 1-0 lead.
Framber Valdez was strong from first pitch, striking out two in the first inning and one in the second. The South Siders threatened after Romy González doubled in his first MLB at-bat this season, but Valdez struck out AJ Pollock and got Andrew Vaughn to ground out to end the inning.
Kopech got into a bit more trouble in the top fourth, as Alvarez started it out with a single followed by a one-out double by Kyle Tucker. Trey Mancini hit a sac fly to score Alvarez and extend the lead to 2-0. But the Astros didn’t stop there. Jeremy Peña induced another walk, and Chas McCormick hit a double to score Tucker and make it a 3-0 ballgame.
Although Valdez looked almost untouchable the first three innings, he ran into some issues from there, as Eloy Jiménez hit a leadoff single in the fourth, followed by a José Abreu walk. Yoán Moncada came up clutch again, hitting a double to score Jiménez and put runners on second and third with nobody out.
A Yasmani Grandal walk packed the sacks with Sox — and nobody out.
Although it isn’t the prettiest highlight, Josh Harrison grounded into the best (?) kind of double play — a run-scoring one!
Unfortunately, the tying run was stranded at third, which would turn out to be costly. You have to score more than one run on a bases-loaded, no-outs situation, but it was just one of those nights. At least they scored, right?
Kopech continued into the sixth inning, as did Valdez. Joe Kelly took the ball in the seventh for the Sox, as Kopech went six innings with five hits, three runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. His ERA is now at 3.25. Valdez went seven solid innings with seven hits, two runs, three walks, and six strikeouts.
Another eighth-inning rally was starting to brew with Houston’s Ryne Stanek in. Jiménez had a one-out walk, and Luis Robert revived from the dead to pinch-run for him at first base. Abreu singled to put runners on first and second with one out, and Moncada up again the clutch. Unfortunately, tonight didn’t go as well as the last two nights, as YoYo struck out and Grandal popped out in foul territory to end the inning and the threat.
Astros closer Ryan Pressly nailed it down in the ninth to secure the win.
The Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Guardians each picked up a win tonight, to put the White Sox back to two games out of first in the division.
The enemy tonight was three rally-killing double plays.
Also, when’s the last time we’ve hit a home run? One of those would be nice.
Liam Hendriks said that Tony La Russa called a meeting of Sox player leaders this weekend in wake of Johnny Cueto’s “fire” comments. They determined that Sox’ confidence turned into cockiness. Message was positivity, that Sox need to be united.— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) August 17, 2022
Since, nothing but wins.
Hopefully this team meeting is what will continue to bring more wins to the team.
Also, keep an eye out for Elvis entering the building.
White Sox are a likely landing spot for Elvis Andrus. In talks, nothing official yet.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 18, 2022
We have a quick turnaround for tomorrow’s game, as the team looks to take the series with a win before heading to Cleveland for the most important series of the year. Lucas Giolito will be on the mound against Luis Garcia. Game time is at 1:10 p.m. CT.
Get some rest and get ready for some afternoon baseball, coming your way!