After a thrilling first three games of the series, the White Sox looked for a series win against the AL-leading Houston Astros. The White Sox came up short Wednesday night, and were hoping to bounce back with Lucas Giolito on the mound today. Gio was coming off of a strong, seven-inning outing against the Tigers, and has been throwing better over the last few starts. Unfortunately, it didn’t go down like that.
Let’s take a look at this tragedy of a game, shall we?
Giolito looked pretty solid to start the game, until Houston newcomer Trey Mancini homered in the second. Lucas has struggled with the long ball this year.
Sadly, it only got worse.
In the end, Giolito “only” gave up seven runs on eight hits, while striking out five. His fastball averaged about 94-95 mph, which he used roughly 50% of the time. It was also his most effective pitch, so to speak, drawing a 25% CSW (called strike plus whiff rate). Gio threw both his changeup and slider 25% of the time — though neither were particularly effective today.
His ERA now jumps up to 5.34, and while there’s still time left for him to improve before October, it’s definitely concerning to see Giolito regress the way that he has. It was clearly not Gio’s day, but it follows a trend that we have seen throughout this season.
His 85-pitch outing looking like this:
Luis García had the pleasure of pitching to the White Sox, who struggle hitting the ball anywhere but directly into the dirt. Through his five innings, García gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out five South Siders in the process. He did, however, walk four batters, which is also fairly rare for the Sox. García threw his fastball the most, 34% of the time, but his cutter was more efficient and racked up the most whiffs (five) at a CSW of 36%.
His 97-pitch outing looked like this:
As Giolito’s downfall continued in the third, Alex Bregman began his wrath on White Sox pitchers by doubling to center to put the Astros up, 3-0, early in the game. The Astros would go on to score 18 insurance runs. The LI on the play was 1.95.
Lucas Giolito faced the most pressure today, at a pLI of 0.75, although he was not able to the job done under that weight, giving up seven runs to Houston and only lasting three full innings.
Well we can go ahead and reference the Pressure Play, because Alex Bregman’s double was also the top play in today’s game, with a .171 WPA.
Surprise surprise. Top Astros villain, Alex Bregman, is also the top performer in today’s game. He went 4-for-6 with two home runs and six RBIs, at an overall .169 WPA.
Hardest hit: Yordan Álvarez’s double in the fourth inning left the bat at 110.1 mph, just barely beating Yoán Moncada’s second inning line out that left the bat at 109.8 mph.
Weakest contact: Christian Vázquez grounded out in the second inning, which left the bat at just 67 mph.
Luckiest hit: Gavin Sheets singled in the second with an xBA of .080.
Toughest out: Moncada’s line out in the second had an xBA of .770 — you really hate to see it.
Longest hit: José Altuve’s sixth inning fly out went the furthest today, beating out all four home runs of the game, at 412 feet.
Magic Number: 21
The White Sox made history today, as today’s 21 runs were the most given up to an opponent at home. Or even scored by the White sox themselves.
21 runs by the Astros - a new single game record in the history of New Comiskey Park/Guaranteed Rate Field. White Sox or opponents.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) August 18, 2022
To make it even more fun, if you flip the magic number you get 12, which is the same as the amount of runners the White Sox left on base today. :)
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 the MVP in today’s brutal loss?
This poll is closed
Gavin Sheets: 4-for-5, 2B, .038 WPA
Yoán Moncada: 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
AJ Pollock: 1-for-4, BB, Robbed a Homer, .016 WPA
The fans who actually stayed to the end to watch that nine-inning disaster.
Who was the Cold Cat in today’s loss?
This poll is closed
Lucas Giolito: 3 IP, 8 H, HR, 7 ER, BB, -.314 WPA
Vince Velasquez: 3 IP, 6 H, 2 HR, 5 ER, -.052 WPA
José Ruiz: 2 IP, 5 H, HR, 5 ER, 2 BB, -.002 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-5, R, H, K, GIDP w/ Bases Loaded, -.090 WPA