Stop me if you’ve heard this before:
Pedro Grifol gets tossed.
Jake Burger homers.
Kendall Graveman gives up a homer.
White Sox lose.
The score was different, and the game felt different, but the result was the same, and the Sox have now lost nine games in a row.
How did the game feel different? For one, Lucas Giolito came out with one of his best starts, with more than six strong innings of work and six strikeouts. More importantly, he limited damage to a meager two runs to keep the Sox in the game.
Lucas Giolito, Painted 94mph Fastball ️ pic.twitter.com/oxayduTRSI— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 28, 2023
Also, in addition to the expected Jake Burger power display, Andrew Vaughn had a good game, going 2-for-4 with a homer and a walk.
Andrew Vaughn sends that one out of here! pic.twitter.com/f3Q7aSDYXp— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 28, 2023
But still, these White Sox have a win-loss record of 7-20 for a reason.
Yes, despite having multiple opportunities to put the Rays away — including loading the bases and having the winning run in scoring position in the ninth after knocking out Rays closer Pete Fairbanks — the Sox never capitalized. They were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Graveman, despite the two angry strikeouts that followed, took the loss for throwing a feeble, sinking fastball that didn’t sink up-and-in to Isaac Paredes. Unsurprisingly, that “sinker” was deposited into the bleachers for what ended up being the winning run.
YUP pic.twitter.com/4ViwQgQo3o— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 29, 2023
Jake Burger tried his best to provide some late-game heroics, but Randy Arozarena had other plans.
Nah pic.twitter.com/CcUbAchvUa— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 29, 2023
Like Maxwell Smart, Burger— and the White Sox — missed it by that much, and find themselves in an ever-deepening hole.
While appreciated, the newfound fire of Pedro Grifol — who may be just tired of watching the team at this point — didn’t seem to have a lasting impact on the team.
Pedro Grifol was NOT happy with Marvin Hudson pic.twitter.com/pkR0V1RsWE— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) April 28, 2023
Likewise, while there were no errors, the near-misses of collisions in the outfield were enough to make any fan uncomfortable.
Lastly, the bottom of the White Sox order, combined with the continued ineffectiveness of Luis Robert Jr., made it that much easier for the Rays pitchers to feast on this woeful offense.
The White Sox will try it again tomorrow night at 6:10 p.m. Central on NBC Sports Chicago. Maybe this time, if they don’t change the tune, they will at least bother with a key change.
Who was the White Sox MVP in Friday’s 3-2 loss?
This poll is closed
Reynaldo López: 1 1⁄3 IP, zeroes ... .176 WPA
Lucas Giolito: 6 2⁄3 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 6 K, .135 WPA
Jake Burger: 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI, .106 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, 2 K, LOB, .072 WPA
Another loss, another Cold Cat. Who was it on Friday night?
This poll is closed
Kendall Graveman: IP, H, ER, 2 K, HR, -.305 WPA
Luis Robert Jr.: 0-for-4, HBP, 4 LOB, -.240 WPA
Lenyn Sosa: 0-for-3, K, 4 LOB, -.151 WPA
White Sox "clutch": 0-for-9 RISP, 10 LOB