The White Sox had quite the ugly loss this evening against the Detroit Tigers, dropping their record to 21-31, a game and a half behind the third-place Guardians and now four games out of second in the AL Central. The pitching has been one of the main pieces that has held the team together over the last week or so, but naturally they had to have a hiccup somewhere.
Tonight was not Lucas Giolito’s night, and it was walks that got the best of him, ultimately leading to the Tigers tagging him with the loss today, giving up four runs on just six hits. He threw first-pitch strikes to 68% of batters, but then would lose control in the course of many at-bats. He struck out four Tigers hitters, but seven walks are never going to lead anywhere good — yes, seven walks. The last time Giolito did that was against the Cubs in May 2018, when he was “THE WORST PITCHER IN BASEBALL.” That’s how you can tell tonight was a tough one.
The White Sox began to make a lot of contact off of Alex Faedo the first time through the lineup, but once Jake Burger singled in the top of the third, the strikeout show began. Romy González and Seby Zavala immediately put together two consecutive Ks, but Burger turned his jets on and stole second base, just in time for Tim Anderson to rip a single to right and bring home the first run of the game, putting the South Siders up, 1-0.
Burger showing off the wheels with a steal and run— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 25, 2023
Credit to TA for knocking him in. Sox 1-0 pic.twitter.com/dm0XlSXD3e
Even though Giolito was clearly struggling this evening, with rogue pitching violations and multiple bases-loaded jams, but he hung in there, working his way out of a violation in the third inning, getting Matt Vierling to line out into a double play. The fourth inning is where things really started to go downhill. Giolito already had five walks through the first three innings, and the with the previous chaotic inning, you’d think he would have been on a bit of a shorter leash.
Akil Baddoo promptly blasted a 404-foot shot to right on the second pitch of the fourth inning, setting an immediate negative tone. Giolito then issued his sixth walk to Miguel Cabrera, and Eric Haase got the best of Lucas once again, doubling to right and increasing his batting average against the Sox righty to .409. Just two batters later, Giolito walked his seventh (and final) batter to load the bases once again.
This madness still wasn’t enough for Pedro Grifol, as the skipper let Gio face the next hitter and let Javy Báez beat us once again, driving a single to center to score two more runs and take the lead. Spencer Torkelson followed suit, driving home the fourth run of the game, extending the Detroit lead to 4-1.
South Side bats went dormant for nearly the rest of the game, outside of a brief visit from Gavin (Bonds) Sheets, who hit a solo shot in the top of the fifth to cut the lead down to two.
Gregory Santos ended up relieving Giolito, and pitched a clean inning, striking out the side, with 11 of 16 pitches thrown for strikes. The rookie has been great this year, one of the stronger pieces out of the bullpen, and now sits with a 2.45 ERA. If only Garrett Crochet and Aaron Bummer followed suit, but Crochet is seemingly still working off the cobwebs, and Bummer has really just been unreliable and lost.
Like with Gio, Grifol left Crochet in way too long, as he was all over the place. Sure, he only gave up one run in the end, but there’s really no need to stretch his outings at this point in the season. Crochet ended up walking four batters, and gave up another run to put Detroit up, 5-2. That walk made it 11 total Tigers with free passes today, the most the White Sox have given up all year.
Bummer lost any control that remained in the game, and the Tigers were able to run away with it in the last 1 1⁄3 innings. He didn’t strike anyone out, but he also didn’t walk anyone. Small wins? Nope — Bummer let another two runs across, sealing the fate of the South Siders for the series opener.
Tigers break this one open with three singles off Aaron Bummer in the eighth inning, the third scoring two runs. Sox trail 7-2 with one trip to the plate left.— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) May 26, 2023
There are still three games left this series to turn things back around, and keep our hopes just high enough to return to watching every night. Lance Lynn is on the bump, and the game time is at 5:40 p.m. CT on all the usual spots.