Well, if this series has taught us anything, it’s that these two teams desperately need the All-Star break to happen, as the St. Louis Cardinals stole a game from the Chicago White Sox, 4-3. In what was honestly just a poorly-played game by both teams, the Cards came out on top.
The South Siders struck first in the third inning after a heads-up play by Oscar Colás to steal his way all around the bases to end up on third after first reaching first base due to an error. Elvis Andrus drove him in for the 1-0 lead.
Lucas Giolito was cruising until the top of the fourth inning, when he issued a dreaded leadoff walk to Paul Goldschmidt, who was thrown out at second as he attempted to steal. But Gio followed that with another walk, to Nolan Arenado, and a home run to Willson Contreras to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. That homer? It was St. Louis’ first hit of the game.
The White Sox didn’t score again until the bottom of the seventh inning, and let Steven Matz go 5 1⁄3 innings with two hits, one run, and nine strikeouts ... something about making bad pitchers look like Cy Young winners with this White Sox team.
Luis Robert Jr. saved the team again by starting off the bottom of the seventh inning with a rocket double, a ball that actually got stuck in the fence — not something you see every day.
After back-to-back strikeouts, Jake Burger singled and Yasmani Grandal walked after pinch-hitting for Colás. Luckily the Cardinals might be just as bad as we are, and Carlos Pérez was able to drive in Robert Jr. after reaching on an error by Nolan Gorman at third.
In the bottom of the eighth Zach Remillard started off with a single and reached third due to a ground out and passed ball, and Robert Jr. saved the day again by driving a sacrifice fly to left field just deep enough to score Remillard and give the Sox a 3-2 lead.
Kendall Graveman came out to close the game in the bottom of the ninth but just didn’t have it, which usually bites hard in a one-run game. He led off the inning with a double to Lars Nootbaar and then walked Arenado with one out. Contreras was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Alec Burleson hit one just high enough above Graveman’s head to score a run, but Contreras was out of the base path to at least retire somebody. Graveman hit Jordan Walker to load the bases AGAIN, but got out of it with a strikeout to Gorman.
Keynan Middleton started the 10th inning and immediately gave up the lead on a double to Paul DeJong. That would be it, but the White Sox, of course, found a way to not answer back in the bottom of the inning.
Pérez started the inning with a ground out to move over the Manfred Man from second to third, Andrus walked, and Remillard had a questionable play with runners on the corners and one out: a bunt, terribly executed. It came down to Tim Anderson with a chance to redeem himself after a subpar day at the plate, but TA whiffed on three pitches down the middle to end the game.
Yep, that explains this entire season in a nutshell. You know it’s gotten to a point of desperation when your fans are happy for the All-Star break so that they get a break from their team. The good thing about today was that Giolito did have a good outing and went seven innings with just two hits, two runs, and five strikeouts.
Giolito on his future: "I’m going to enjoy this break. Get away from the game a little bit and then whatever happens happens. I made it clear I want to be here."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 9, 2023
The other good thing is at least we get to watch Robert Jr. in the Home Run Derby tomorrow night. Other than that, the White Sox go into the All-Star break with a 38-54 record, eight games back of the first place and .500 Cleveland Guardians, and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. The 16 games worse than .500 is the low point of this White Sox season.
We’re going to hear a lot from Pedro Grifol or the players about how they’re gonna come back out strong in the second half and finally live up to their potential, but an eight-game hole isn’t easy to climb out of. Everyone is a little sick of waiting at this point. Either way, this break will be good for all of us, and the team will come back on Friday to start a nine-game road trip starting with one of the best teams in the league, the Atlanta Braves. That should be fun.
Enjoy all of the fun festivities baseball has to offer at the beginning of this week — and get ready for some more misery at the end.
Who was the MVP of today’s White Sox loss?
This poll is closed
Lucas Giolito: 7 IP, 2H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 11.0% WPA
Gregory Santos: IP, H, K, 10.6% WPA
Carlos Pérez: 0-for-2, 42.5% WPA
Luis Robert Jr.: 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 K, 20.0% WPA
Who was the Cold Cat of today’s White Sox loss?
This poll is closed
Tim Anderson: 0-for-5, K, -38.7% WPA
Keynan Middleton: IP, H, K, -30.3% WPA
Kendall Graveman: IP, H, ER, BB, 2 K, -20.4% WPA
Zach Remillard: 1-for-4, R, 3 K, -17.1% WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, 2 K, -16.3% WPA