The White Sox spiral to 100 losses continued on Friday night in Boston, where they lost a 3-2 contest to the Red Sox after the offense flopped and the bullpen, as has been habit, couldn’t quite hang on to the end.
Touki Toussaint spun 6 1⁄3 innings of five-hit ball and yielding just a single run. He needed only 92 pitches to get through those six innings, working efficiently and taking a hard-luck no-decision in perhaps his best outing with the White Sox.
In the past, Touki has racked up strikeouts and base hits in seemingly equal volume, but six days after striking out eight, he punched out just two Red Sox hitters. Instead, he effectively generated soft contact on bad swings early in counts — hence the efficiency — and allowed just one batted ball over 97 mph. Unfortunately, there were two batted balls at 96 mph, and they both contributed to the fifth inning Red Sox run that opened the scoring. First, Trevor Story led off with an infield single that probably should have been ruled an error on Tim Anderson. After Story moved into scoring position on single by Bobby Dalbec, he scored on one of those 96 mph hits — this time a sacrifice fly off the bat of rookie Ceddanne Raffaela.
Toussaint wound up working into the seventh inning for just the fifth time in his career (38 starts), recording an out and then getting lifted for the perpetual Bryan Shaw after allowing another hit to Story, this time a line drive to the base of the wall that was held to a single by virtue of Andrew Benintendi’s familiarity with the intricacies of playing left field in front of the Green Monster. Removing Toussaint’s eight-run blowup against Kansas City a couple of weeks ago, he now has a 2.22 ERA over his last five starts, spanning 28 1⁄3 innings.
Shaw was credited with a hold for his appearance, because by the time he entered the game, the White Sox had taken the lead. They couldn’t muster anything against Chris Sale, who looked the part of a wily veteran in striking out seven hitters over five innings, allowing just three hits. He didn’t miss with very many fastballs in the fat part of the zone, and he moved his slider in and off the plate expertly depending on the count, with the latter pitch drawing five whiffs on 11 swings, eight called strikes, and just a single (soft) ball in play. It’s the first time this season that Sale has had back-to-back outings of five innings pitched and zero or one runs allowed.
Fortunately, White Sox hitters had a better time getting to Garrett Whitlock, who succeeded Sale in the sixth. As he’s done all season, Luis Robert Jr. was the spark, singling with one out and proceeding to steal second and third base, his 18th and 19th bags of the season, and scoring on an Andrew Vaughn single, the first baseman’s 78th run knocked in this year.
Trayce Thompson followed it up by shooting a double down the left field line to score Eloy Jiménez, who had reached on a walk in-between stolen bases by Robert.
Unfortunately, the Sox bullpen’s luck ran out in the eighth, when Shaw plunked Raffaela to lead off the inning, which prompted Garrett Crochet to come on for his first game action since the middle of June. His stuff looked solid, touching 98 mph and showing a decent slider, but a combination of hit batsmen, walks, and singles allowed the Red Sox to take a 3-2 lead. Crochet’s night was over after two outs and 26 pitches, with Yohan Ramírez getting out of the inning for his first out in a White Sox uniform.
As has been the case all summer, the White Sox offense went out with a whimper. With Kenley Jansen on the IL, Chris Martin assumed the save opportunity for the home side. Martin has quietly put together one of the best relief seasons in baseball this year, entering the game with a 1.07 ERA in 50 1⁄3 innings. He exited the game with a 1.05 ERA over 51 1⁄3 innings, having set down the Sox 1-2-3.
These two teams will be at it again tomorrow afternoon at 3:05 p.m. CT, when Dylan Cease and Nick Pivetta face off in a contest to see who can reach the highest combined strikeout, walk, and home run totals. We’ll see you there.
Six Pack of Stats
Adam Duvall’s game-tying sacrifice fly against Garrett Crochet came with the bases loaded, one out, and a game-high 6.19 LI.
On the other side of that matchup, Garrett Crochet faced the most cumulative pressure, running a 4.42 pLI in his two outs of work.
The Masataka Yoshida single that followed Duvall’s sac fly added 24.4% to Boston’s chances of winning, the biggest blow of the game.
Rafael Devers’ two-hit day added 20.4% to Boston’s win probability, the highest cumulative total for any player.
Devers’ first inning single off of Toussaint was smoked at 111 mph.
The hardest-hit ball came immediately after the softest-hit ball, a 56.5 mph tapper by Ceddanne Raffaela.
Story’s fifth inning single had just a .080 xBA.
Meanwhile, Bobby Dalbec’s second inning line out had a .950 xBA.
Nobody went yard today, so the farthest-hit ball was a 371-foot liner off the bat of Masataka Yoshida, Touki Toussaint’s final out of the evening.
Magic Number: 3
Four more losses for the Sox, and this will be the third time since 2018 that the AL Central has produced two 100-loss teams in the same season. Since the most recent divisional realignment, the other five divisions combined have one such season.
CSW called strikes plus whiffs
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 Sox MVP tonight?
This poll is closed
Trayce Thompson (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)
Touki Toussaint (6 1⁄3 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO)
Andrew Vaughn (1-for-3, BB, RBI)
Who was the Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Tim Anderson (0-for-4, 2 SO)
Korey Lee (0-for-3, SO)
Zach Sheetsintendi (0-for-3)