Rotten Royals rob Giolito of 15th win

All arm, no W: Sorry Lucas, you deserved the W today. (@WhiteSox)


I admit I am not as gifted with the snappy alliterative titles as our Baller Librarian but I feel that my skills are at least 40-man roster worthy. For those playing along at home, our 40-man roster includes Daniel Palka, Dylan Covey and Welington Castillo, so I’d say the bar is rather low.

Anyway, it’s been nearly a month since Lucas Giolito earned a win, and I’m starting to think he might never reach 15. Here’s a look at what went right and what went wrong today: Since this game was a mix of unfortunate and unlucky, yet still enjoyable, I bring you a mishmash of styles and formats, which is almost certainly going to drive my editor up the wall (Hi, Brett!).

First inning: Giolito Strikeout Count: Two (Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier). Jorge Soler continued to slaughter White Sox starters, launching a solo shot supposedly into the stands but if you told me it landed on the moon I’d believe you.

Baseball Theater, thank you as always. I used the Royals broadcast to remind us how fortunate we are to have Jason calling home runs for the Good Guys.

In our half of the first, Yoán Moncada poked a single into right; I’m not sure how I feel about seeing him in the leadoff spot. Abreu drew a walk only to have Eloy Jiménez ground into a double play for the ninth time this season. Fun fact: Million Dollar Manny Machado leads the league in this category with 23.

Second inning: The Royals struck again, as rookie Ryan McBroom, a September call-up singled, advanced to third on a Meibrys Viloria double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Erick Mejia, owner of three career at-bats and a .000 batting average. It was Mejia’s first career RBI, so I feel a duty to let him enjoy his moment:

(Baseball Theater)

Eventually I’ll have some White Sox highlights for you, I hope.

Giolito Strikeout Count remains at two.

Bottom of the second: PALKA HIT WATCH. WE HAVE MADE CONTACT! And we have no joy, thanks a lot, Mejia. You could have let that ball drop. Palka can’t seem to catch a break (new game, drink whenever somebody says, thinks, writes or tweets that sentence).

Yolmer got drilled on the top of his foot by a pitch, which then nicked Viloria in the … let’s just say he’s singing Soprano now.  ꓘollins ended the inning with a ꓘ.

Third Inning: Giolito Strikeout Count: Three more on 13 pitches (Merrifield, Soler, Dozier), for a total of four. Gio’s curve and slider were cruising in at a cool 80 mph while the four-seam fastball averaged about 95. Lucas had some stuff today!

In the bottom of the third, Moncada hit a ball between first and second, Merrifield couldn’t get a grip on it, and YoYo reached first base for the second time in as many attempts. López had his knuckle curve working for him today, and Tim Anderson went down swinging. José launched a ball into center field, and so began the two-out rally! Eloy blasted a ball into center, Moncada scored, Abreu must not have known that it didn’t make it past Merrifield and was thrown out at home. A one-run rally cut our deficit in half, so we’ll take what we can get. I found it interesting that the White Sox announcers blamed José for running through the sign, while KC’s announcers touted Merrifield’s “run-saving heroics.” Both versions are courtesy of Baseball Theater:

The Kansas City version also features my nemesis: the strike zone box. Ban the box! (Do we need to make a shirt for this?)

Top of the Fourth: Giolito Strikeout Count (can we just call it the GSC?): three more (O’Hearn, McBroom, Phillips) so the total is now eight, including a streak of six in a row. This is the Lucas GioELITEo we’ve come to know and love, we just won’t have him pitch against the Cubs next season.

Bottom of the fourth: PALKA HIT WATCH: Palka hit into the shift on the first pitch.

On to happier times, the top of the fifth: GSC: Giolito struck out his ninth and 10th batters, and seventh and eighth in a row (Viloria and Mejia). Lucas’s streak of consecutive strikeouts would end at eight, as Nicky Lopez grounded out. With those eight consecutive strikeouts, Giolito set a new White Sox record! One of my favorite Twitter accounts, Pitching Ninja, has combined all eight for your viewing pleasure:

Engel led off the bottom of the inning, beating the throw on an infield single by an eyelash, followed by Moncada sending another base hit into right field. Anderson popped out to short center, putting him at nada for three so far. Has he forgotten he’s trying to win a batting title? Abreu drove in Engel on a sacrifice fly to the warning track, and brought us to 2-2. I brought my profound thoughts to Twitter:

By now I have fully abandoned the bold inning indicators.  Brett’s head is spinning. (In case you were wondering what the A. stands for in my initials, I wouldn’t rule out Agitator).

Lucas gave up his first walk of the day to lead off the sixth, Soler singled, and then of course Dozier hit a home run to put the Royals up, 5-2. Not all was lost, however, as the GSC tacked on another pair of strikeouts to O’Hearn and McBroom, putting what would be his final tally at 12.

My man James McHotDamn led off the sixth with a sizzling double that bounced off the center field fence. PALKA HIT WATCH: WE HAVE MADE CONTACT! But alas, tis foul. And now we’re behind in the count. On the next pitch, Palka beat out an infield single (of sorts, as it was fielded in short left) and based on the noise in the ballpark, you would think we just clinched the division. Relive the glory here:

🎶 Let’s give them something to Palka ’bout (Baseball Theater)

Yolmer hit a sacrifice fly to score McCann, and that was all she wrote for Jorge López. Left-handed sidearmer Tim Hill entered the game, as did Danny Mendick. Hill’s sweeping sideways pitching motion and horizontal ball movement made quick work of Mendick and Engel, who both went down on strikes.

Jace Fry came out for the Sox in the seventh, struck out Viloria and induced a pair of infield ground outs to Anderson to easily retire the side, but the elusive 15th win evaded Lucas once again.

In our half of the seventh, Anderson finally got a hit! Eloy walked on four pitches and James McDamn hit a ball into left, and Anderson tripped rounding third and had to scramble* back to the base. A pitching change brought Leury García in as a pinch-hitter for Palka, ending the Palka Hit Watch with a final count of one. Leury struck out and into the eighth we went, still losing. Unfortunately, I was unable to find a video of Timmy’s baserunning miscue so you’ll just have to trust me, it was ugly.

* I would not call what Tim did to return to the base “scrambling,” it was more of a lazy stroll.  This makes me see red, and I angered White Sox Twitter saying so. We’ll return to this topic shortly.

My man Jimmy Biceps Cordero came in to pitch the eighth. Some of you might be aware of my adoration for the flame throwing, sleeve-fighting righty, and new SSHP free agent signing Sean made a good case for keeping him around next season. Jimmy is a multi-talented guy, look, he can bunt!

His sleeve-rolling angered our opponent’s fans, which reflects quite favorably in my book.

Betsy, there is so much about the White Sox that should bother you more than a rolled-up sleeve.

Alex Colomé came out to pitch the ninth, and walked the first man he saw.  Next up, Brett Phillips hit a sacrifice bunt and Colomé threw the ball to center field. Allow me to digress, this is why I get so upset about players not running out routine fly/ground balls (or get back to a base after tripping, Tim). Pitchers botch throws all the time and if you turn and walk back to the dugout while you’re losing a game and you’re in a pennant race then you deserve to lose the World Series (to the Cubs of all teams, thanks for nothing, Cleveland).

Anyway, that error, followed by a wild pitch would allow another run to score, putting the final nail in the coffin for this game.

(Baseball Theater)

The White Sox made it exciting, and as billed, Ricky’s boys didn’t quit, but after Anderson collected his second hit, Eloy walked, McCann walked, Leury struck out with the bases loaded, and that was that.

Now for my game rankings, inspired by whoever buried Justified’s Mitchell Report:

Win: Giolito, striking out eight in a row for a total of 12 and earning himself the distinguished title of White Sox franchise record holder for most consecutive strikeouts. It’s just a shame that when he gives up a hit, it’s often a home run.

Place: McCann picked up two hits, scored a run and didn’t strike out at all.  McCann has shown he’s reliable in clutch situations, and got himself on base, but with you-know-who batting after him, the odds of a rally weren’t great.

Show: Palka, congratulations on ending your 148-day major league hitting drought and collecting your second base hit of 2019!

Also-Ran: Abreu had a hit and an RBI, but a bonehead trotting error (sorry, I would not call his craft “running,” per se) allowed the Royals to mow him down out at home. Add that to two strikeouts and it leaves Pito out of the winner’s circle today.

Glue Factory: Leury struck out with the bases loaded … twice.  He’s been one of the most versatile players on the team all season, but today he’s drawn my ire.

As I hinted in the gamethread, we have a brand-new shirt coming out sometime in the next few days. After bitching on Twitter for the better part of two months that someone should make this shirt and sell one to me, I decided to take things into my own hands.  Since we now have our own store, I spent more hours than I wish to admit planning and conceiving this work of art, and searching for the perfect person to design it for me so we could bring it to you! We’ve largely kept it under wraps so nobody tries to knock off our design with an inferior model, but here’s a little taste of what’s coming:

What could it be? Patience- you’ll find out soon!

We’ve got some more ideas in the works, but we want to hear from you! Do you want a Jimmy Biceps shirt featuring our one-sleeved bullpen hero? What about McCann? Moncada? What are some nicknames or catch phrases you’d love to have on a tee? Let us know what types of shirts you’d like to see, either in the comments or email them to me.

Joe has the Mariners game for you tomorrow, and stay tuned for the release of what I know will be your new favorite White Sox design!

Six Pack of Stats: Kansas City 6, White Sox 3

The good, the bad, and the ugly: A new Sox record, a Giolito-start loss, and losing the season series to KC.

Lucas Giolito sets a new White Sox record, but the South Siders drop the season series, 10-9

A Lucas Giolito start that isn’t a winner is usually always disappointing. However, you can’t win them all, but you can certainly try to accomplish that feat. It’s time to go through the numbers of the game to determine what went right and wrong.

-.361

Luc-ace G-elite-o had a very uncharacterisitc, but unusual start during this matinee matchup. He allowed five runs to score, but he established a new Chicago White Sox record: creating an unordinary -.361 WPA Keep reading to find out what our ace of the staff accomplished!

1

Alex Colomé entered the game in the ninth for a well-needed inning to pitch off some dust. However, Alex commited an E-1 by throwing the baseball to center field instead of second base for the forceout. That run came around to score for Kansas City’s sixth run of the game.

2

For some good news, Daniel Palka recorded his second hit of the 2019 season: an infield single in the sixth! Hopefully, that 90-feet sprint to first ignited a spark for the rest of the season.

8

Lucas Giolito recorded three strikeouts in the third inning, three strikeouts in the fourth, and two straight punchouts in the fifth. Luc-ace G-elite-o owns a new White Sox record with eight straight strikeouts!


11

The offense surely tried to string hits together in order to produce runs. With eleven throughout the game, one would think that more than three runs would have crossed the plate for the Good Guys. Unfortunately, during the biggest rally of the third inning, José Abreu ran passed Nick Capra’a stop sign which resulted in the final out of what should have been at least a two- or three-run inning.

115

However, on the bright side, José Abreu took a fly ball to the center-field warning track in the fifth inning. It went as a sac fly to score Adam Engel. Engel’s run counted as Abreu’s 115 RBI of the season!

Gamethread: Angels at White Sox

Gio-LIT-o: LWilz17 has found a gem in this shirt, so make sure you grab one of your own here!


Whether or not the Chicago White Sox can throw back-to-back complete games, Lucas Giolito is always slated to give the Good Guys a chance. Although the Los Angeles Angels are not in playoff contention, they have been the Sox’s sore thumb for the past few seasons. On paper, it should be a good matchup in the first game of a six-game homestand.

Luc-ace G-elite-o has been magic for the South Siders this season. Gio is 14-8 with a 3.30 ERA. He is also worth an outstanding 5.8 WAR! In the final month of the season, it would be something special to have Giolito close out his break out season on the up-and-up. As the ace of the staff, I wouldn’t expect anything less.

As for the opposition, Dillon Peters will take the mound for the Halos. Peters is the owner of a 3-2 record and a 4.13 ERA in 12 games this season. He has pitched 4, 4 2/3, and 6 1/3 innings in his last three starts, respectively. If the Sox can get to him early and wear down the Angels bullpen, it should hopefully be the start to a successful weekend series.

This is how the White Sox will line up against Peters:

José Abreu is back in the mix after a day off yesterday, so he’s back in his usual third spot of the order. Leury García was placed on the bereavement list, so he will miss the weekend series. Tim Anderson will bat leadoff, and Yoán Moncada will go back to the two-spot.

The Angels will order themselves as so:

Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani bat second fifth, respectively. As major catalysts to this team, Giolito will look to shut them down before they can get started.

Tonight’s 7:10 CT ballgame will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Chicago Plus; just like always, WGN AM will provide the radio coverage. Although I have been a part of several Six Pack of Stats wins, I’m still looking for my game recap victory to whip out the sunglasses emoji — who is growing impatient as it awaits its curtain call. More importantly, South Side Hit Pen made its gamethread debut last month on August 15 against these same Angels; in a little month-span full circle, a win for that sake would be sweet!

Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 4, Twins 0

Ace of the staff: Lucas Giolito displayed his best stuff — against the best team in the A.L. Central — for a brilliant complete game shutout. (FanGraphs)


When someone shuts out one of the best major league teams of the season, he deserves some glory. For the numbers of the game, it’s all about the masterful Luc-ace G-elite-o!

27

Lucas Giolito, without a doubt, was the player of the game. No. 27 notched all 27 outs in his third complete game of the 2019 season. He now leads the Chicago White Sox in that category, breaking a tie with Iván Nova.

12

Of the 27 outs recorded by Giolito, 12 came via the strikeout.

3

That makes three straight starts with at least 10-plus strikeouts, for a grand total of 36! That is incredible!

2

Today’s scoreless opponent, the Minnesota Twins, joins the Houston Astros as the second team this season (and in his career) that G-elite-o has kept scoreless in a shutout.

0

Per the post game interview with Luc-ace, he claimed that he “didn’t shake [off James McCann] once.” That is some pitcher-catcher wizardry, and I am so here for it!

.380

Ultimately, what do all the above numbers add up to? A series win for the White Sox and an outstanding .380 WPA for Gio. The next-highest of the game? José Abreu’s .194. Lucas simply got the job done, and he did so brilliantly!