Soft touch leads to tough loss for White Sox, 8-2

The Chicago White Sox (46-47) fell early, but gently. Soft touch galore helped the Cleveland Guardians (47-44) to victory, so while it was soft, a fall is a fall.

Lucas Giolito was supposed to come out strong, but he just didn’t. In the first inning of the game, he allowed four hits, with only one of the hits hitting hard (out speed over 95 mph).

In addition to the soft contact, he yielded an almost improbable double to José Ramírez (.050 xBA). With luck against him, Giolito struggled to register strikeouts, and he only recorded two strikeouts – which happened in the first inning.

As for the score, Steven Kwan made his way to base to start the game, and Josh Naylor brought it home after Ramírez’s brace. Owen Miller’s sacrifice fly for the No. 2 doubled the score, 2-0 in favor of Cleveland.

Do you remember the only hard-hit ball in the first? Andrés Giménez recorded his 11th homer of the season – a two-run shot for a 4-0 lead.

The soft touch kept coming in round two. Lucas allowed three more hits, the hardest of the three being at 72.9 mph. Ahmed Rosario recorded an RBI single and Ramírez landed an RBI land. After two innings, the Good Guys were down, 6-0.

Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jiménez reversed roles and recorded hits at 110.7 mph and 106.4 mph, respectively, but like the Sox did, they were both singles. Extra hits continue to elude the Sox.

The South Siders found themselves on the board in the third inning. Tim Anderson chose to open the bottom half of the frame. Yoán Moncada followed with a walk, and José Abreu eventually doubled the two at home for a 6-2 score. Abreu’s brace was the only extra hit of the game for the White Sox.

After three innings and 64 working pitches, Giolito was out. As a big supporter of Gio, this season has been hard to watch. He’s better than that, and he knows he’s better than that, but there are factors that prevent him from being himself in 2019-21, unfortunately. I’ll keep rooting for him to find a way to be Luc-ace G-elite-o; the Sox need him to be that.

Jimmy Lambert, who has impressed this year, recorded two rounds of flawless work. Matt Foster, however, continues his difficult season. In two-thirds of an inning, Foster allowed a single (86.5 mph) and a walk. Tanner Banks came in for the left-left game, but instead of an out, Josh Naylor led both base runners with a brace — with both runs being charged to Foster.

As for the Sox, they fail to find momentum, fail to work the counts and fail to find the long ball. This team is built on power, but the power doesn’t come out as often as it should.

For a team that was brilliant at home last season, that’s not so much the case this year:

The Sox are dropping Game 1 of this four-game series against the Guardians, and they’re going to have to find a way to win this series and gain ground. A streak draw is the minimum expectation – and at home it’s always a failure.

To put it simply, there is still (a little) time left, but this is a series where the White Sox have to be competitive. Three of four wins was perfect against the Twins, and the Sox still have that chance against Cleveland, but it’s not a convincing start to the series.

Whatever it takes to give this team a boost and capitalize on their strengths has to happen. And it has to happen now, otherwise it’s a wasted year – which I don’t like to say.

Tomorrow has a split doubleheader. Johnny Cueto (4-4, 2.80 ERA) will share the mound with Triston McKenzie (7-6, 3.20 ERA) for Game 1, and Lance Lynn (1-3, 7.50 ERA) will face Konnor Pilkington ( 1- 2, 4.24 ERA) in the last drink.

Fox Sports will cover both shows at 12:10 p.m. CT and 6:15 p.m. CT.

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