With 36,747 at home in Minute Maid Park, the Houston Astros received muted Chicago White Sox, 7-0.
Ever since I started writing here at Crawfish Boxes, I’ve been assigned to summarize Saturdays. Despite winning about sixty percent of the time, the Astros don’t seem to be able to take the gold home during games where I’m assigned a game capsule. While preparing for this article, I noticed that the resident ac Justin Verlander (8-2, 1.94) should have given me an above average chance to finally write about Saturday’s win. Houston’s bumpless Saturdays aren’t just limited to my time here… They’re 3-8 after today’s debacle (and 37-17 otherwise).
enemy of Verlander, Johnny Cueto (0-3, 3.53), plays nearly as long as he has, but hasn’t had much success against Houston. He’s been 3-6 in 13 career starts, with a decent 3.64 ERA and a somewhat less than decent 1,409 WHIP. He passed the first single Jose Altuve at the end of the first, then two batters went through the next six innings without missing a beat.
Verlander ran into problems in the top half of the third. After loading bases with only one out, Louis Robert hit a single with two runs into right field to lead Chicago 2–0. The ball was traveling at 107 mph but with a 7° launch angle. Jose Abreu a double double immediately followed to make it 4-0, eliminating Verlander’s shot in his 10th quality start of the season.
Despite Verlander’s problems, he passed CC Sabatia ranked 16th on the all-time strikeout list in the fourth inning for 3094th. Later in the same inning, Josh Harrison crossed the plate on an Altuve error. Upon closer inspection, the error occurred on a .570 xBA ball, suggesting that Altuve, whose vision was also closed by the referee, could have gotten a rough deal.
Still in the fourth round, Robert compiled his third and fourth RBI of the game with a double with two runs and two strikeouts to lead 7–0. The knock also meant the end of Verlander’s day. He allowed seven season runs (four earned) on nine hits, zero pitches and three strikes out of three. 2⁄3 opportunity He took 59 steps out of 81, but his balloon ERA reached 2.30.
After Phil Maton having won the final out of an inning, the Astros were looking at a then 2.7 percent chance of winning. In the fourth inning.
Houston won’t get another runner on base until Alex Bregman led seventh from the single. Bregman was immediately wiped out just two pitches later. Jordan Alvarez double game on the ground, 1-6-3. It was revealed that Bregman was the last player from Houston to make it to base before one of the ninth. Cueto had seven close innings, allowing two hits and two walks, striking out five and receiving 58 of 93 innings in the zone.
- Reinaldo Lopez got the last six strikeouts, trailing Altuva only by a single in the ninth inning.
- In seven starts since joining Chicago, Cueto had his fifth quality start and first win.
- The Astros’ playable xBA, scoring 3 out of 28 from the plate, got a well-deserved .137.
- Chicago, meanwhile, went 12 of 30 in total with an xBA of .219, indicating perhaps some non-stellar defense.
- AJ Pollock was 0 for 5 for Chicago, and the rest of the Sox hit .480.
- Brandon BilakMathon and Hector Neris struck out seven over 5 1/3 shutout innings.