If you happen to read PECOTA projected standings, which I like to do sometimes, you’ll notice that the Astros have a higher projected winning percentage moving forward than the White Sox. It may not show int their 17-24 record as of now, but it’s true: even though they don’t have the wins to show for it, the Astros are probably a better true-talent team than the Sox, so things like this will happen. Needless to say, it’s a bit more annoying when this happens against Doug Fister, who currently sports a 4.04 ERA/4.58 FIP, but then again, the Sox had Mat Latos on the mound, who is: probably not that good.
1. So Latos, as I mentioned, is not that good. Coming into this game he may have had a 3.40 ERA and 5-0 win-loss record, but any informed reader knows that’s deceiving. He has a 5.07 FIP after this start, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.29. It’s not good, and it showed tonight. He allowed five earned runs over just five and one-third innings, and he allowed two home runs in the process, to Colby Rasmus and Jason Castro in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively. Other than those two solo shots, he got into trouble… in essentially every inning other than the third. In the first he allowed a single to Jose Altuve, a walk to George Springer, and a run-scoring single to Carlos Correa to bring in one; in the second a Castro single, a Tony Kemp double, and an Altuve ground out led to another run; and in the fourth he allowed a walk to Castro, a single to Kemp, and then a run-scoring single to Altuve.
2. On the scoring end, there wasn’t much. It looked like the Sox could have had Fister on the ropes as early as the first inning, but they only got one run out of the affair: Adam Eaton singled but got thrown out at second, Jimmy Rollins hit a double off the wall, then Jose Abreu drove Rollins home. Todd Frazier walked, but then Melky Cabrera grounded into a double play to end the threat. Cabrera would have his revenge, though, in the sixth: Frazier hit a one-out single, then Cabrera hit a triple to pick up an RBI. Cabrera is now up to 117 wRC+ on the year, so it’s really nice to see him positively regress this year. The Sox would actually get a total of nine hits against Fister over his six and two-thirds innings; he also allowed one walk and picked up five strikeouts. It was classic, “hits were falling, but not in sequence” type of night, and it bought the Astros enough time to get to Ken Giles and the bullpen.
3. Before I get to the rest of this recap, can we pause for a second and appreciate this triple play in the top of the eighth?
— Matt Provenzano (@mattprov94) May 19, 2016
This was the team’s second triple play of the year, which is pretty crazy considering how rare that is. It was the first time the White Sox have had multiple triple plays in a season since 2006.
4. So, back to the game. The rest was actually quite bad. Giles came in with essentially no command, walking Eaton and allowing an RBI single to Abreu, but got Frazier to fly out to end the inning. Will Harris worked a clean bottom of the eighth, then Luke Gregerson closed it out.
5. The Sox have now lost six of their last eight, in case you haven’t noticed. That was bound to happen with the roaring start, so I wouldn’t look too closely into it. This was a team that banked a ton of wins early in the year, and was going to slow down a bit eventually. It’s back to Chris Sale tomorrow at 7:10 PM CT against Collin McHugh, so they have a shot to turn it around.
Team record: 24-16
Lead Image Credit: Mike Dinovo // USA Today Sports Images