The Chicago White Sox didn’t ruin their season by getting swept in a four-game weekend series at Houston — they are still leading the American League Central.
However, their two road games in 24 hours Tuesday and Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates could be impactful, depending on the response.
Chicago got outscored 27-8 in the four games against the Astros.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa was both flippant — “My butt’s so sore from getting it kicked for four days, it hurts to sit down,” he said — and philosophical.
“Played four games. Saw some pitching we hadn’t seen. Learn from what we’ve seen,” La Russa said.
“It’s just been a tough weekend. You can’t ignore it or turn the page without thinking about it, and then you turn the page.”
Sunday’s White Sox losing starter, Dallas Keuchel, said the team planned to relax and reset on a day off Monday.
“We didn’t get out of (Houston) with any victories … and hope to pick it back up versus Pittsburgh. By no means is our season lost at this point,” Keuchel said.
“If we are not ready to go Tuesday, then something might be said, but I fully expect us to come ready to go on Tuesday.”
The White Sox are in a position to have to answer for a four-game losing streak. The Pirates, last in the National League Central, have had to endure more.
They lost 10 in a row before winning two of three home games against the Cleveland Indians over the weekend, just missing a sweep in a 2-1 loss Sunday.
Sunday’s loss highlighted and brought scrutiny to manager Derek Shelton’s seemingly quick hook for his starters at times. JT Brubaker pitched 6 2/3 strong innings but was pulled for a lefty-lefty matchup, and reliever Chasen Shreve immediately gave up the game-deciding hit.
“We want to get really good at those (decisions),” Pittsburgh general manager Ben Cherington said. “How are we making decisions? What information are we basing those decisions on? What are the factors that are in play?
“(Shelton is) great. He (reviews the decisions) religiously after every game. What did we do? Why did we do it? Did we have a good process for it? Whether it worked or didn’t, what do we learn from it? How do we tweak that going forward? We want to be doing that all the time.”
Tuesday, Chicago right-hander Lucas Giolito (5-5, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to face Pittsburgh left-hander Tyler Anderson (3-7, 4.89 ERA).
Anderson, who has never faced the White Sox, has not been one who has been yanked early. He has gone at least five innings in each of his 13 starts and six innings in each of his past two — but that hasn’t translated to a ton of success.
He has lost five of his past six decisions, including last Tuesday when he gave up six runs and 10 hits in a loss at Washington.
Giolito, meanwhile, could be expected to be comfortable against the Pirates; he threw a no-hitter against them last Aug. 25.
That was his only decision in two career games against Pittsburgh.
Giolito was a spectator for the sweep by Houston. He is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA and 53 strikeouts over his past six starts.
–Field Level Media