To say the 2018-19 White Sox have had an up-and-down season would be an understatement. The season has been filled with more good than bad for sure‒three All-Stars, 42 wins, one possible Rookie of the Year candidate‒but their seven-game losing streak coming out the All-Star break certainly seemed taxing.
Chicago’s Leury Garica-fueled bounce-back win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday certainly helped spirits but Saturday’s dramatic, extra-innings win at Tropicana field could be the type of win that really gets the team back on track.
It looked like the White Sox were headed for their eighth loss in nine games. They were down to their final out when catcher James McCann decided to add another chapter to his storybook season.
McCann took a slider from Rays relief pitcher Emilio Pagán 373-feet out to left field for the game-tying home run.
It was another huge moment in a great season from McCann, heightened by the fact that there were so few baserunners (total) in this game and that another o-fer in the scoring column would’ve marked the second shutout loss in a week for the White Sox.
Instead, McCann’s heroics extended a game in which the White Sox bullpen‒2 H, 0 ER‒was excellent in relief of Lucas Giolito, who also pitched well.
Over 6.2 innings, Giolito racked up 9 Ks while giving up 7 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run. The lone run Giolito gave up was a high changeup that former White Sox outfielder Avisaíl García.
u ever see something & ur just like:— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 21, 2019
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 𝙬𝙤𝙖𝙝 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This game was without a doubt a pitchers' duel, so it was only fitting that the game-winning run was scored on an RBI-single by José Abreu in which Yoan Moncada personified "Ricky's boys don't quit" on the basepaths.
Yoán's mad dash. pic.twitter.com/SkpmEOuVZ6— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 21, 2019
Despite the lack of strong offensive production on Saturday night, the White Sox were able to grind out the win in a Giolito start, something that has been a recurring theme for the squad.
Six times this season the White Sox scored 2 or fewer runs in a Lucas Giolito start...— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) July 21, 2019
Yet they're 4-2 in those games because Giolito has been excellent.
As elder statesmen Abreu hinted at, the White Sox need their key players back but wins like Saturday’s will help build confidence in the meantime.
The South Siders head into Sunday’s noon game with the Rays‒and their subsequent series with the Miami Marlins‒with their seven-game losing streak further in the rearview mirror and that is the best news we could hope for as we await the cavalry.