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WSI News - Totally Biased Game Recaps

Sour Ending For Soria

July 5th, 2018 at Houston Astros

WSI Playdate Funtime:
Remember when the Sox won a World Series in this ballpark?

Short Take:Astros walkoff win in the 9th on a rare blown save for Soria

The Sox opened a 4 game set tonight with the defending World Champion Houston Astros, the blueprint team that the Sox are trying to emulate in their rebuilding process. It is a tall task for the rebuilding White Sox in this series, especially with arms like Justin Verlander on the mound. This was a very closely contested game but unfortunately, our boys came up a little short tonight.

This game was mostly about the starting pitchers in the early going. Verlander pretty much cut through the Sox order fairly easily for the first four innings. Fortunately, Carlos Rodon had pretty good stuff tonight and was able to match zeroes for a while with Verlander. The control was spotty for Rodon at times as the walks allowed the Astros to threaten a couple times. From a stuff standpoint, Rodon was dealing. The Astros unfortunately drew first blood in the bottom of the fourth inning when Jose Altuve vaporized a Rodon fastball for a 2 run HR. This ball went waaaaay back there by the train in LF. Justin Verlander was staked to a 2-0 lead and the way he was pitching, I thought the Sox were toast at this point. However, there would be a Pale Hose uprising in the Top of the 6th.

Omar Narvaez of all hitters got things going with a long towering HR down the RF line deep into Geoff Blum territory. Omar is such a light hitting catcher in the power department, it is always shocking to me when he connects with one. The one he hit tonight might be the longest I had ever seen him hit one and it cut the Houston lead to 2-1. Yoan Moncada kept it going with a sharp line drive base hit out of the reach of Altuve. Yolmer Sanchez would then drive a screamer into the LF gap for a double and with the speed of Moncada, he had no trouble scoring on the play and suddenly we had a tie ballgame. The game remained locked at 2-2 until the top of the 8th inning when Leury Garcia stepped to the plate and crushed a solo HR to right center field off Chris Devenski who had come on in relief of Verlander. The Sox had a 3-2 lead with six outs to cover.

The game eventually got to the bottom of the 9th with the red hot Joakim Soria on the mound. Soria had not given up an earned run in his last 18 appearances and I felt good about our chances even though the Astros lineup is tough to handle. It was obvious from the first batter that Soria was really scuffling tonight. He could not get his sweeper near the plate, the slow hook was barely used, and his fastball command was pretty spotty. He also seemed to be having an issue with footing on the mound at one point. It was all downhill from here as the Astros are not a team you can gut a save out against with poor command. Soria ended up walking 2 guys in the inning and gave up three hits including the game winner from Yuli Gurriel.

Overall, the Sox played a good ballgame tonight but they just came up short against a very good team. They battled all the way, Rodon pitched solid, it was a clean defensive game, and they almost came away with a victory against Verlander on the road. If Soria had pitched the way he had been of late, I would be writing about a White Sox Winner. Tough to get mad at Soria considering how great he has been lately. Here is hoping this was a quick hiccup for him because they will need him pitching well as the trade deadline approaches. I can stomach losses like tonight a lot better than the blowouts or the ones where the team is kicking the baseball around the diamond. If the Sox continue to play baseball the way they did tonight, there will be a few more wins in the 2nd half. The good guys will try to get even tomorrow as Reynaldo Lopez takes on Lance McCullers in what should be a pretty good pitching matchup.

Game Notes-

-Carlos Rodonís line was 6.0IP, 2ER, 6K, 6BB

-Tim Anderson left the game with a sore hand after getting plunked. He is day to day.

-Moncada finished 1 for 4 with 1 run scored.

-Soria had not given up a run since May 18th prior to tonight.

Fun Da Mentalz:
†Soria was due for a bad one.

submitted by Foulke You

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