They tried to make it interesting late in the game, but ultimately defensive mistakes and unearned runs cost them big time. And worst of all they let down LaMonte Wade, Jr. on his bobblehead giveaway day.
This game started off promising, with LaMonte Wade, Jr. hitting a lead-off home run in the first inning. The broadcasters were in the middle of talking about how it was his bobblehead giveaway day at the ballpark, and sure enough, he made it a memorable one when he sent a ball on a ride to right center field to get the crowd into the game early.
Unfortunately, that would prove to be what Giants fans in attendance would have to cling to to forget most of what followed.
In the fourth inning, Tim Anderson kicked things off for the White Sox by hitting a leadoff single. Andrew Vaughn followed that up with a fielder’s choice, where the choice was an error by Brandon Belt that allowed both runners to reach. Both runners advanced on a soft groundout by Luis Robert to Curt Casali, before Logan Webb walked Jose Abreu to load the bases.
This brought up Gavin Sheets, who doubled on a sharp line drive that ended up sailing over the head of a somewhat confused looking Joc Pederson, who had been posted up to make the catch. It appeared as though wind was a factor, unfortunately, and both Anderson and Vaughn scored. This was quickly followed by a single from Yoan Moncada that drove in Abreu to give Chicago a two-run lead.
Things only got uglier in the sixth inning. With Webb still on the mound, Abreu singled to left field to lead off the inning, followed by yet another double from Sheets. This time, Webb hit Moncada to load the bases (because diversity is the spice of life). Unfortunately, after getting AJ Pollock to strike out, Leury Garcia grounded into a force out to Belt, who threw it to Donovan Walton to get the out at second. Belt then raced back to first but, um, apparently drank an invisibility potion along the way because Walton’s throw back to him was way off, going into the White Sox’ dugout, causing Belt to spin to try to reach for it before ultimately falling over. Big mood, right there. Abreu and Adam Haseley (pinch-running for Sheets) both scored to give Chicago their final score of the night.
The Giants did challenge late in the game, so it’s not like it was a complete lost cause at taht point. Mike Yastrzemski worked a two out walk in the eighth before stealing second base, which proved to be crucial because he was knocked in by a double from Darin Ruf.
In the ninth, Austin Slater, pinch-hitting for Wade, singled, before Pederson grounded into a force out that got Slater. Evan Longoria followed that up with a single as well to put runners on the corners with two outs for Belt. Belt came through, knocking Pederson in on a single and bringing up Mike Yastrzemski with runners on the corners as well. But it wasn’t enough, as Yastrzemski grounded out to end the game.
And that’s where it gets frustrating, because although Logan Webb didn’t have the best start of his season, it wasn’t bad. I’ll take three earned runs on six hits, five strikeouts and a walk in six innings any day. That line and nothing else in the ninth inning, this game goes to extra innings.
It was those two unearned runs that cost them this game and the series. And it puts a large spotlight on what has been quietly (and then not so quietly) been plaguing this Giants team all year, which is bad defense costing them runs, costing them games and, ultimately, series.