Astros Have a Record-Setting Offensive Outburst in Chicago
A look at all of the numbers from the Houston Astros’ historic 21-5 demolition of the Chicago White Sox on Thursday afternoon.
After a couple of disappointing blown leads to open their series in the south side of Chicago, the Houston Astros battled back to win a close game on Wednesday. In the finale on Thursday, they managed to do more than simply force a series split: they executed a full-fledged beatdown, winning 21-5. The White Sox only had to use 4 pitchers in the game (including second baseman Josh Harrison), but each one came away with a horrendous stat line.
Most notably, the Astros tied their club record of 25 hits in a single game when Chas McCormick knocked a run-scoring single in the 9th. Their 21 tallies also tied their second-highest total ever for runs in a game, with their 23-2 dismantling of the Baltimore Orioles in August 2019 still being the standard there. Despite that, they still left 15 men on base, so the damage could have been far worse.
Every starter in the lineup recorded a hit, and every single one got on base at least twice except for Trey Mancini, who was lifted for pinch-hitter J.J. Matijevic in the 8th. Jeremy Pena was the only starter who didn’t record an RBI. Leading the charge was Alex Bregman, who continued his excellent second half of the season by clobbering 2 home runs, 2 doubles, and driving in a team-high 6 runs. Right behind him, Kyle Tucker also went 4-6 but with 3 RBI.
The bottom of the lineup has let the Astros down at multiple points this season, but the White Sox couldn’t get them out today. Between Pena, Christian Vazquez, and Chas McCormick, the 7 through 9 spots of the lineup went 9-for-17 with 7 RBI, a double (Pena), and a home run (McCormick). McCormick drove in 5 runs.
Things were obviously ugly on the White Sox’ side. Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito’s underwhelming year continued as he got lit up for 7 runs on 8 hits through 3 innings, bumping his season ERA up to 5.34. Former Astro Vince Velasquez couldn’t stop the bleeding in relief and neither could Jose Ruiz; those two allowed a combined 10 runs through the next 5 innings before Josh Harrison pitched the 9th.
Alex Bregman was causing a stir at the beginning of the series, as White Sox ace Dylan Cease intentionally balked him over to third base after a double a couple of games earlier in fear that he would relay signs to the dugout. This time, they simply let him steal third after one of his doubles, but he came around to score anyway. That, in addition to a fielding error by outfielder A.J. Pollock, put into question the fundamental structure of the Chicago defense, which has been a talking point all year.
The first two losses of this series were close and avoidable, but after finally having a close game go their way, the Astros successfully laid down the law and came away from it with positive momentum. They’ll sure need it too since they’re about to enter a 3-game weekend series in Atlanta in a rematch of last year’s world series.