The Yankees got pummeled 9-2 by the Blue Jays last night to cut their AL East lead back to nine. Around the American League, the Mariners, Guardians, and Twins were off, but the Astros, Rays, Orioles, and White Sox were in action as well. So to quote Fred Willard in “A Mighty Wind” for no reason whatsoever, WHA’ HAPPEN?
Houston Astros 21 (77-43), Chicago White Sox 5 (61-58)
Yes, the Astros throttled the White Sox in Chicago, 21-5, and yes, if this score happened in the NFL, it would’ve indeed been a Scorigami (good ol’ field goal/safety combo). But no, this was just an utter embarrassment at home for a team that should’ve done so much more with its 2022 potential. It was the most runs ever allowed by a White Sox team in their 32 years at Guaranteed Rate/U.S. Cellular/New Comiskey.
One of the reasons for Chicago’s year-long slumber has been the collapse of Lucas Giolito, who earned Cy Young votes in each of the past three seasons. The 2022 campaign started decently enough for him, but after getting blasted for seven runs (!) on eight hits in a walk yesterday, his ERA over his last 15 starts now sits at 6.64. Egad.
Just one of those Houston hits against Giolito was a homer, too. Trey Mancini began the scoring with a solo shot, and between the third and fourth, Houston got double-happy behind Yuli Gurriel, Alex Bregman, and Jeremy Peña. José Ruiz and Vince Velasquez were awful in relief, allowing a combined 10 runs in 5 innings on the strength of two Bregman bombs (he had six RBI) and a three-run shot by Chas McCormick. Poor utilityman Josh Harrison had to mop up the ninth and the Astros dropped four runs on him anyway.
Jerks, I tell you!
Tampa Bay Rays 7 (63-54), Kansas City Royals 1 (48-72)
The Rays kept pace with the Blue Jays in a tie for second in the AL East and for the last two playoff spots (idle Seattle remains a game ahead for the top Wild Card). The Royals didn’t have an upset in them, though rookie right-hander Max Castillo held them to one run (a Yandy Díaz dinger) over five solid frames in his third career start.
Castillo got the nod because Brad Keller was having such a bad season that he was moved to the bullpen, and when Keller got to make his first relief appearances since 2018, he got throttled for five runs in less than an inning of work. Díaz took part of this rally too, giving Tampa a bigger lead with a two-run double.
The floodgates opened from there, as Brandon Lowe singled in a run, Randy Arozarena doubled for another, and Lowe made it 6-0 by scoring on a wild pitch. On the pitching side, Luis Patiño twirled 5.2 innings of shutout ball and the Tampa bullpen didn’t blow it like they did on Wednesday.
- Chicago Cubs 3 (50-67), Baltimore Orioles 2 (61-57): Just a few months ago, the O’s were the butt of many jokes about how contenders can’t afford to lose winnable games to them if they wanted to make the playoffs. Well now they’re suddenly contending and the shoe’s on the other foot. They shouldn’t have lost this make-up game with the lowly Cubs, even with Willson Contreras hitting two homers and the replay crew probably missing a Baltimore run. Those were solo shots, and the O’s had its chances with the potential tying run in scoring position during both the eighth and ninth. No dice.