CHICAGO — In the opener of their seven-inning doubleheader, the White Sox couldn't figure out the magic of 38-year-old Adam Wainwright. Lucas Giolito struggled, but the Sox bats didn't help, falling to the Cardinals, 5-1.
Addressing the Cardinal in the room
The Cardinals entered Saturday's game having only played five games this season. They had been off the last two weeks waiting for clearance from the MLB after a team wide COVID-19 outbreak.
Lucas Giolito struggled mightily in the first inning, which is less than ideal on a day where you're scheduled to play two. Giolito issued a leadoff walk to Kolton Wong, followed by a Tommy Edman single. After striking out Paul Goldschmidt, he proceeded to plunk two batters in a row leading to the Cards' first run. It looked like he might escape further damage after striking out Dylan Carlson, but allowed a bloop single to Dexter Fowler on an 0-2 count, allowing two more runs to score. After another RBI single off the bat of Andrew Knizer, Giolito finally got out of the inning.
Giolito wasn't too pleased with his results. Watch his full postgame, truncated by a Zoom freeze, courtesy of the White Sox:
On the board
Fans who have enjoyed Danny Mendick so far this season will get to see a whole lot more of him as the season rolls along. Early Saturday morning, Leury García was moved to the 45-day IL. Thumb surgery will put García out of commission until October.
Mendick has been more than formidable in García's absence, and he cancelled the postgame show with a leadoff double in the bottom of the third inning.
After a Tim Anderson sac fly moved Mendick into third, Yoán Moncada grounded out to first, scoring Mendick and putting the Sox on the board.
38-year-old boy wonder
When Adam Wainwright debuted for the Cardinals in 2005, they were playing the Mets. There are only two other players who played in that game who are still active major leaguers: Wainwright's longtime catcher Yadier Molina and former Cardinals great Albert Pujols.
Wainwright is one of those guys who has just always been around. It's always a shock to realize he's still in the league.
On Saturday Wainwright made it pretty easy to see why, despite his advanced age, he is still more than worthy of a roster spot on a major league team.
He mowed down the Sox lineup for five innings, finishing with three hits and three strikeouts with only two hits and one run allowed.
White Sox manager Ricky Renteria was very complimentary of Wainwright's effort. Watch his full postgame session, courtesy of the White Sox:
Last words: opener
Giolito, 12 years Wainwright's junior, the Sox ace put his team in a hole in the first inning, but mostly held the Cards in check after that.
Outside of the first, Giolito allowed only one unearned run, and gave his offense every opportunity to chip its way back into the game.
Needless to say, it's never a good thing to be down a crooked number before you get a chance to bat. But when you fail to score runs, it's hard to continually blame only the pitching. The Sox offense has failed to click this season, putting lots of pressure on the rotation and bullpen to be nearly perfect in order to win games.
Good teams pick up their starting pitchers when they have an off-day, and the Sox failed to do that in the opener. Totaling three hits will result in very few wins, no matter how many innings you play.
Twenty games into a normal season is usually not the time to panic, but in 2020, 20 games is 33% of the season, so it's far past due time for the Sox bats to wake up.
Not a lot to add in the nightcap review. The White Sox got a better starting effort, as Matt Foster played the opener role and threw two perfect innings with three strikeouts, and the White Sox even briefly held a lead thanks to an Eloy Jiménez home run. But a chippy Cardinals club came back in the fifth with a four-spot, and the South Siders finished with just three hits, for the second straight game.
Here's Eloy after the nightcap, courtesy of the White Sox:
In the doubleheader, six key members of the offense (Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada, José Abreu, Yasmani Grandal, Edwin Encarnación and Nomar Mazara, all of whom saw some action in both games) combined to go 0-for-29, with four walks and 10 Ks.
Ricky, who had a long delay before speaking with the media, admitted he'd definitely had better days. Here's his full nightcap session: