AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith
The Sox offense was only able to score one run in their 6-1 loss to the Astros in Game 1 of the ALDS.
HOUSTON — Throughout the regular season, the White Sox’s offense bludgeoned pitching staffs into submission. Even with the team missing Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez for significant periods throughout the year, when they fired on all cylinders, they were one of the best offense in baseball
But there were also times during the season when their high-powered offense would go dormant, leaving people scratching their heads.
Unfortunately, for the Sox, their offense was quiet in their 6-1 Game 1 loss to the Astros on Wednesday, dropping the first of the five-game series.
The Sox had no answers for Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr, who dominated over 6 2/3 innings, as the offense looked lethargic against the Astros. The Sox didn’t scratch out their first hit until Yoan Moncada’s single in the fourth inning.
The Sox weren’t able to barrel up the baseball against McCullers Jr. and while he mixed his pitches well, it was his slider that kept them off balance.
McCullers Jr.’s slider is one of the best in MLB, allowing just a .150 batting average against it this season, which was the fifth-lowest among starting pitchers. The White Sox ranked 22nd in slugging against sliders this season and didn’t have success in Wednesday’s loss.
When the Sox hit the ball in the air, it usually leads to success, but they weren’t able to do that. They hit into 11 groundouts and had only one runner reach third base, allowing McCullers Jr. to dominate without having to get swings-and-misses or work deep into counts.
The Sox finally got some offense going late in the game with an RBI-single by Jose Abreu in the eighth inning to make it a 6-1 game. But it was too little, too late.
The Sox are hoping that Game 2 brings them better results at the plate as they face lefty Framber Valdez. They’ve notoriously torched southpaws over the past two seasons and hit a .261 against left-handers this season, which ranks fifth in the American League.