Tonight, the South side of Chicago belonged to Lance McCullers Jr.
Despite giving up two hits early in the first inning ( a leadoff triple by Tim Anderson and then a RBI double by Yoán Moncada,) Lance McCullers Jr. righted the ship quicklly, striking out 10 White Sox over 7 innings with just 94 pitches. Despite the early blemishes, Lance never seemed fazed by the White Sox and just kept throwing darts and striking guys out.
The Astros offense took care of business in the way of home runs, errant throws and timely hitting.
Yuli Gurriel led off the Astros scoring attack with a double in the top of the 3rd, to make it 2-1 Astros, scoring Jose Altuve and Martin Maldonado. According to the ATT Sportsnet, Gurriel’s slash line this year is .316/.380/.477, which is a major improvement from his first 5 seasons with the ball club (.287/.324/468), It’s amazing to me why this guy wasn’t an All Star for us this year with the season he’s having.
Houston’s favorite uncle Michael Brantley homered in the fifth inning to make it 3-1 Astros and the route was officially on. Kyle Tucker contributed with a single in the 7th and Myles Straw doubled down the right field line with the bases loaded to make it 7-1 Astros.
In the postgame press conference, manager Dusty Baker was impressed with Lance’s performance on the mound
Dusty Baker on Lance McCullers Jr: "He was nasty tonight. That’s one of the best games I’ve seen him pitch as far as command and control and just using all his pitches.”— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 17, 2021
The Astros face the White Sox again tomorrow at 6:15 CT on Fox. The pitching matchup will be Jake Odorizzi (3-4, 3.61 ERA,) for the Astros and Lucas Giolito (7-6, 4.15 ERA) for the White Sox.