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ALDS Post-Season Game 2: Chicago White Sox At Houston Astros

CHICAGO WHITE SOX (0-1) at HOUSTON ASTROS (1-0)
RHP Lucas Giolito (11-9, 3.53 ERA) vs. LHP Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA)

ALDS | Game #2  Friday, October 8  1:07 p.m. CT  Minute Maid Park

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

WHITE SOX AT A GLANCE
The Chicago White Sox, who went 93-69 during the regular season, continue the American League Division Series this afternoon with Game 2 against the Houston Astros.

RHP Lucas Giolito, who went 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA (13 ER/49.2 IP) and 56 strikeouts over his last nine regular-season starts, is scheduled to start for the White Sox.

Following today’s game, the series shifts to Chicago for Games 3 and 4 (if necessary) … the winner of this series will face the winner of the Boston/Tampa Bay matchup in the ALCS.

The Sox have not hosted a playoff game since losing Game 4 of the 2008 ALDS to Tampa Bay on 10/6/08 and have not won a playoff series since sweeping the Astros in the 2005 World Series.

The White Sox won the AL Central by 13.0 games over Cleveland to qualify for the postseason for the 11th time in franchise history and first time ever in back-to-back seasons

TODAY’S STORYLINES
Lucas Giolito has recorded complete-game victories in each of his last two starts against Houston, throwing a four-hit shutout with one walk and nine strikeouts on 5/23/19 at Minute Maid Park and allowing one run on three hits with no walks and eight strikeouts on 7/17/21 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The White Sox are 0-5 at Houston in 2021 (33-9 margin), suffering a four-game sweep from 6/17/20 before losing yesterday.

José Abreu recorded his fifth career 30-home run, 100-RBI season in 2021, tied with Paul Konerko for second in franchise history behind HOF Frank Thomas (eight).

Tim Anderson is 10-18 (.556) over his first four career postseason games, including three, three-hit games.

Luis Robert is batting .355/.396/.623 (65-183) with 13 doubles, 12 homers, 35 RBI and 31 runs scored in 44 games since returning from the injured list on 8/9.

GAME 1 RECAP
Houston scored in the second-fifth innings to build a 6-0 lead and went on to record a 6-1 victory over the White Sox.

Lance Lynn suffered the loss, allowing five runs on six hits over 3.2 IP to fall to 0-7 with a 6.80 ERA (32 ER/42.1 IP) over his last seven starts at Minute Maid Park.

José Abreu collected two of the Sox seven hits and drove in the only run with an eighth-inning single … Luis Robert went 2-3 with a HBP for the White Sox, who were limited by Lance McCullers Jr. to one hit through six innings.

GIOLITO’S GEM
Lucas Giolito won his only career postseason start in Game 1 of the 2020 AL Wild Card Series at Oakland, allowing one run on two hits over 7.0 IP with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Giolito retired the first 18 batters in order at the Coliseum, becoming the fifth pitcher in MLB history (first White Sox) to be perfect through 6.0 IP of a postseason start.

He was attempting to join Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay (2010) as the only pitchers in MLB history to throw no-hitters in the same regular (8/25/20 vs. Pittsburgh) and postseason.

Giolito became the second Sox starter to throw 7.0-plus IP and allow one run or less and two hits or less in the postseason, joining Ed Walsh in Game 3 of the 1906 World Series vs. the Cubs.

WHITE SOX VS. HOUSTON ASTROS
The Astros won the regular-season series, 5-2, sweeping a four-game set from 6/17-20 at Minute Maid Park before losing two of three games in Chicago to open the second half (7/16-18). l The White Sox batted .200/.282/.377 (44-220) with a 4.70 ERA (31 ER/59.1 IP) and were outscored, 35-23.

The Sox are 12-22 all-time in Houston during the regular season, including a 11-20 record at Minute Maid Park.

The White Sox swept the Astros in the 2005 World Series.

WINNING WAYS
The White Sox recorded a winning record in all sixth months in 2021 and have posted eight straight winning months dating back to last season, their longest streak since a nine-month run from June 1993-August 1994.

This season marks the first time since 1963 that the Sox have posted a winning record in all six months of a season.

PITCHING PROWESS
The White Sox ranked sixth in the major leagues with a 3.81 ERA in 2021, which was their lowest mark since 2005 (3.61) … the starting rotation ranked eighth in the majors with a 3.85 ERA, its lowest mark since 2005 (3.75).

STARTING POINT
The White Sox starting rotation ranked among the major-leagues in strikeouts (2nd, 944), strikeouts per 9.0 IP (2nd, 9.93), opponents average (3rd, .227), opponents OBP (3rd, .292), wins (T3rd, 61), ERA (4th, 3.57), opponents SLG (4th, .380) and opponents OPS (4th, .672).

#27 STARTER LUCAS GIOLITO RHP

HT: 6-6 | WT: 245 Age: 27 (7/14/94) Signed Through: 2021
Born: Santa Monica, Calif. | Resides: Davis, Calif.

Today’s Starters 2021 Career 2021 vs. Opp. Career vs. Opp.
LHP Framber Valdez 11-6, 3.14 24-17, 3.74 1-1, 4.05 2-3, 3.71
RHP Lucas Giolito 11-9, 3.53 42-38, 4.19 1-0, 1.00 1-1, 3.38

GIOLITO AT A GLANCE
Is scheduled to make his second career postseason start, first in the Division Series and first vs. Houston.

Started Game 1 of the 2020 American League Wild Card Series at Oakland (see note below).

Is just the third White Sox pitcher to make his first two career postseason starts on the road, joining Jon Garland (2005) and Ed Walsh (1906).

Went 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA (13 ER/49.2 IP), 56 strikeouts and .192 (35-182) opponents average in his last nine starts of the regular season and 5-3 with a 2.70 ERA (24 ER/80.0 IP), 85 strikeouts and .211 (62-294) opponents average over his last 14.

Was reinstated from the 10-day injured list (strained left hamstring) on 9/14 … was placed on the IL on 9/3 (retroactive to 9/1) after leaving his last start on 8/31 with left hamstring tightness.

LAST POSTSEASON START
Earned his first career postseason victory on 9/29/20 in Game 1 of the American League Wild Card Series at Oakland, allowing one run on two hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in 7.0 IP … threw 100 pitches (65 strikes).

Held the Athletics hitless through six innings and scoreless through seven before exiting the game in the eighth with runners on first and third and the White Sox leading, 4-0 … the runner at third would score on a fielder’s choice.

Became the second Sox starter to throw 7.0-plus IP and allow one run or less and two hits or less in the postseason, joining Ed Walsh in Game 3 of the 1906 World Series vs. the Cubs.

His eight strikeouts tied Britt Burns (Game 4, 1983 ALCS) and Eddie Cicotte (Game 3, 1917 WS) for the second-highest total in Sox playoff history, behind only Walsh’s 12 in 1906 (Game 3).

2021 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Established a career high with 178.2 IP and struck out 200-plus for the second time in three full seasons … his 10.13 strikeouts per 9.0 IP are the sixth-highest in team history and second on the club in 2021 (Dylan Cease, club record 12.28 mark).

Became the sixth Sox pitcher to record multiple 200- plus strikeout seasons, and the fourth RHP (last Javier Vázquez) … along with Cease (226), became the second set of Sox teammates to each record 200-plus strikeouts, joining Tom Bradley (206) and Wilbur Wood (210) in 1971.

Recorded 483 swing & misses this season, the fourth-most in baseball … 260 of his swing and misses came inside the strike zone (223 outside the zone).

Passed Billy Pierce (11) and Alex Fernández (12) on the White Sox all-time double-digit strikeout game list … recorded three 10-plus strikeout performances in 2021, tying Javier Vázquez with 13 on the Sox all-time list.

Went 4-3 with a 2.65 ERA (22 ER/74.2 IP), 76 strikeouts and .205 (56-273) in 13 starts following the All-Star Break … his 2.65 ERA was the fourth-lowest among AL starters with at least 10 starts in the second half.

LUCAS THE ROAD WARRIOR
Went 4-1 with a 1.63 ERA (9 ER/49.2 IP), 51 strikeouts and .207 (37-179) opponents average over his last eight road starts (six quality) of the season.

Allowed three runs or fewer in 13 of his 16 starts away from Guaranteed Rate Field … is just the third White Sox starter to allow two runs or less in 13-plus road starts in a season, joining Tommy John (15 in 1969) and Ed Walsh (13 in 1908).

Ranks among American League road leaders since 2019 in strikeouts (3rd, 264), ERA (3rd, 3.00), wins (4th, 18) and opponents average (4th, .215).

THE QUALITY KID
Ranks fifth in the American League with 40 quality starts since 2019.

Made 15 quality starts in 2021, tied for sixth-most in the American League … went 7-1 with a 1.80 ERA (20 ER/100.0 IP), 106 strikeouts and .176 (61-347) opponents average in those starts.

VS. HOUSTON ASTROS
Is scheduled to make his first career postseason start against Houston … has made five career starts vs. the Astros in the regular season (see box at right).

Has gone 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA (1 ER/18.0 IP), two complete games, 17 strikeouts and .117 (7-60) opponents average in his last two starts.

Is 1-2 with a 1.57 ERA (4 ER/23.0 IP), 15 strikeouts and .179 (14-78) opponents average in three career starts at Minute Maid Park.

 

HOUSTON ASTROS

TODAY’S GAME: The Astros and White Sox will play Game 2 of the ALDS today in another afternoon matinee at Minute Maid Park…the Astros Game 2 starter will be LHP Framber Valdez, who was the club’s best starter in the 2020 Postseason, making four starts, going 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA (5ER/24IP)…he’ll be opposed by RHP Lucas Giolito, who shined in his one Postseason start last season, tossing 7.0 inning of one-run, two-hit ball in the Wild Card Round at OAK.

TODAY’S STARTER: LHP Framber Valdez missed the first 49 games of the season due to a fractured finger, but returned to make 22 starts to complete the regular season…since his return on May 28 through the end of the regular season, he was one of the best pitchers in the AL, ranking tied for first in the AL in wins (11), third in innings (134.2) and fourth in ERA (3.14).

DIVISION SERIES HISTORY: This marks the Astros 13th all-time appearance in the Division Series, going 6-6 in those previous  2…dating back to 2004, the Astros have won six of their last seven Division Series and have won four straight, dispatching the Red
Sox in 2017 (4g), the Indians in 2018 (3g), the Rays in 2019 (5g) and the A’s in 2020 (4g)…additionally, Houston have now won eight straight Game 1s in the Division Series and have won four straight Game 2s.

IN THE DUGOUTS: This series offers an intriguing matchup in the dugout between veteran managers Dusty Baker and Tony LaRussa…Baker is tied for 10th all-time in postseason managerial wins with 32 and is the only manager in MLB history to win division
titles with five different clubs (Astros, Nationals, Reds, Cubs, Giants)…LaRussa counters with 70 career postseason wins, which ranks second all-time, picking those up with the White Sox, A’s and Cardinals.

VS. THE SOX: This series features the AL West Champion Astros vs. the AL Central Champion White Sox…below are a few notes on  the series. • the Astros went 5-2 against the White Sox this season, including a four-game sweep in Houston. • the series will also feature the top two starting pitching staffs in the AL, with the White Sox staff (3.57) ranking first in starter’s ERA and the Astros (3.60) second. • offensively, expect traffic, as the Astros (.339) and White Sox (.336) rank first and second in the AL in team OBP.

WE MEET AGAIN: This series is the second postseason matchup between the Astros and White Sox, who last saw each other in October in the 2005 World Series, which ended in a four-game sweep by the White Sox…the series was a lot closer than face value, as all four games of that series were determined by two-or-fewer runs.

GAME 1 GLORY: The Astros picked up a 6-1 win over the White Sox yesterday in Game 1 of the 2021 ALDS…RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (0ER/6.2IP) was the story, as he pitched scoreless into the 7th, allowing just four hits and no walks en route to the victory…the Astros got contributions up and down the lineup, including big games from LF Michael Brantley (2×4, 2RBI) and DH Yordan Alvarez (2×3, 2RBI).

STREAKER: LF Michael Brantley has hit safely in 12 straight postseason games, dating back to Game 1 of the 2020 ALDS…in the streak, Brantley is hitting .367 (18×49) with three homers, 11 RBI and a .997 OPS… the streak ranks as the third-longest postseason streak in franchise history, trailing only streaks produced by OF George Springer (14g) and 2B Jose Altuve (13g).

STUFF OF LEGENDS: SS Carlos Correa has 50 career postseason RBI, which ranks seventh on MLB’s all-time list, a list that includes Hall of Fame names like David Ortiz (61), Albert Pujols (54) and Reggie Jackson (48)…Correa has done that damage in just 64 games, while posting an .877 career postseason OPS. BEAT THE BEST: 3B Alex Bregman has homered 11 times in the postseason, all off All-Stars…his list: LHP Chris Sale (2x), RHP Stephen Strasburg (2x), RHP Chris Bassitt, RHP Trevor Bauer, RHP Kenley Jansen, LHP Clayton Kershaw, RHP Corey Kluber, RHP Fernando Rodney and LHP Blake Snell.

ABOUT THE ROSTER: The Astros ALDS roster includes 12 pitchers, three catchers, five infielders and six outfielders…2B Jose Altuve and SS Carlos Correa lead the team in career postseason games with 64 each…a veteran team, only four players on the roster had no postseason playing experience prior to this year: RHP Kendall Graveman, OF Chas McCormick, OF Jake Meyers and OF Jose  Siri…also, the Astros carry a nine-man Taxi Squad.

TODAY’S ASTROS GAME 2 STARTER: LHP FRAMBER VALDEZ

W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2021: 11-6 3.14 22 22 134.2 110 52 47 58 125
CAREER: 24-17 374 67 44 313.0 269 145 130 142 303
vs. CWS W-L ERA G GS IP H R ER BB SO
2021: 1-1 4.05 2 2 13.1 13 7 6 4 9
CAREER: 1-1 3.38 3 2 16.0 15 7 6 5 11

 

Career Complete Games: 1 Last CG: 6/26/21 at DET (6IP)
Career Shutouts: none Last SHO: none

CAREER MLB GAME-HIGHS: 2021 GAME-HIGHS:
Strikeouts: 11 (2x), last, 9/17/20 vs. TEX 10, 6/2 vs. BOS
Walks: 6 (3x), 7/24 vs. TEX 6 (2x), 7/24 vs. TEX
Hits: 11, 9/6/20 at LAA 10, 7/6 vs. OAK
Earned Runs: 8, 9/6/20 at LAA 5, 7/6 vs. OAK
Innings Pitched: 7.2, 8/19/20 at COL 7.1, 6/8 at BOS
Low-Hit CG: 6, 6/26/21 at DET (6IP) 6, 6/26 at DET (6IP)

CAREER MLB SPLITS:
Home/MMP: 13-5, 3.45 ERA, 34G/24GS, 60ER/156.1IP
Away: 11-12, 4.02 ERA, 33G/21GS, 70ER/156.2IP
Day: 6-6, 3.25 ERA, 24G/14GS, 40ER/110.2IP
Night: 18-11, 4.00 ERA, 43G/31GS, 90ER/202.1IP
Longest Winning Streak: 6, 9/17/20-6/19/21
Longest Losing Streak: 4, 6/20-7/15/19

2021 SPLITS:
Home: 5-2, 3.45 ERA, 11G/GS, 24ER/62.2IP
Away: 6-4, 2.88 ERA, 11G/GS, 23ER/72IP
Day: 2-2, 2.51 ERA, 7G/GS, 12ER/43IP
Night: 9-4, 3.44 ERA, 15G/GS, 35ER/91.2IP
Longest Winning Streak: 4, 6/2-6/19
Longest Losing Streak: 1 (6x), last, 10/1

LAST START – 10/1 vs. OAK: allowed 4 runs on 4 hits with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts in 5.0 innings

ABOUT FRAMBER: 27-year-old left-hander made 22 starts this season. • missed the club’s first 49 games while on the IL (March 29-May 28) with a left index finger fracture…injured the finger in his first game of Spring Training on March 2 at NYM. • since his first start of the season on May 28, has was one of the best pitchers in the American League…since that date, he ranks T-1st in wins (11), 4th in ERA (3.14) and 4th in innings (134.2)…has also posted the highest ground ball percentage (70.3%) in the Majors. • allowed just 12 HR in his 134.2 innings pitched this season for a 0.80 home runs per 9.0 ratio, 3rd lowest in the AL (min. 120 IP)…went 6 consecutive starts without allowing a homer from July 24-Aug. 22, tossing 37.1 innings in those outings…was the longest of such a streak by an Astro since RHP Zack Greinke also had a 6-game streak in 2020.

LEFT ON LEFT: has held left-handed hitters to a .209 batting average (53×253) and a .638 OPS (.338 OBP/.300 SLG) in his MLB career…has allowed just 4 homers to a lefty in his 4 MLB seasons, with 2 coming in his start on Sept. 20 vs. LAA (Ohtani, Walsh).
• has actually been slightly better against righties than lefties this season… lefties are hitting .225 (18×80) with a .717 OPS off Valdez, compared to righties hitting .219 (92×421) with a .626 OPS.

POSTSEASON: has been dominant in the postseason, going 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA (5ER/24IP), 10 walks and 26 strikeouts in four games (3 starts). • Made his postseason debut in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series at MIN… earned the win in relief after finishing the game with 5.0 scoreless innings…gave up just two hits and two walks with five strikeouts… became the 13th pitcher in MLB history to finish a postseason game with 5.0+ scoreless relief innings, and the first to do it since Madison Bumgarner ended Game 7 of the 2014 World Series at KC with 5.0 scoreless relief innings…became the first AL pitcher to do this since Pedro Martinez in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS at CLE…became the fourth pitcher in MLB history finish a game with 5.0+ scoreless frames in his postseason debut, joining Joe Price (1987 NLCS Game 5), George Frazier (1981 ALCS Game 2) and Moe Drabowsky (1966 World Series Game 1).. • Started Game 1 of the ALCS at TB…at 26 years, 327 days old, became the third-youngest pitcher in franchise history to start Game 1 of a postseason series…the only two to do so at a younger age were Wade Miller (25 years, 26 days old) in Game 1 of the 2001 NLDS vs. ATL and Brandon Backe (26 years, 191 days old) in Game 1 of the 2004 NLCS at STL.

UNO!: went 6 straight starts allowing 1-or-fewer earned runs from Sept. 17, 2020-June 13, 2021…prior to this run, the last Astros starter to allow 1-or-fewer earned runs in 6 straight starts was RHP Justin Verlander, who did so from May 1-28, 2018..

BREAKOUT SEASON: named the Astros 2020 Pitcher of the Year by the Houston Chapter of the BBWAA…set career-highs in starts (10), quality starts (6) and strikeouts (76), and tied his career-high in innings pitched (70.2) despite the shortened season…among AL pitchers, ranked 2nd in home runs per 9.0 innings (0.64), 5th in walks per 9.0 innings (2.04, 16BB), 6th in innings pitched (70.2), 8th in strikeouts (76), and 8th in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.68). • including postseason action, led the Majors in innings pitched (94.2)

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