MLBits: Astros Clobber White Sox, Pujols Pursuit of 700, Fried Bests deGrom, Blue Jays Crush the Yankees, More

If you had told me this spring that the Bears would score 24 points on the same day that the White Sox allowed 21 runs, I would have probably called you a liar. But, here we are.

Astros Clobber White Sox

The White Sox took the field winners of four of their last five games with a chance to take three-of-four from the American League’s best team, the Houston Astros, before a pivotal weekend tilt with the Guardians. They sent their incumbent ace Lucas Giolito to the mound for the occasion. But, Lucas Giolito delivered a performance on par with his 2022 season rather than the one they needed.

That solo home run to Trey Mancini was only the beginning. Houston would eventually score three touchdowns on the White Sox on Thursday afternoon, chasing Giolito from the game in the fourth inning. Giolito’s final line: 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 85 P.

Alex Bregman had a field day with White Sox pitching. Bregman went 4-for-4 with two home runs and two doubles while driving in six runs for the Astros.

Lucas Giolito’s ERA is now at 5.34 on the season, the second worst mark in baseball among starters, with at least 100 innings pitched. Only Patrick Corbin’s 6.96 ERA is worse than Giolito’s. It’s maddening to see Giolito go from a Cy Young vote-getter and a two-time postseason starter to one of the worst pitchers in baseball so quickly. So much so that if the White Sox were to find a way to sneak into the postseason, Giolito would likely be the fourth starter to get a start.

After the White Sox took two close games from the Astros to open the series and dropped another close one on Wednesday night, Houston served them a big piece of humble pie and reminded them that they’re not in the same class.

Pujols Pursuit of 700

Albert Pujols entered Wednesday’s game off the bench after the Cardinals jumped out to a big lead over the Rockies. The slugger inched closer to history with this grand slam off Rockies left-hander Austin Gomber.

Gomber, a Cardinals player traded to the Rockies in the Nolan Arenado deal, is having a rough season for Colorado. Gomber is sporting a 5.86 ERA.

Pujols’ pinch-hit grand slam was career home run No. 690, putting him just 10 home runs away from the illustrious 700 club, the icing on the cake for a sure-fire Hall of Fame career. The Cardinals have 49 games left this season, but Pujols has been a part-time player for the Cardinals during his farewell tour this season. Pujols has no more than 50 at-bats in any month this season, so with playing time not guaranteed, it’ll be tough to get there. With St. Louis in the thick of a race for a division title, it’s unlikely that Pujols gets any extra at-bats for the sake of chasing 700 home runs.

ESPN Stats & Info provided us with this fun fact on Thursday afternoon:

Fried Bests deGrom

If you’re a fan of pitching duels, last night’s Jacob deGrom vs. Max Fried matchup in Atlanta was one you probably tuned into. If you were instead watching the Bears preseason game, then you missed a good one.

Jacob deGrom, who has been lights out since returning from the IL, was solid again despite leaving with the loss in this one. deGrom allowed three runs on five hits in six and two-thirds innings while striking out nine Braves hitters and walking none. deGrom was charged with the loss when Vaughn Grissom (deGrom was responsible for despite Lugo taking over in relief) scored from first base on this single by Michael Harris II.

That was the difference in a 3-2 win for Atlanta that drew the Braves a game closer to the Mets in the NL East standings. While deGrom was saddled with the loss, he looked like this most of the game:

Max Fried bested deGrom by the narrowest of margins last night, tossing seven innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits while striking out six and walking none. A two-run home run by Mark Canha in the top of the fifth inning was the only blemish on Fried’s evening. Fried admitted that squaring off against Jacob deGrom was on his mind last night:

“When you’re going up against a guy like Jacob deGrom, you kind of just bring everything you got.”

Here’s how he answered the call:

Odds and Ends

  • Josh Donaldson’s walk-off grand slam on Wednesday night could have been just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees as they look to break out of their second-half swoon. Instead, the Blue Jays greeted them with a nine-run outburst in the lid-lifter of their weekend series in The Bronx.
  • Royals rookie Michael Massey hit his first career home run on Thursday in Tampa Bay. Massey, who has local ties, was raised in south-suburban Palos Park and is a University of Illinois graduate.
  • Max Fried was doing a little bit of everything for the Braves last night. Here he is flashing some leather:
  • What a play by Adrian Sampson!
  • Manny Machado DESTROYED this Anibal Sanchez offering!
  • Here are all of the home runs from Thursday:
  • Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso will be playing for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic next spring.
  • Marcell Ozuna just can’t seem to stay out of trouble:
  • written by

    Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

    more cubs news

    Chicago Cubs Lineup: A New Series Begins in Seattle

    CUBS LINEUP β€” Don't shoot the messenger, but this Cubs game doesn't start until 8:40pm CT ... and it's on AppleTV+. I don't make the rules. In any case, it's been a nice long break since the frustrating series in...

    REPORT: Cubs Calling Up Keegan Thompson – Recent Performance, What to Expect, More

    Last night, we learned that the Chicago Cubs had optioned right-handed reliever Jose Cuas to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs after a pretty horrendous start to the year. Although he's got some arm talent and a funky delivery (which creates a...

    More Late-Night Games: Cubs vs Mariners Series Preview

    Cubs vs Mariners β€” The Cubs west coast trip continues tonight in Seattle, where they'll open up the first of three games against the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. The Cubs are coming off a pretty frustrating series loss in San...

    Apparently the Cubs Traded Catcher Joe Hudson to the Mets After Signing Ali Sanchez

    In another bit of news dropping on the transactions page, the Chicago Cubs have traded catcher Joe Hudson to the New York Mets. Nothing is listed on the Cubs page or the Mets page as the trade return, so I...

    Cubs Farm Report | April 11, 2024: Reginald Preciado’s Big Night Not Enough for Myrtle Beach

    We've got a shorter Cubs Farm Report today, with half of the affiliates being rained out. The Iowa Cubs got their game in against the St. Paul Saints but lost to the Twins' affiliate. Myrtle Beach scored nine runs with...

    Random Awesome Highlight Flashback: The Time Reed Johnson Robbed Prince Fielder of a Grand Slam

    Thanks to yesterday's off-day and today's game being of the late-night variety, we're having to wait a very long time between games. For that reason, I very much appreciated today's random flashback from the Daily Random Cub account, which took...

    Small Change Coming for Hendricks? Dreaming on Old Keegan Thompson, Streaks Alive, and Other Cubs Bullets

    Sorry for the late bullets this morning. Brett is still working his way back (no pun intended), and I still have some other "running-the-site" duties to address on any given day. To that end, we are working on some stuff...

    Cubs Prospect Reginald Preciado Making Some Early Noise

    When the Cubs traded Yu Darvish to the Padres, everyone understood it to be two things: (1) saving some payroll in the wake of the pandemic, and (2) getting a volume-based return to stock up the farm system. In other...

    Jose Cuas is Headed to Iowa, So the Cubs Must Be Making a Bullpen Move

    As spotted by a number of eagle-eyed folks out there, the Chicago Cubs transaction page was updated tonight to include this line: "Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Jose Cuas to Iowa Cubs." There is no corresponding move listed. Yet. That means...

    The Chicago Cubs’ Bonus Pool for the 2024 MLB Draft is Smaller Than You Probably Hoped

    The full bonus pools for the upcoming 2024 MLB Draft are out, and the Chicago Cubs, despite picking 14th in the first round, will have only the 19th largest bonus pool, at $9,802,300. Thanks to compensatory draft picks and -...

    Latest News

    Tyrese Maxey Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Magic – Friday, April 12, 2024

    To beat his 3-point over/under, Tyrese Maxey must make three from beyond the arc on Friday, when his Philadelphia 76ers play the Orlando Magic on Friday at 7:00 PM ET.Tyrese Maxey's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the MagicTyrese Maxey's over/under for...

    Tobias Harris Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Magic – Friday, April 12, 2024

    To beat his 3-point over/under, Tobias Harris must make two from downtown on Friday, when his Philadelphia 76ers face the Orlando Magic on Friday at 7:00 PM ET.Tobias Harris' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the MagicTobias Harris' over/under for three-pointers in...

    Prioritizing the Miami Dolphins NFL Draft: Top 3 Positions to Address

    The Miami Dolphins are poised for a pivotal offseason in 2024. They boast a young core with a bright future, but key departures on both sides of the ball have created some glaring holes. With just two picks over the...

    Justin Fields is Working on Ball Placement (Which is Great News for the Bears)

    Let me be clear out of the gate. I'm not going to make it a habit to obsessively write up Justin Fields posts this year. Fields is no longer the Chicago Bears quarterback. And with Caleb Williams on his way...

    Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

    The Bulls, or at least whichever of them is actually playing tonight, take on the Wizards in a game that means quite literally nothing. Let's have some fun! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778845326654185912 Game Info Chicago Bulls (38-42) at Washington Wizards (15-65) – 6:00...

    Mikal Bridges Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Knicks – Friday, April 12, 2024

    Mikal Bridges' Brooklyn Nets face the New York Knicks on Friday at 7:30 PM ET, and to beat his 3-point over/under, he needs to make three from beyond the arc.Mikal Bridges' Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the KnicksMikal Bridges' over/under for...

    Jordan Poole Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Friday, April 12, 2024

    To beat his 3-point prop, Jordan Poole must make four from beyond the arc on Friday, when his Washington Wizards face the Chicago Bulls, tipping off at 7:00 PM ET.Jordan Poole's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the BullsJordan Poole's over/under for...

    Prioritizing the Kansas City Chiefs NFL Draft: Top 4 Positions to Address

    The Kansas City Chiefs, despite their perennial playoff presence and back-to-back Super Bowl wins, have some key areas to address in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft. While Patrick Mahomes remains a force, a strong supporting cast is vital for sustained...

    Bulls Injury Report: Ready for Restpalooza Against the Wizards?

    If you've been anxiously awaiting more Henri Drell minutes, I've got good news for you! The Chicago Bulls' latest injury report suggests that the team will proceed with extra caution over the final two games of the regular season. And...

    Chicago Cubs Lineup: A New Series Begins in Seattle

    CUBS LINEUP β€” Don't shoot the messenger, but this Cubs game doesn't start until 8:40pm CT ... and it's on AppleTV+. I don't make the rules. In any case, it's been a nice long break since the frustrating series in...

    more cubs news