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Chicago White Sox: Lance McCullers dominates to a victory

HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 07: Starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. #43 pitches during the 7th inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 07: Starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. #43 pitches during the 7th inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park on October 07, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox were dominated in the first game of the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros. They lost the game by a final score of 6-1 and things were never really close. Houston’s offense got to Lance Lynn early and the White Sox had no answer for Lance McCullers Jr. It was over before it started.

We knew that the White Sox needed their Lance to be better than Houston’s Lance and that wasn’t the case. McCullers literally dominated the White Sox lineup that is loaded with great hitters.

McCullers didn’t do much work with the strikeout as he only had four. However, he only allowed four hits and didn’t walk anybody so the White Sox clearly couldn’t figure him out over 6.2 innings. Houston’s bullpen was a little shaky after McCullers came out but the lead was clearly too much o wake up for.

So now, the White Sox face an 0-1 series deficit. They are back at it against the Astros tomorrow with Lucas Giolito on the mound. He will face Houston’s Framber Valdez who is also a very good pitcher. For some reason, there will be a much larger bit of confidence from the White Sox with this matchup.

The Chicago White Sox are nowhere near done in this 2021 postseason.

Giolito wasn’t as good as Lynn for the whole season but he was significantly better than everyone in the second half. Giolito also historically performs much better against the Astros than Lynn has in his Major League career. He was also brilliant in his one playoff start in 2020 so we can hope for more of that this time around.

Going into the playoffs, we always knew that the White Sox just needed to take one of the two games in Houston. This is their opportunity to do that with hopes of playing in two home games after. The key will be Gioltio throwing a good game and the offense having more luck against Valdez than they did against McCullers. They might need to change their approach just a little bit in this one.

We can only hope that the confidence of the team isn’t ruined. It is up to Tony La Russa to get these guys up and ready to play this second game. You should expect to see an entirely different game from the one we just saw.

One player who deserves some praise is Yoan Moncada. He was brilliant at the plate with a hit, walk, and some stellar defensive third base. If he brings this level of play the rest of the series and his teammates join him, they are far from dead.

Giolito can’t be as bad as Lynn and McCullers is done for a couple of days. It is fair to tip your cap to the Astros ace and move on. Expect a big game from Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu in game two as all of them seemed to wake up late in the game.

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