White Sox snap skid behind Crochet's 10-K start

June 8th, 2024

CHICAGO -- The streak is over. The White Sox have won a baseball game.

After a single-season franchise record 14 straight losses, the White Sox cruised to a 7-2 victory over Boston on Friday night at Guaranteed Rate Field behind staff ace (6-5). The White Sox fell one short of their all-time losing streak of 15, which featured five straight losses at the end of the 1967 season and 10 straight to start the 1968 campaign.

“Happy day. I won’t have to hear about that streak anymore,” said White Sox manager Pedro Grifol in his opening postgame comments. “The boys played well.”

“No one wants to have a streak that goes that long,” Crochet said. “But it's part of the game."

Crochet was the pitcher of record when the White Sox (16-48) last won a game on May 21 in Toronto. In fact, Crochet has been the winning pitcher in five of the 10 White Sox victories since the start of May. The southpaw struck out 10 against two walks in six innings and 91 pitches, giving up one earned run, as he moved to the top of the American League strikeout list with 103.

His 75 2/3 innings thrown are his highest total at any level of competition, and Grifol spoke before the victory about having a plan to keep Crochet’s total in check during his first highly successful year as a starter. Maybe it’s a skipped start, or seven or eight days of rest between outings. It could even be a 50-pitch or 75-pitch effort.

But the southpaw feels good, benefitting from the five-day routine of a starter. He’s quickly ascended to not just the top of the White Sox rotation, but one of the better starters in the American League.

"It all goes back to the conversation that we've talked about -- I don't know, a dozen times by now -- that I had with [general manager Chris] Getz,” Crochet said. “I've always had a lot of self belief. It was waiting for that opportunity and then taking advantage of it."

“That guy is a [expletive] stud,” said Boston center fielder Jarren Duran of Crochet. “He throws hard, big lefty, good pitches. He was really good. I thought we had some good at-bats early, but then he settled in a little bit, and he made good pitches. He’s a big leaguer, too. He gets paid to do this for a living. He got the best of us today."

Boston (32-32) scored its two runs off Crochet in the third when Crochet threw away Duran’s slow roller toward the mound, allowing Bobby Dalbec to score from first and Duran to get to third.

The White Sox appealed Duran missing first on the play, but as soon as Crochet went to throw to first, Duran broke from third and stole home.

The White Sox were confident Duran missed the base, and they felt Boston knew as well, which is why Grifol told the team not to make a play on Duran and simply focus on the appeal. Crochet made an errant appeal throw, which Andrew Vaughn had to retrieve, and when he eventually stepped on the base, first-base umpire and crew chief Alan Porter ruled Duran safe.

Even with that ruling, Grifol took the postgame onus of the misstep. He could have still challenged that safe call, but he didn’t realize Vaughn had appealed when Grifol checked with home-plate umpire Sean Barber and time still existed to challenge.

“To be honest, I put a little too much pressure on myself,” Crochet said. “I don't want to sail it this way, and I don't want to yank it. I just overthought the throw is all."

Those mistakes were erased by home runs from Luis Robert Jr., Gavin Sheets and Vaughn during the White Sox second win in their last 20 games. The victory also ended an eight-game home losing streak.

Jonathan Cannon, who was called up from Triple-A Charlotte before Friday's game, threw three scoreless innings to complete his first career save. And, yes, there was much postgame joy in the home clubhouse at Guaranteed Rate Field for the first time in more than two weeks.

“Let’s start something new,” Grifol said. “It’s time to move on. This has been a hard couple of weeks, and you can hear them in there. They are getting after it every day, and I’m proud of these guys. They are taking advantage of this opportunity that we talk about all the time.”

“Tough stretch of games there,” Vaughn said. “Played a good one tonight.”