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White Sox Scorecard: 2023 Pitching Performances to Forget

Chicago White Sox starting pitching warms up during 2020 Spring Training.

The White Sox have had a recently terrible pitching run. But was it their worst? These are the worst pitching performances of the year.

Though the Chicago White Sox have had some collectively amazing pitching streakss where they have been absolutely unhittable and stingy with runs, the majority of the season has led them to a collective ERA of 4.80 and WHIP of 1.40.

In the last four games, the White Sox are giving up an average of 11 runs a game. It is an absolutely astounding number. The Pale Hose lost to Colorado 14-1, 11-5, and then beat them 10-5. On August 21, they lost to the Seattle Mariners 14-2.

The White Sox are 26th in ERA in MLB at 4.81, so this four-game stretch is even bad by their standards. But are these the worst pitching performances of the year? Maybe, maybe not.

Every pitcher has a bad day, and you can go as far to say that you aren’t really pitching if you don’t have bad days. The White Sox inconsistent pitching has been part of the frustration this season, so it is fair to point out some of the epic fails.

Here are the Top 8 most disappointing pitching performances of the year:

8. RHP Kendall Graveman, April 27 through April 30

Relief pitchers are a special breed. They appear in high leverage situations and they either hold the score or they don’t. From April 27 through April 30 (all against Tampa Bay), Graveman had three appearances and gave up a run in all three. On April 27, the game was already out of hand, 12-2, in the 7th inning when Graveman came out of the bullpen. Graveman, hardly the worst pitcher of the day, gave up a run on one hit, which was a home run.

On April 28, Graveman came in the ninth with the score tied 2-2. Though he struck out two, he gave up another home run and took the loss.

On April 30, the White Sox were up 4-2 in the eighth when RHP Reynaldo Lopez combined with Graveman to give up five runs. Graveman gave up two, one earned, two strikeouts, and you guessed it, a home run. Amazingly, the White Sox scored seven runs in the ninth to pull out the win.

Graveman would not give up another earned run until June 11, an incredible run. But in the end of April, he had a stretch to forget.

7. RHP Lucas Giolito, July 18

Giolito joins the entire White Sox pitching staff with a roller coaster year. His 4.44 ERA is just over his career average of 4.35, and his WHIP of 1.27 is slightly up form his career 1.25.

On July 18 against the struggling New York Mets, Giolito pitched 3 and 2/3 innings, gave up six hits, five walks, struck out five, with a phenomenally bad eight earned runs. Three of the six hits were home runs.

However, Giolito would not be outdone. On August 2, in the same number of innings, he gave nine runs on eight hits, three walks, and two strikeouts. And yes, three home runs. But he did this with the Los Angeles Angels, not the White Sox. Thanks for the prospects, LA.

6. RHP Joe Kelly, May 27

On May 27, against the Tigers, Joe Kelly came out of the bullpen in the seventh inning with the White Sox leading 3-2. After just one out, Kelly had done the damage. Four hits, three earned runs, and a home run, and Detroit took the lead and won the game. RHP Aaron Bummer came in to finish the inning.

Relief pitching is very hard.

5. RHP Bryan Shaw, July 14

Atlanta was up 5-0 in the seventh inning when Bryan Shaw entered in relief. The seventh would end with the Braves up 9-0. Shaw didn’t give up any long balls but gave up four hits and four runs in just two outs. That is why he is below replacement level this season.

4. RHP Lance Lynn, April 6

On April 6, the season was four games old, and the White Sox were still .500. Lance Lynn received the start against San Francisco in front of an excited Guaranteed Rate crowd. Coming back from injury, Lynn only played half of 2022, and the second half was really good.

Now we would have a full year of Lance Lynn, who was a Cy Young runner up just a couple of years ago. Lynn would kick off the season with 4 and 1/3-inning effort, giving up nine hits, three walks, eight earned runs, including three home runs.

This outing would be a precursor to the rest of the season for Lynn whose ERA stands at 5.60, almost two full runs above his career 3.68. Though he is eighth in strikeouts and has performed really well since being traded to the Dodgers, Lynn left the White Sox with a 6.47 ERA.

3. RHP Gregory Santos, August 16

Against the cross-town rival Chicago Cubs on August 16, Santos came in the ninth to hold a 3-1 lead. After solidifying no outs, walking one, and giving up another hit, he gave up a three-run, walk-off home run to DH Christopher Morel.

The game will be memorialized as symbolic of a year that just never went the White Sox way, even when it looked like the odds were in their favor.

2. RHP Michael Kopech April 3

In his first start of the season, Kopech gave up seven runs in 4 and 2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits with an amazing five of those going over the wall.

But that really wasn’t Kopech’s worst day (sorry for the subterfuge). Kopech was involved in the aforementioned debacle that was the recent Rockies series. Kopech gave up five runs in the bottom of the first, had two scoreless innings, then gave up four in the bottom of the 4th.

In the end, Kopech gave up nine runs in four innings, with six hits, three home runs, and four walks. And that outing came against a last-place team.

  1. RHP Dylan Cease, August 2

The only reason Cease is first on the list is because he is the White Sox ace. When seemingly everything but CF Luis Robert, Jr. is going wrong this season, you want the ace to hold down the fort. Just one year removed from being the Cy Young runner up, Cease sports a 4.50 ERA (career 3.77) and 1.41 WHIP (career 1.30).

On August 2 against the stellar Texas Rangers, Cease had a rocky start by giving up two runs in the first inning. Little did we know, it would get much worse. With just two outs in the second inning, the score was 7-0.

Cease would end with 1 and 2/3 innings, seven hits, seven earned runs, and one home run. After just five outs, he was at 80 pitches. Cease would rebound against the Yankees a week later, beating Gerrit Cole with a 5 and 1/3-inning, one hit and zero earned-run performance. Yet an incredible seven walks led to 104 pitches.

All statistics through Monday, August 21.

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