Chicago White Sox are limited to 3 hits against Justin Verlander in a 5-1 loss to the New York Mets

20 July 2023

Andrew Benintendi lined a single back up the middle to begin the fourth inning.

It was the first hit of the game for the Chicago White Sox against New York Mets starter Justin Verlander. They wouldn’t get another until a seventh-inning home run by Luis Robert Jr.

The Sox were limited to three hits against Verlander and reliever Adam Ottavino in a 5-1 loss to the Mets in front of 34,873 on Wednesday at Citi Field.

“He had his good stuff tonight,” first baseman Gavin Sheets said of Verlander. “He threw the ball well. He attacked us. Attacked us in multiple different ways. It’s a veteran guy who threw the ball well tonight.”

A night after a wild 11-10 Mets win in the series opener, Verlander’s pitching took over. He allowed the one run on three hits — the Benintendi single, Robert homer and an infield hit by Sheets — with seven strikeouts and one walk in eight innings.

“There were some really good things we’ve been doing in the last week or so against some really good pitching and good teams,” Sheets said. “Tonight Justin had his stuff. Hopefully we come back out tomorrow and get after them early.”

Sox starter Touki Toussaint had one stretch of wildness in the fourth that proved costly. He walked two in the inning and hit a batter. They all came in to score during a four-run inning.

“That middle inning kind of got me, the fourth,” Toussaint said. “Not too fond of that. Other than that, I thought I bounced back pretty well. Just that fourth inning. I have to get ahead of guys instead of walking them.”

Toussaint allowed five runs on four hits with three strikeouts and four walks in six innings.

“I was attacking guys (earlier) and in the fourth I walked the first guy,” Toussaint said. “Hit by pitch and it kind of snowballed a little bit. I need to do a better job of minimizing that and getting out as quick as I can.”

Verlander did just that in a game that lasted 2 hours, 6 minutes.

“These guys have faced him before,” Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “They know pitch shapes, they know kind of what he does. You can game plan all you want, you’ve just got to keep him in the strike zone. I don’t know how many chases we had today. I would venture to say we had a few that got us in some bad counts.

“It’s tough to hit somebody like that if you’re chasing pitches because he moves the ball around pretty good. He’s got a nice mix. At the end of the day against anybody you game plan, you’ve got to stay in the strike zone.”

Verlander had at least one strikeout in four of the first five innings, including two in the first and fifth.

“We’re all talking about how he’s attacking us,” Sheets said. “It seemed like tonight everybody had a little different story. He was attacking everybody individually. Credit to him, he had a good game plan and executed it well.”

After taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves in the first series following the All-Star break, the Sox have lost two in a row to the Mets to match their season high of 17 games under .500 (40-57).

“To lose two in a row, it’s a huge blow, it doesn’t matter who you just finished beating,” Grifol said. “These are games, yesterday we had an opportunity to win. And today we had the one bad inning and just couldn’t get anything going offensively.”


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