|Struggling White Sox face tough test in Keuchel, Astros|
CHICAGO -- Even before the season began, the Chicago White Sox realized that this year would not be one to focus on wins and losses.
As the White Sox continue to look to the future, however, they have struggled perhaps more than expected. Having the defending World Series champions in town this weekend won't make things any easier.
The White Sox will take their 4-13 record into Saturday's game after the Astros were dominant in a 10-0 victory Friday night that extended Chicago's losing streak to five games and nine of 10.
General manager Rick Hahn is doing his best to keep the big picture in mind. But still, the losing hasn't been easy to deal with.
"Obviously, we haven't been thrilled with the wins and losses," Hahn told the Chicago Sun-Times before Friday's loss. "As an organization, we haven't shied away from the fact that we're two years into a rebuild right now and that there are going to be difficult stretches and that there are going to be growing pains.
"That said, we're all competitors, we're all watching these games and wanting to see the team battle through and come out ahead, and when we don't, it's frustrating."
The White Sox managed only two hits on Friday as Chicago's skid continued. Like Hahn, manager Rick Renteria is attempting to remain positive.
The White Sox will send Lucas Giolito to the mound on Saturday. Giolito (0-2, 5.50 ERA) last pitched on April 12, when he walked five and surrendered three earned runs. Giolito is 0-1 in his lone career start against the Astros. He allowed only two runs in 6 2/3 innings and struck out three.
On Saturday, he will attempt to get the White Sox back on track after another tough loss Friday.
"From the perspective that the win/loss record is indicative or a tell (a story) of who you are or not, do I wish we had more wins in the column? Absolutely," Renteria told reporters Friday. "Can I use that solely as the indicator of who we are? Not necessarily. I mean, look at all the factors that are involved in what goes on 1/8on 3/8 a day-to-day basis. Winning is ultimately the end goal. Make no mistake about it, there are no players on that field, young or old, that want to come to a ballgame and lose. They want to win."
The Astros carry a four-game win streak in Saturday's game and will turn to Dallas Keuchel, who is attempting to get things on track. Keuchel (0-3, 3.52) has dropped two of his past two outings, when he has given up a combined five earned runs and has struck out 12. Keuchel is 2-4 in seven career starts against the White Sox with a 4.12 ERA.
Despite being winless this season, Keuchel believes he is moving closer to regaining the form that earned him a Cy Young award in 2015.
Coming off Friday night's 10-run output, the Astros will look to give Keuchel more to work with than they did when he took the loss despite throwing a complete game in a 2-1 loss to Seattle.
"We just have no margin for error, but our starter keeps giving us plenty of opportunities," manager A.J. Hinch told reporters after Keuchel's last start. "If we keep doing that, we're going to be happy with it."