Your followed-from-work bullet-point recap...
*It would’ve been fun to see what this game would’ve looked like had the White Sox taken advantage of even one scoring opportunity outside of the second inning. The White Sox went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, wasting excellent chances in the fifth (bases loaded on HBPs, one out), sixth (second and third, nobody out) and eighth (first and third, nobody out). Tyler Saladino had an especially rough day, dousing two of those rallies with a strikeout and a double play.
*The one hit? A two-run double by Carlos Rodon off John Lackey with two outs in the second inning. He was a decent hitter at N.C. State, and it showed when he hammered a first-pitch fastball to the right center gap for his first major-league hit.
*Unfortunately, Rodon had already dug himself a 3-0 hole at the time thanks to a three-run homer by Willson Contreras. He had major problems finding Omar Narvaez’s mitt with his fastball, forcing him to rely heavily on his slider to work out of larger trouble.
*His slider was its usual self, though, which resulted in a historic line line: 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 11 K, 1 HR, with 58 of 98 pitches for strikes. Why is it historic?
Rodon is the 1st pitcher since at least 1913 to work 4.0 IP or less in a start or relief appearance & record 11 strikeouts or more. (STATS)— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 25, 2017
*Rodon struck out Kris Bryant three times, and the third was a pitch so far off the plate and Bryant ended up earning his first career ejection.
*He was pulled after four, so a bullpen that was without Anthony Swarzak had to try keeping a 4-2 game close. That didn’t quite work out, as Chris Beck’s two walks came around to score in the sixth inning, and Tyler Clippard had yet to post a scoreless outing with the Sox.
*Beck earned points for plunking Ian Happ on the leg to start the fifth, and keeping him from scoring. Lackey drilled four White Sox over the first four innings, including Jose Abreu twice, causing Hawk Harrelson to develop an unquenchable third for Cubbie blue blood. Lance Barksdale hadn’t issued a warning at any point, so Beck made sure he got in a shot before a Cub pitcher closed that door with a fifth HBP.
*And it could’ve worked for the Sox offense, because Lackey came out in the sixth staying away from Sox hitters. The result? An Omar Narvaez walk and an Adam Engel double, after which Lackey was pulled. Then came Carl Edwards Jr., who struck out Saladino, got Melky Cabrera to tap back to the mound, then struck out Abreu to end the second of three threats.
*Narvaez had a perfect day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two walks. Alas, nobody else can say the same.
*Yoan Moncada went 0-for-2 with a strikeout, walk and HBP.