There was a masterpiece tossed by Dylan Covey, who combined a full return to health, new changeup, surprising secondary strength of his curve, and catch ’em where they hit ’em defense to come thisclose to a complete game: 8 1⁄3 innings, two hits, two walks, five Ks and an 87 game score.
“I was getting deep into counts early on, but one the fourth inning hit things started to click for me: Throw the ball over the plate and let them hit the ball into the ground — that’s my game,” Covey told Jason Benetti and Steve Stone afterward.
Covey took a no-hitter through 5 1⁄3 before allowing a sharp single up the middle to Dee Gordon. Covey was paying no attention to a no-no, however.
“No, I was just going out there trying to compete and keep the lead for us, make quality pitches and try to go as deep as I could,” he said.
The timing of Covey settling down in the game and getting some quick outs came mostly after being handed a 3-0 lead, courtesy of another Avisaíl García long ball, his ninth in his last 14 games:
Picking up right where he left off! pic.twitter.com/SU9WBcq7JX— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 22, 2018
And the most delightful moment of the game came late, with Covey just knocked out of the box after a one-out Jean Segura single in the ninth. Joakim Soria came on and delivered a center-cut, 90.8 mph fastball to Mitch Haniger, who clocked it.
Leury García burned down the house with this gem:
The play in less of a Rankin-Bass delivery:
“That was pretty sweet, unbelievable,” Covey said postgame. “I’m going to go and give [Leury] a big hug, because that was my run on first, too.”
Omar Narváez continued his torrid hitting (2-for-3, double, two runs scored) and threw out Segura at third base on a steal attempt. Yolmer Sánchez had two hits, but an 11th error, while Avisaíl’s big bop overshadowed strikeouts in his other three at-bats.