At midseason, South Side Sox asked readers who would be the 2019 Opening Day starter, and in something short of a shock, the winner was Carlos Rodón.
With the start Rodón opened his second half with tonight, someone else on the staff is going to have to rear up something fierce between now and April for the snidely southpaw to get knocked off of the first start of next season.
On Tuesday, Rodón further solidified his status as the staff ace, with an absolute gem in the Chicago White Sox’s 4-2 over the Angels. Sneaky sliders and devilish heaters slipped from the hand of a man whose unbuttoned top screams beerleaguer, stymieing the Angels at every turn.
The Angels were in fact hitless through 5 2⁄3 innings, before Andrelton Simmons singled to center on a Baltimore chop — and good even came of that safety, as Simmons took an aggressive turn at first and was extinguished by Yolmer Sánchez, ending the inning 8-5-3 after laser beams from Adam Engel and Sánchez. Talk about a Kangaroo Court fine for A-ton: Mike Trout stood on deck, drooling at the chance to hit with runners at the corners.
In the end, Rodón tossed 7 2⁄3 innings and allowed just two hits and three walks against eight Ks. Two earned runs on his tab came with an assist from Juan Minaya, whose meltdown (RBI double, HBP, walked-in run) cashed the scores in.
Minaya aside, Chicago’s pitching was brilliant.
Rodón turned in a 78 game score, and coupled with the 80 he threw in his last outing vs. the St. Louis Cardinals two weeks ago has now authored the third- and fourth-best starts for the South Siders this season. In those last two outings, Rodón has tossed 15 innings with 15 Ks and given up five hits, two earned and five walks (1.20 ERA, 0.67 WHIP).
For a guy who’s made eight starts, that ain’t bad.
After Jeanmar Gómez came on to rescue Minaya, who was straightjacketed off the mound with the bases full in the eighth, Joakim Soria took the ninth and earned his 16th save, allowing a hit against a K.
On a team with just 36 wins, 16 saves ain’t bad, either.
Offensively, the White Sox had a second straight game cashing in more of the opportunities on the table than the Angels did, without doing any one thing too spectacularly.
The first run of the contest came via BASE ON BALLS OFFENSE, José Abreu taking a five-pitch walk from kinda young, kinda wild ANA starter Felix Peña. This comes one night after Kevan Smith’s steely absorption of a sixth-inning fastball from Hansel Robles to tally Chicago’s final run.
Other scores came via an Avisaíl García sac fly, Yoán Moncada solo shot and Nicky Delmonico single.
[Something is up with the Moncada homer highlights, as his last two cut off right before what is quickly becoming his tradition, giving Abreu a sweet hug in the on-deck circle after his clout. Whoever is editing these clips is ignoring the bromance in the air.]
It was a banner day for the keystone combo of Moncada and Tim Anderson, with both bagging two hits and combining on a 4-for-8, three-run, RBI, day. Yoán added a walk, TA chipped in a K.
It will be a tall hill to climb tomorrow, as the White Sox seek the series win and keep hopes of brooming away the Angels alive; James Shields takes the bump against the Angels’ top starter this season, Tyler Skaggs.
Catch a catnap after work, or brew up a pot after dinner, sitaspell, and see if the Chisox can keep this improbable run going.