On a night when Kevan Smith (!) batted cleanup, and facing a C.C. Sabathia who had largely shut them down three weeks ago in Chicago, it seemed the White Sox would be hard-pressed to plate many runs in Wednesday’s rubber game.
That’s before Ryan LaMarre wreaked havoc on Gotham.
The fleet left fielder rapped out three extra-base hits (two RBI doubles and a home run), singlehandedly providing enough offense to secure a White Sox win over the New York Yankees, 4-1.
A solid night of LaMarre Ball. pic.twitter.com/QHebglbufx— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 30, 2018
LaMarre had just seven extra-base hits heading into the game, but little did anyone realize that he enjoys feasting on C.C. (OK, he’d just snacked, at 2-for-5 with a double and two Ks). In the second inning, the righty tapped a two-run double to right, and chased it with an RBI double screaming down the left-field line in the fourth.
So, upgrade LaMarre’s meal to a feast, at 4-for-7 with three doubles, three RBIs and two Ks career vs. Sabathia.
In the sixth, just for kicks, LaMarre went oppo for a solo shot against Chad Green, which closed out the scoring for the White Sox and the game itself.
Reynaldo López had better luck than C.C. in revisiting his opponent of three weeks past. In early August, López held New York to one run over seven innings in an eventual loss, but the righthander wreaked revenge on the upwardly-mobile Yanks in this one.
It was a crazy start for López, whose velocity was down in the first inning, and slowly ticked upward in each inning thereafter, finally normalizing in the fifth. He ended up going seven innings and took another game past 100 pitches (108), giving up one earned on five hits and two walks against six Ks, for a 71 game score — tied for his third-best of the season and tops in almost three months.
He did it without relying on gas, obviously. López turned to off-speed to carry himself through the game, cranking fastballs on less than 50% of his offerings. Close to every one of his 13 swinging strikes on Wednesday came off of his changeup, as devastating a pitch as we’ve seen from López in 2018.
López held his lead in thrilling fashion in the fifth inning. Touched already for one run and filling the bases with one out, he destroyed Brett Gardner on a curve-fastball-curve-change combo that got the lefty chasing. With two down, up stepped Giancarlo Stanton, finally off the schneid after a mini-slump. But on a first-pitch heater dialed up to 97.5 mph, the ball got through Smith and back to the screen, and it took an extraordinary peg from Smith and stupendous backhand snag on the short hop + tag by López to cut down the advancing Gleyber Torres at the plate.
Just going to act like we planned that. pic.twitter.com/o0tKOhecC0— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 30, 2018
That wasn’t the only outstanding D in the game. Yolmer Sánchez was aces at third, Adam Engel did an opposite-home run snag with a crazy diving catch in shallow center, and Avisaíl García stole a four-bagger from greedy Neil Walker.
The White Sox return home tomorrow, to begin a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox. Michael Kopech hurls on Friday, and perhaps all our wildest dreams will come true over the weekend when A Boy Named Eloy finally steps inside Sox Park.