Now that was the Reynaldo López that Chicago White Sox fans had hoped to see consistently this season. It seems like a start or two ago, because the game took 13 innings, but Lopey certainly had it going for him tonight.
It was in a losing effort, 4-3 to the New York Yankees in 13 innings, but Lopez turned in a similar performance to his eight-inning outing against the Texas Rangers back in May.
Finishing with a 67 game score, Lopez worked through seven innings against one of the best lineups in the major leagues. He gave up just one run and walked only two. López also added six strikeouts to go along with some soft contact off the bats of the Yankees hitters. His fastball was sitting mid-to-upper 90s, and his slider and changeups were good enough (when he eventually threw them).
There was some hard contact, though.
Adam Engel helped Lopey preserve a no-hitter for the time being in the fifth inning. Engel leaped over the left-center field wall to take away a home run from Kyle Higashioka. This came just one day after Engel robbed Greg Bird of a homer about 10 feet from the spot of tonight’s theft.
López’s reaction to Engel’s catch was just awesome. He couldn’t stop smiling, tipping his cap and hitting his mitt in appreciation of Engel’s grab. I like that about López. He’s not afraid to show some flair and emotion on the pitcher’s mound. He has every right to do it, and he should keep having fun out there.
Miguel Andujar did, however, pounce on a López fastball in the seventh and deposited it into the left field bleachers to tie up the game.
López became a bit predictable with his pitches as the game progressed, continually trying to throw fastballs by hitters when he got ahead of them. That’s fine, but incorporating more changeups and sliders would have added a few more “K’s” to the box score.
Not taking anything away from López’s performance tonight, but there’s always room for improvement as he develops. Once he finds a way to get his straight changeup over more consistently, look out. That will play, along with his 96-98 mph fastball.
The bullpen did a great job in relief of López until Tyler Danish entered the game. Juan Minaya retired all five batters he faced, and Jace Fry went one inning and allowed only one baserunner — but that runner would score on a Giancarlo Stanton opposite-field home run off Danish.
Xavier Cedeño also threw two innings of scoreless baseball.
As for the offense tonight, Jose Abreu gave the White Sox an early 1-0 lead with a lined sacrifice fly to left field to score Omar Narváez. With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Abreu lined a two-run home run over the center field wall to tie things back up.
It wasn’t until the top of the 13th inning until the Yankees broke through on an Andujar RBI single. That sealed up the victory for the Yanks.
The Sox drop to 41-72, while the Yankees improve to 70-42.