The South Siders won going away, 6-1, in a contest that commenced as Michael Kopech Day and ended some five hours later, in a soggy echo chamber of a ballpark.
The White Sox might want to consider employing “The Opener” for Kopech’s future starts, as showers have forced him out of two of his first three major league starts. (Matt Davidson, are you out there?)
Kopech got three innings in during this particular pre-soak cycle. He allowed just one hit and one walk, with a strikeout, lowering his season ERA to 0.82. Yeah, he drilled two Carmines, but given that Kopech Sr. is a huge Nolan Ryan fan, it’s possible this is just Jr.’s more efficient way of issuing a walk. The fireballer threw 22 of 36 pitches for strikes and left with a game score of 55.
Both leadoff men led off with bruises in the form of HBPs. In Mookie Betts’s case, he was eventually picked off of second base, thanks to an acrobatic tag by Yoán Moncada. Yolmer Sánchez, on the other hand, would be doubled home by Avisaíl García, who then scored on Moncada’s homer.
After the third inning, the rains came hard, some sort of “cow p——— on a flat rock” hard, and I gotta say, the Hawkeroo can still surprise; haven’t heard that cornponey piece of cowboy poetry quite yet.
Two hours and nine minutes later, the game resumed with Drew Pomeranz subbing for Bosox starter Nathan Eovaldi, Dylan Covey tagging in for Kopech.
Scoring stayed silent until after the seventh-inning stretch, when Matt Davidson turned on a center-cut fastball from Tyler Thornburg for a three-run bomb.
Boston got back a tick in the eighth, when Andrew Benintendi lofted a lazy fly that sliced inside the foul pole in left for a solo shot. But that was all the damage the Red Sox would do on Kopech Day.
Ian Hamilton — who wasn’t even in the ballpark at game time, due to a late call-up from Charlotte — lit up the gun in his major league debut, getting Eduardo Nuñez on a first-pitch ground out to Moncada and throwing five of six pitches for 97-98 mph fastballs.
Hamilton’s inning was as clean as they get, and another brick in the foundation of the rebuild got his feet wet this season.
Quoth Kopech, postgame, by Scot Gregor: “Since I’ve been here, we’ve been a winning team.”
Overall, this game was a tasty one. On the pitching end, not a blemish in the bunch, for even Juan Minaya’s surrendered homer to Benintendi was a bit fluky. All told, Kopech, Covey, Minaya and Hamilton combined for just five hits and two walks against six Ks for the game.
On offense, García tapped two total doubles as part of a 3-for-4 night, Davidson added three hits, and Kevan Smith struck for two; the attack totaled 14 safeties. Both home runs for the White Sox came with two outs. CLUTCH.
Hey man, don’t look now, but the White Sox stand a chance of securing at least a wash in this series, sending out the skull-on-fire hot Carlos Rodón on Saturday vs. Eduardo Rodriguez. It shapes up as a pitcher’s duel — starting one hour early for fireworks, pards — but could also get just as soggy as tonight’s tilt.