The Chicago White Sox have recorded back-to-back wins and are one win away from taking their first series of this shortened 2020 season. This is a series the Good Guys have to win if they want to make the playoffs. And in that sense they are off to a fantastic start, outlasting the Royals and making just four hits stand up.
Dallas Keuchel did what Dallas Keuchel does, even when his pitches were not totally there. Keuchel had an easy first, but the following 4 1⁄3 innings pitched were a bit labored. However, the veteran found a way to pitch well and minimize the damage without having his best stuff. Dallas gave up two runs off of seven hits. He walked one, struck out two, and he did give up a solo shot.
Kris Bubic gave up a leadoff double to Tim Anderson to start the ballgame and walked Yoán Moncada. However, Bubic pitched fairly well; he was hit awfully hard, but he kept the damage down. If not for one fateful pitch, the Royals would have been the winning team. Bubic pitched four innings and gave up three runs via the dreadful home run. He’ll have to work on pitch location, ahem James McCann ahem, but the rookie did well overall.
Ryan O’Hearn and Maikel Franco found themselves in the top three pressure plays of this game. However, O’Hearn edges out Franco to take the overall honors. The first out in a save opportunity is a tough one to get, but much needed. Alex Colomé induced a 3.65 LI full-count ground out off of Ryan’s bat for the first out in the ninth.
In his one pinch-hit at-bat, O’Hearn carries over to this stat as well. He faced a total 3.65 pLI, congruent to his pressure play LI. Similar to Zack Collins a few nights ago, one AB held all the pressure.
Of course, the top play is the winning play. Even though it occurred in the second, it was just what the White Sox needed to seal the win. With two runners on, Adam Engel drove a ball to left field, clearing the fences for a three-run shot! It gave the South Siders a 3-0 lead and their only runs of the ballgame.
Colomé’s 1-2-3 ninth inning gives the now-closer MVP honors for tonight’s game! With a one-run lead, Alex induced a ground out, nailed Whit Merrifield at first on his bunt attempt, and struck out Aldaberto Modnesi for the 27th out of the game. Because his previous effort at Cleveland was a 4-0 victory, this was Alex’s first save of the year, and it could not have come at a better time!
Magic Number: 3
José Abreu has greatly improved his defense in the limited games he has played this season. He absolutely snagged O’Hearn’s ninth-inning ground out, which saved a leadoff double. This pick was snazzy and was a must-snag. And he had at least one other, dare I say, nimble play behind the bag earlier in the game. The first base position (3) is Abreu’s to lose.