Carlos Rodón just threw the 20th no-hitter in White Sox history.
The feeling is hard to describe. We’ve seen it before. As a matter of fact, San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove did it earlier this season. But when you see your team, and your pitcher, in your town do it, now that’s something special to a fan base.
One word describes Rodón’s effort tonight: phenomenal. And truly the exact definition of phenomenal. He was perceptible by the senses. Each pitch had pumped adrenaline through our veins and churned the butterflies in our stomachs. Our butts inched closer to the edges of our seats until we were inches from our TVs. We felt the anger and frustration when Rodón’s slider hit off the top of Roberto Pérez’s foot in the ninth inning, but jumped right back into it when Rodón stepped back onto the mound. And when José Abreu raised his arms after the last out, and Rodón was mobbed by his teammates with hugs, we felt ... phenomenal.
The southpaw started the game with a quick first inning, throwing only 13 pitches. He continued that dominance throughout, tallying seven strikeouts over 114 pitches. Cleveland wasn’t shy about putting the ball in play, either. Rodón wouldn’t get his first strikeout until the fourth inning, despite all of his pitches moving the way they were supposed to. Rodón went to five three-ball counts, and trusted his fastball and his defense to get him out of each jam.
“A full team effort,” Rodón said after the game. And the defense was behind him all the way. Leury García made a nice pick at shortstop on a ball that Pérez crushed (xBA .690). And, with none out in the ninth, Abreu stopped Cleveland’s Josh Naylor from reaching first base on a short grounder with an acrobatic slide into first, beating him by a hair. And let us not forget Zack Collins’ master pitch calling behind home plate tonight. There is no doubt that Rodón wouldn’t be celebrating tonight without the hard work Collins put in. The defense was alive tonight.
WHAT A PLAY BY ABREU pic.twitter.com/ZDADG73SOB— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) April 15, 2021
And so were the bats.
Chicago pounced on Cleveland’s Zach Plesac early. Adam Eaton and Luis Robert started the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. Yoán Moncada picked up an RBI on a line drive single, scoring Eaton. And with two on and one out, Yermín “Vroom Vroom” Mercedes hit another MOONSHOT to make it a 4-0 ballgame.
Yermín Mercedes is out of this world. pic.twitter.com/MriYTmaqCr— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 15, 2021
But, Don’t Stop Now, Boys: García and Nick Madrigal both picked up RBIs before the Sox were stopped, finally — by Cleveland relief pitcher Trevor Stephan. The Sox picked up two more runs in the bottom of the third inning, on a ground rule double by Robert and a hit by pitch to Moncada.
Cleveland’s offense obviously wasn’t there because, well, Carlos Rodón.
It’s games like these that inspire not only the fans, but the players as well. That’s exactly what the White Sox need right now, a little inspiration. They have the pieces, the power, and the pitching to put them in a great spot headed into the bulk of the season. And there is nothing more inspiring than a pitcher, his career riddled with injuries (11 appearances in the last two years), non-tendered and re-signed, step in front of his home crowd, and throw a phenomenal 20th no-hitter in White Sox history.
The final out. A spectacular night on the mound for Carlos Rodón! pic.twitter.com/xkYMaLR9vP— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 15, 2021
Congrats, Carlos Rodón!
Umpire Doug Eddings had an outstanding game, right along with Rodón: