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White Sox 3, Royals 0: Slow offense wins the day

Carlos Rodón pitches another masterpiece, putting the South Siders alone in first place

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals
Carlos Rodón, masterful once more, pitched the White Sox into first place on Friday night.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

First things first, whoever is doing movie trailers for players gets a raise:

The game was off to quite a start with Tim Anderson vs. Brad Keller, and well, I’ll let you decide how you feel about that last strike but ...

Yep, that was a quick half-inning for the White Sox, and we were off to the races. Aside from a walk to Eaton, Keller sliced through the order with no issue. José Abreu appears to have forgotten how to hit the fastball during early at-bats, and collectively the White Sox made a guy with an almost 10.00 ERA look like Cy Young.

The White Sox offense S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E-D, and Keller had a no-hit shutout going into the top of the fifth. And with one out, poof, it ended: Zack Collins hit a home run to center with a 106.5 exit velocity. Andrew Vaughn followed with a single, but Leury García grounded into a double play, because that’s our offense now, and the inning was over.

But the important work was done: We were not getting shut out by Brad “I hate bat flips” Keller.

Actual offense taking place in the top of the sixth started with a one-out double by Anderson, followed by a RBI single from Adam Eaton that brought Anderson home. Yoán Moncada flew out to left but Abreu remembered that he could hit and drove Eaton in with a double, making it 3-0.

The White Sox continue to demonstrate the unwavering ability of players to run the bases poorly when, in the top of the seventh, a fielder’s choice by Madrigal had Collins going home for some reason (despite not having to advance) and inexplicably creating a quasi-rundown situation. Billy Hamilton, having seen Collins advance, was on third and Madrigal advanced to second in all the chaos. Collins scampered past the third base bag and was lucky that he was the only one called out in that fakakta situation after an ump meeting and a replay review (for what it’s worth, the reason they both weren’t called out is because it wasn’t determined that Collins was “passed” by Billy Hamilton standing on third before Collins was tagged).

The Royals managed to be shut down at every opportunity, thankfully. They were leaving runners on base and blanking at the plate.

Liam Hendriks came in to close things (with the added pleasure of not having to run the bases), and gave everyone heart palpitations by pitching into loaded bases from a double by Perez, a catcher’s interference on Collins, and some kind of play where Michael A. Taylor singled to short and Anderson threw to somewhere only he knows. But Hendriks induced a fly out from Nicky López, and the game finally came to a close.

Rodón got the win, going six innings with five hits and eight strikeouts. He is the first White Sox pitcher to give up one earned run or fewer in his first five games since 1918. Keller is now 2-4 with a 7.31 ERA, and the Royals have lost six of their last seven.

The White Sox, at 17-13, are alone in first place. Don’t look back now, South Side!

Random Game Things

My Favorite Tweet of the night:

  • Jason and Len spent a lot of time talking about Angel Hernandez and that missed call “because I lost it in the lights” thing from the other day. People should be surprised when Hernandez gets it right, not when he gets it wrong.
  • Going into today, the White Sox were tied for last in home runs with 25. Honestly, that tracks with what we’ve seen this year so far in terms of offensive productivity.
  • Apparently Peter Sagal was watching the game, which makes me think he’s more of a Len Kasper fan than a White Sox fan.
  • We never got a reason for why the Royals were wearing the “gold number” jerseys that are usually reserved for the reigning World Series champs.
  • Attendance: 16,011 seems like a lot of people for a pandemic that is barely under control.
  • Ozzie called the plate umpire “a very bad umpire” but reminded us that we’re getting Angel Hernandez behind the plate in this series at some point. I miss feisty Ozzie the Manager.
  • This:

Tomorrow’s game is an hour earlier (6:10 p.m.) and will be brought to you by Tommy Barbee (recap) and Chrystal O’Keefe (Six Pack of Stats) so be sure to report back for that!