What an ending: Cue “Sweet Home, Chicago!”
The Chicago White Sox beat Cleveland 2-1 this afternoon, in a pitchers’ duel that ended with all sorts of excitement.
We saw Reynaldo López have a solid outing from the bullpen, Craig Kimbrel and Liam Hendriks go back-to-back with scoreless innings for the first time, and a Brian Goodwin walk-off home run to send everyone home in the bottom of the ninth inning.
This game was definitely a statement, and now at 62-44, the South Siders have a nine-game lead in the AL Central.
Jimmy Lambert started off the game for the White Sox, and was able to get out of a jam in the first inning to prevent any scoring. With runners on first and second with one out, Franmil Reyes grounded into a double play. Plus, we got to see the new Tim Anderson to César Hernández duo turn it.
Lambert continued to cruise by Cleveland in the top of the second, as he pitched a 1-2-3 inning of his own. Quantrill got into some trouble in the bottom half of the inning after allowing a leadoff single to Gavin Sheets. With one out, Adam Engel and Brian Goodwin were walked to load the bases. Unfortunately Leury García grounded into a double play.
To lead off the top of the third, Myles Straw hit a solo home run, his first in a Cleveland uniform, to make it a 1-0 ballgame. Protecting a 1-0 lead, Quantrill pitched a scoreless bottom half of the third.
Lambert was replaced by López to start the fourth inning, having gone three innings with just two hits and one run. Following the game, Lambert was optioned back to Triple-A Charlotte and a corresponding move will be made prior to Tuesday night’s game. Seems like Luis Robert or Jake Lamb will be back on the South Side to face the Royals.
A lot of people have been asking; is López back? Well, he made quite a case for himself with his outing today, as he started his outing with a 1-2-3 inning, while Quantrill stuck out the side in the bottom of the fourth. López carried on into the top of the fifth inning, going 1-2-3 again, while Quantrill got into some trouble in the bottom half. After Goodwin reached on error, Seby Zavala walked with one out, and Hernández singled with two outs. With José Abreu up, we saw something that has looked quite familiar the last few days, as he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Though the game was now tied, 1-1, Tony La Russa was still not happy about the trend that he was seeing, as he talked it over with the umpires. After that, Sheets popped out to end the inning.
López had another great frame in the sixth, and his outing ended after striking out Reyes with a runner on second. López went three innings with one hit and four strikeouts. Maybe more importantly, he was running his fastball up to the plate as swiftly as 98 mph, which is a serious velo recovery from earlier this season.
Aaron Bummer came in the seventh inning and pitched a scoreless outing. Blake Parker replaced Quantrill in the bottom of the seventh and went scoreless as well. Quantrill went six innings with just three hits, one run, and six strikeouts.
Craig Kimbrel was in for the eighth inning, and recorded an electric, inning-ending strikeout.
Nick Wittgren retired the side in the bottom of the eighth inning for Cleveland, while Liam Hendriks came out firing in the top of the ninth. Hendriks also recorded an inning-ending strikeout, with the usual scream and fist pump as he strutted off the mound. Kimbrel and Hendriks aren’t just going to be a terrific lockdown duo out of the pen; they’re going to be as loud as the home crowd.
Wittgren stayed in the game for the bottom of the ninth, and with one out, Brian Goodwin ended it all. On a 3-1 count, he was hunting for the perfect fastball, and he got it.
By the way, that may be the bat flip of the season. I mean, how high did that thing go?
This is what fun looks like. Nothing better than a packed crowd in the throwback jerseys celebrating an electric, walk-off home run. This was the first walk-off home run of Goodwin’s career, and it came at the perfect time.
The team will have an off-day tomorrow before opening up another home series against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. Game time will be at 7:10 p.m. CT, and Dylan Cease will take the mound.
Sox fans, enjoy the rest of this beautiful day and the off-day tomorrow, and get ready for some more baseball Tuesday night!