“I missed this place,” Gavin Sheets said with a grin during his postgame interview.
Well, Gavin, this place missed you, too.
The Chicago White Sox completed a two-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight on Chicago’s South Side. With this win, the Sox improve to a season-high 22 games over .500, with a record of 78-56. Their magic number has dropped to 21.
On any other night, the story of the game might have been the strong outing by Carlos Rodón. In his second start after returning from the IL, Rodón went five innings, throwing 77 pitches and striking out five. In a situation where the White Sox are trying to protect the health of the oft-injured southpaw, you couldn’t ask for a much more solid performance. Rodón improved his record to 11-5.
On any other night, the story of the game might have been the array of defensive gems that the White Sox compiled. There was this one from Leury García ...
… and this one from Eloy Jiménez.
On any other night, the story of the game might have been Yoán Moncada extending his hitting streak to 16 games. Or Reynaldo López continuing to dominate in his relief appearances. Or Liam Hendriks’ five-out save. Or maybe it might have been when the broadcast highlighted U.S. Army SFC Daniel LaCrosse, who surprised his family by coming back from Kuwait early.
But on this night, the story of the game was Sheets. Fresh from his September call-up, Sheets wasted little time in making a large impression. Sheets went 2-for-3, blasting two home runs for the South Siders, accounting for over half of their runs. (And please let it be known, on this day and in this place, that when #SeptemberSheets eventually becomes a common trending topic on White Sox Twitter, that it started right here at South Side Sox.)
Tonight’s scorecard highlights:
- When Rodon struck out Anthony Alford in the fifth, and again when Hendriks fanned Colin Moran in the eighth, I was reminded of the scene from A League of Their Own, when Kit Keller strikes out on three straight high fastballs.
- Apparently, I’m in love with our bullpen.
- I couldn’t resist this popular euphemism.
It’s safe to say that the White Sox have put their best foot forward as they enter the last month of the regular season. The team is off tomorrow and start a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.