Well, well, well, Minor League Baseball before the MLB regular season, that is what a lockout will do to a league. In this case, the Knights are the first White Sox team to get started, and Charlotte started well, with a 3-1 win.
Kade McClure got the year started, literally, with a very solid outing. He left with 4 2⁄3 innings and just one run allowed. He threw 78 pitches, and that should be the theme of the early going with each team, from Low-A all the way to the majors: Starters will not go deep into games in April.
McClure did struggle with command, though, with four walks. But he worked out of whatever trouble he had, like in the clip below:
Charlotte’s Tommy Viola caught up with Kade postgame:
Meanwhile. the offense was pretty silent for most of the game. Catcher Carlos Pérez, provided the only spark, with one swing of the bat in the fourth inning — the first homer, run, RBI, whatever you can think of, for Charlotte this year.
Los is more!— Charlotte Knights (@KnightsBaseball) April 5, 2022
Carlos Pérez rips a solo homer in the top of the 4th inning! It's a 1-1 ballgame! pic.twitter.com/Vdnd23UPrA
That fourth-inning homer tied the game, 1-1, and that is where it stayed until the eighth. Recently DFA’ed but still with the org, Blake Rutherford, drove in the winning run with an RBI single that scored Jake Burger. Burger did not get a hit today, but he still reached base twice; it was probably more exciting to score the go-ahead run, though.
The Knights were able to add some insurance in the very next inning to give the bullpen a bit of leeway. Mark Payton drove home the third and final run for them with a single. It was one of his three hits on the night, a game-high for either team.
With a low-scoring game comes some pretty good bullpen performances, and Charlotte’s was very close to perfect until the ninth. Brandon Finnegan, Will Carter, Hunter Schryver, and Yacksel Rios combined for 4 1⁄3 shutout innings to keep the game close, get the win, and finally, close out the win.
In terms of an MLB future, McClure was definitely the headliner on the pitching side, but pen was still lights-out. Rios, along with Finnegan, has some MLB experience but Rios got the late-inning look, that usually means he is viewed as a more promising pitcher. Rios sure throws fast, but his 23-pitch ninth inning was a little too exciting: with runners at the corners with one out, before inducing a game-ending double play.
Who was the Knights MVP?
This poll is closed
Carlos Pérez: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Kade McClure: 4 2⁄3 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K
Mark Payton: 3-for-5. 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
Who was the Knights Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Adam Haseley: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K
Jameson Fisher: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K