Well, luckily my nine-run loss streak from spring training is gone! Nonetheless, it was a great game on all cylinders, with the starting pitching by Dylan Cease being almost unhittable, followed by a bit of offense and bullpen action to end it with a win.
To set the tone for the game, Detroit was a whopping 39 degrees and sunny to start. It wouldn’t be April without freezing to your seat watching baseball in the midwest, right?
The weather didn’t stop the scoring, as the South Siders started early for a second straight game. Against Casey Mize in the top of the first inning, Luis Robert reached by a single with one out, followed by José Abreu hitting a double to right center to put runners on second and third. With two outs, Eloy Jiménez delivered for the second day in a row with a two-run single off the glove of Javier Báez up the middle to make the score 2-0.
Dylan Cease allowed a single to Austin Meadows in the bottom of the inning, but that was all.
Looks like the injury bug has struck again for the team again, as AJ Pollock left in the third inning due to a hamstring injury after rounding first base on a single.
AJ Pollock left the game with tightness in his right hamstring. He is being further evaluated.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 9, 2022
He was replaced by Andrew Vaughn in right field. Game 2 of 162 and the fan meltdowns, player injuries, and overall stress has already returned. Baseball is back!
Cease continued to shove by striking out the side in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Must be the mustache.
Well, the mustache, plus a big step forward for Cease. Consider this: Facing Jeimer Candelario in the bottom of the fourth, Cease got behind, 3-0, and usually you would assume that a walk was coming — especially if this was last year. Instead, Cease was able to throw three strikes in a row to punch Candelario out. Really impressive stuff, and if he can continue with that aggressiveness, Cease will be unstoppable.
Josh Harrison grabbed his first hit on the South Side after racing to third on a triple to right center in the top of the fifth. Unfortunately, it turned into a frustrating inning, as the White Sox left Harrison stranded without scoring. Nice work by Mize to get out of the jam — NOT nice work from the Sox not being able to score.
Cease got into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the fifth, issuing back-to-back walks with one out. Luckily, he was able to strike out Akil Baddoo, and Gold Glove José Abreu came to the rescue to catch a line drive at first to escape out of the inning scoreless.
We witnessed our first Yaz bat drop of the season in the top of the sixth, and it was beautiful.
This home run extended the lead to 4-0, and gave us some much-needed insurance.
But of course, nothing good lasts forever, right? Cease started the bottom of the sixth inning with a single to Austin Meadows, but was on a short leash and replaced by Reynaldo López right after. Cease had another solid outing with five innings-plus pitched, two hits, and eight strikeouts. His career lifetime undefeated streak against Detroit will continue on, as he improves to 12-0 all-time.
Unfortunately for López, his outing started with a runner at first, and that’s never ideal. Báez hit another single to put runners on first and second, followed by a double by Candelario to get the Tigers on the board, 4-1.
The play of the game might have been this one, as Grandal and Lopez worked together to nab a foolishly aggressive Báez out at home and save a run.
After a walk by Miguel Cabrera, a fielding error by Leury García allowed the Tigers to score one more and cut the lead in half, to 4-2. Luckily, the damage didn’t continue further, as García remained composed and started a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
With Jason Foley on the bump for the Tigers to start the top of the seventh, the South Siders wasted no time to regain some of their lead back, as Josh Harrison and his swag got to second on a double, and Jake Burger moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt. Vaughn had another clutch moment, driving in Harrison with a single to right.
Adam Engel took over at first base for Vaughn as the pinch-runner, but later got tied up and thrown out trying to score from third base on a contact play. Although the team would have liked to get more from that inning, they ended with just one run.
López came back on the mound to start the bottom of the inning, but allowed a walk to Spencer Torkelson to get the hook, replaced by Bennett Sousa. Sousa stretched his rookie scoreless streak to two innings, as he inducing a double play from Baddoo and a fly out to end the inning.
After his first career strikeout, against Austin Meadows, to start the bottom of the eighth inning, Sousa was replaced by José Ruiz.
Save that baseball! 1st career strikeout for Bennett Sousa. pic.twitter.com/glTQGeYewy— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 9, 2022
After a single by Báez, Ruiz was able to induce another double play to end the inning.
Great debut from Sousa, and hopefully the lefthander will be able to help out the bullpen all year.
Aaron Bummer started the bottom of the ninth inning to close the game, and was interrupted by Miguel Cabrera and his 2,989th hit, and Jonathan Schoop with a single, to start the inning two-on, no-out.
Of course, White Sox villain Eric Haase was next up, but Bummer got the strikeout for the first out of the inning. Torkelson followed the trend with a strikeout of his own. Finally, after another stressful game, it was one more K, and the South Siders came out victorious for their first win of the 2022 season!
The team will try to secure the series win tomorrow afternoon as Michael Kopech will take the mound against Tarik Skubal. Game time will be at 12:10 p.m. CT yet again, before the off-day on Monday. We’ll have Jacki Krestel on game coverage, Ashley Sanders on your Six Pack of Stats.
Everyone enjoy the rest of your now stress-free Saturday, and see you tomorrow for another day of baseball!