Happy Saturday, White Sox fans, and Happy Dylan Cease One-Hitter Day!
Our magnificent ace was unstoppable tonight, and with the help of adequate run support from every single bat in the lineup, he helped to propel the White Sox into a tie with the Twins for second place, in this eternally-lengthy AL Central race.
Cease came in with an uncharacteristically low number of strikeouts in early innings, and dominated through every at-bat, giving up two walks and one hit in a nearly-flawless, stunning shutout. This was Cease’s second career complete game, and all of our buttholes unclenched in defeat when he gave up the only hit in the ninth inning to Luis Arráez, who would have been the final out if Cease had completed the no-hitter.
South Siders everywhere may agree that tonight’s game breathed new life into frustrated fans. The White Sox offense grabbed the reins immediately and stayed sharp throughout, serving some seriously essential serotonin. Everyone in the lineup had a hand in dominating the Twins, with some key players shining at the right times.
After a José Abreu RBI single, Eloy Jiménez hit a three-run blast to give the White Sox a quad in the first for an early lead. Behind Cease’s commanding performance, insurance runs weren’t needed — but they were produced.
A no-doubter from Eloy Jiménez! pic.twitter.com/ZX5xBnLNLN— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 3, 2022
Romy González, who had 24 home runs in the minors last year, celebrated his first major league home run with a three-run blast in the fourth inning, Chicago’s second three-pack of the game.
First major league homer for Romy González! pic.twitter.com/ljflFfJlWu— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 4, 2022
With multiple home runs in three of their last four games, the White Sox have been looking like everyone thought they would at the very start of this season. Injuries happen, and may be unavoidable (unless you have a Herm Schneider, but I digress), but there’s an undeniable difference in this team over the last several games. With pieces of that ideal team shining through, we’re winning more games, and in a far more dramatic fashion.
Speaking of dramatic, Seby Zavala was the only dead bat on the White Sox offense — until his eighth-inning, two-run blast, but his performance behind the plate would have more than sufficed unaccompanied by offense. One could argue that hitting a home run off of utility player Nick Gordon isn’t all that special, but if that’s true, then why did 20,000 White Sox fans get a simultaneous boner when this happened?
Elvis Andrus with a grand slam off of Twins utility guy Nick Gordon pic.twitter.com/2muJUzf4Jw— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 4, 2022
Many fans are certain about what’s responsible for changing the tune of this freshly assertive White Sox team, and the simplest answer is usually the correct one. Miguel Cairo, acting manager over the last five games in Tony La Russa’s mysterious medical absence, likely has something to do with the South Siders winning their last four outings. Given the irrefutably pickled-brain La Russa moves, it seems like the correct conclusion. What is Cairo doing right?
The better question may be: What isn’t he doing right? Good calls, grounded batting orders, and old-fashioned common sense seem to be working well for the White Sox. Support from leadership is sure to play a part, as one may question whether or not La Russa would have pulled Cease prematurely tonight during his one-hitter, were he acting as manager.
The current acting manager proved he wasn’t a buttoned-up bore last night, when Twins pitchers beaned enough White Sox to build a seven-layer dip, and a riled Cairo joined the South Siders in a bench-clearing protest. Can Cairo be behind the reason Josh Harrison had a smile painted on his face in every hit-and-run tonight, why Eloy looks confident, and why AJ Pollock has a six-game hitting streak?
The White Sox are now 67-66, and have a chance to run this race to the very end if they keep the momentum going. A Twins sweep tomorrow can put the South Siders in a position to take advantage of the Guardians’ four-game losing skid, and extend their own winning streak to five. This lights-out Cease performance and explosive offensive glory grab has the potential to propel the White Sox into the team everyone projected them to be this year, and just in the nick of time.
Let’s fucking go.