Entering Sunday’s series finale against the Royals, the White Sox were on a 1-6 stretch since winning the series opener at Yankee Stadium on May 13, which is not good at all. Well, it’s two wins now if you include today. The Sox were able to salvage the last game of the three-game set largely thanks to Carlos Rodon and a patchwork bullpen performance.
1. Have yourself a day, Rodon. I know a lot of fans are impatient and want him to have immediate success, but pitching development takes some time, especially when you’re just 23 years old. On Sunday, though, Rodon was sharp. It looked like he would run into some of his early woes again in the second inning, but he worked out of it. After allowing lead off hits to Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez, he got Alex Gordon to ground into a double play, and only allowed one run to score on a Paulo Orlando RBI single. He also ran into a bit of trouble in the sixth, as he allowed runners to get on second and third with one out, but only allowed one run on an Omar Infante sacrifice fly. Overall, Rodon had a very nice day: 6 2/3 innings, four strikeouts, two walks, eight hits, and just those two earned runs. His ERA now sits at 4.47. Oh yeah, and the slider looks good:
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 22, 2016
2. We all know the offense is slumping immensely. The last time the White Sox have had a multi-run inning was on Tuesday against the Astros, and they have just scored 12 runs total in that span. They didn’t fully break out of the slump, but at least they got the multi-run inning. Todd Frazier hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth against Yordano Ventura, and Melky Cabrera hit a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth after the Sox loaded the bases with two outs. That was a funny situation, and not a great decision from Ventura: with runners on second and third and two ours, he essentially unintentionally-intentionally walked Frazier to bring up Cabrera, who clearly has the platoon advantage there. Cabrera took advantage, and it gave them the lead.
3. The Sox had a couple of opportunities to pick up an insurance run after the Cabrera hit, but nothing came of it. They put a runner on third with one out in the sixth after a Brett Lawrie double and a sac bunt, but nothing. They put a runner on second with two outs in the seventh, but also nothing. Even though the Sox won this game, the offensive slumber isn’t over.
4. The bullpen did a really nice job piecing the win together after Rodon was pulled in the seventh. Matt Albers picked up the final out of the inning by striking out Lorenzo Cain, then Zach Duke induced a pop out from Hosmer. Nate Jones struck out Perez and Whit Merrifield, and then David Robertson worked a one-two-three ninth inning to get the save.
5. The Sox have a very, very important stretch of baseball coming up, as they’ll take on the Cleveland Indians for a four-game set (over three days) at home. There will be a doubleheader tomorrow, and the action will start at 4:10 p.m. CT. Mat Latos will face Mike Clevinger in Gane 1, and Erik Johnson will face 26th man Cody Anderson in Game 2.
Team record: 26-18
Lead Photo Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports