Carlos Rodon and the White Sox squared off against the Royals for the final time this season, and received a proper drubbing. With the loss they closed out 2016 with a record of 5-14 against their division rivals.
• Things looked rosy early as Justin Morneau’s booming double was promptly followed up by a Todd Frazier miracle (aka, ground ball base hit) to open the scoring. Frazier, surprised at being on base, was promptly picked off. Adding salt to the wound, Avisail Garcia followed up with a triple to the right-center gap that would have scored a run but instead led to a torrent of Hawk Harrelson praise. Sigh.
Not to be left out, Jose Abreu continued his second half resurgence with an absolute bomb to straight away center. He now has 25 jacks, which is a nice, clean number.
• The wheels fell off in the fifth when three consecutive singles and a Kendrys Morales home run chased Rodon.
The Sox bats looked like they might keep it competitive in the next half when they loaded the bases with only one out for Abreu and Morneau. Unfortunately, a ground out and infield pop up led to nothing, and the game became a mop up.
• Rodon’s wildly successful seven game stretch has come to a screeching halt. After getting tagged for six runs against Cleveland last week, he coughed up another six in one fewer inning. With Monday’s start he’s now pitched more than 75 innings against the AL Central this season, and has a 4.50 ERA against divisional foes. Repeated looks against the same teams can be hard for young pitchers, especially ones still working out the kinks of their secondary pitches.
• But along with the bats, the Royals seemed to have picked up on something in Rodon’s delivery that led to them running wild. Big jumps led to a 3-for-3 day swiping bases, and none of the attempts were particularly close. Although in the end, very little of it mattered, as the Royals scored five of their six runs against Rodon via the home run. He gave up three. Suffice it to say, it was not a good day.
Team record: 72-78
Next game: 6:05 p.m. CT Tuesday against the Phillies in Philadelphia.
Photo credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports