Where were you during the Dylan Cease Game?
Tony La Russa promised “hellacious effort” from the White Sox tonight, and his club delivered on that promise. Or, should we say, Dylan Cease single-handedly delivered on that promise. Following a seven-inning gem last time out against the Tigers, the right-hander decided pitching brilliantly wasn’t enough. In the first three at-bats of his professional baseball career (he never had an AB in the minors), Cease collected a pair of singles and a double while scoring a run. As for the whole pitching thing, he was sterling there as well, tossing six scoreless innings while collecting 11 strikeouts and allowing just a single hit.
Aside from Cease, the White Sox bats were hot tonight as Tim Anderson, Nick Madrigal, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu all contributed multi-hit efforts. All-in-all, an encouraging way to follow up the massive loss of Luis Robert.
W: Dylan Cease (2-0) | L: Jeff Hoffman (2-2)
Dylan Cease: 6 IP, 11 K, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB & 3-3
Baseball is pretty easy, right? Fine, it’s not, but Dylan Cease made it seem so tonight with a performance on the mound and at the plate that left White Sox fans speechless. We’ll elaborate more on the hitting below, but first, about the work he did on the mound.
The stuff has never been a problem for Cease, it’s just been honing it in, and it seems he’s starting to do just that. Sure, control is still an issue at times (three walks tonight), but if you’re generating 17 swing-and-misses, touching 97, improving your slider and striking out 11, well, you’ll take it. There were a few moments where it looked like the wheels could’ve fallen off, control-wise, for Cease, but credit to him for dialing things back in. One encouraging moment in particular came in the third inning when he punched out Nick Castellanos and Joey Votto in consecutive at-bats to escape a jam.
After his night was over, Cease was seen talking with pitching coach Ethan Katz, someone who deserves a lot of credit at this moment for the breakouts of Cease and Carlos Rodón, alike.
Jose Abreu: 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
Jose Abreu getting hot is never an if, but a when. Let’s hope today’s multi-hit, multi-RBI performance is that when. Pito got the Sox’ scoring started, taking a Jeff Hoffman fastball 417-feet into the left-center field seats. He would later tack on an RBI-single in the eighth inning. Let’s hope tonight is the start of more mashing for the reigning AL MVP.
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, 3 RBI
TA gonna TA. It was just another night at the ballpark for Tim Anderson as he collected a pair of hits atop the Sox lineup. His biggest was a bases loaded, two-run single in the second, made possible by an infield single by — you guessed it, Dylan Cease — to keep the inning alive and flip the lineup card over.
Other Highlights: Nick Madrigal (2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI) & Yoan Moncada (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI)
Matchup(s) of the Game
Believe me when I tell you, there isn’t a single Cincinnati Reds pitcher who wants to see Dylan Cease in the batters box. I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence, and I also can’t believe that Cease was able to rack up his first three big league hits, each against a different Reds pitcher.
A single off of starter Jeff Hoffman:
A double (and near-home run) off José De León:
Plus another single off of Sal Romano:
Who needs Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert in the lineup when you’ve got Dylan Cease? (Just kidding please heal up immediately, guys.)
Player of the Game
Who could it be? Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Dylan Cease. Since I’ve already explained in great detail just how amazing he was tonight, I’ll simply leave you with this:
Tomorrow, the White Sox will look to build off of tonight’s momentum by sending Dallas Keuchel to the hill against the Reds’ Sonny Gray. Game two of the short two-game set will kick off bright and early at 11:35 AM CT and will be viewable on NBC Sports Chicago.
Be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th for more updates!