On the mound, potential 2021 X-factors Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech looked sharp as the Chicago teams battled to a tie in Glendale. Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu did the heavy lifting on offense, combining for four hits and four RBIs. With the tie, the White Sox moved to 3-8-4 on the Spring.
No W/L; BS: Liam Hendriks (1)
Tony La Russa opted to stack the top of the lineup with some of the regular hitters, and it paid off. In the bottom of the first, Cubs revenge enthusiast Jimenez smacked a liner into center, scoring Abreu and Yasmani Grandal.
Later in the third, Eloy looped another single to score Abreu and make it a 3-0 ballgame. The Cubs had the game tied by the seventh only for Abreu to then knock in Andrew Vaughn and restore the White Sox lead.
In the ninth, the Sox threatened via Gavin Sheets and Zack Collins but the game ended with a Blake Rutherford double play.
After an up-and-down 2020 campaign, much of the focus today was on Cease. With under 150 IP total in his career and a new pitching coach, hopes are still high for Cease to realize his potential. He looked good on the mound today, throwing three scoreless innings and allowing just one hit to go with two strikeouts. The biggest takeaway: his fastball command was very good.
Current White Sox #8 prospect (via MLB Pipeline) Jonathan Stiever followed Cease on the bump and had a rougher outing, surrendering two earned runs off five baserunners in three innings. However, Stiever did hit 96 mph and pitched some quality at-bats.
The seventh inning was left to flamethrower Garrett Crochet. Despite striking out one and maintaining a spring training ERA of 2.25, Crochet allowed the Cubs to tie the game off of a David Bote double and Alfonso Rivas single. The North Siders didn’t get a break from the fire as Kopech entered for the eighth, notching two strikeouts and just one hit in a scoreless effort.
Liam Hendriks then stepped into his incoming role as closer and also struck out two, but allowed the Cubs to tie things up with a Patrick Wisdom homer.
Tuesday vs. Padres: Carlos Rodon (CHW) vs. Joe Musgrove (SD), 3:10 PM CT
Carlos Rodon is set for his second appearance of the spring tomorrow after pitching two innings of no-run ball his first time out. The White Sox will get a look at Musgrove on his new team, the improved San Diego Padres.
This game will only be available to stream, either on MLB Network or MLB TV.
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