The White Sox have won two of three games… dare we say there are signs of life?
Donning their “Southside” jerseys for the first time this season, the Southsiders had no problem dispatching the Angels 3-0 today for their second shutout win of the series – and of the season. Dylan Cease set the tone on the mound, dominating from the start of the game and completing seven innings of shutout baseball. He struck out 11, posting a 10+ strikeout game for the 10th time in his career. He was followed by Kendall Graveman, who fought some control issues but posted a scoreless inning of his own, and Liam Hendriks, who struck out the side and appeared to be getting back to normal on the mound. In total, the White Sox struck out 15 Angels and walked none, effectively shutting down the best offense in the American League.
On offense, the White Sox are starting to show some signs of life. They used a 25 pitch first inning, started by back-to-back hits by Tim Anderson and Luis Robert, to put the Sox ahead with a lead they would never give up. In total, the White Sox swung at far fewer first pitches than usual today, showing a willingness to work counts and wait for pitches that will help get them back on track in the AL Central. In total, the team recorded 13 more hard hit baseballs today.
With the win, the White Sox are 9-13 on the young season.
W: Dylan Cease (3-1) | L: Patrick Sandoval (1-1) | S: Liam Hendriks (5)
White Sox Scoring Recap:
Bot 1st: AJ Pollock grounds out to 2B. Tim Anderson scores. 1-0 White Sox
Bot 1st: Jake Burger hits a sacrifice fly to CF. Luis Robert scores. 2-0 White Sox
Bot 6th: Adam Engel doubles to LF. Jose Abreu scores. 3-0 White Sox
Dylan Cease: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K
Dylan Cease was dominant from the first pitch today. He is the first White Sox starter to complete seven innings of work this season, and he was spotting all of his pitches for strikes all afternoon. He even got Mike Trout to strikeout three times. Fans have been looking for Dylan Cease to take another step forward this year – so far, it’s looking as though he’s made it.
Luis Robert: 3-for-4, K, R
Luis Robert has been mired in a bit of a tough stretch recently, and a lot of it can be traced back to some of his pitch selection choices. However, in seeing 16 pitches across four at-bats today, Robert registered three hits and looked a lot more comfortable at the plate. Hopefully, today’s game is a step forward for Robert as he gets back on his MVP-level.
Engel only had one hit today, but it provided a huge insurance run for the White Sox in the sixth inning that likely allowed Dylan Cease to go back out for a seventh inning as well. Engel, like the rest of the White Sox lineup, has struggled in the early going, so the hope is that he will be able to get things turned around soon.
The Next Matchup
The White Sox are heading a few miles up north to take on the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Michael Kopech will take the mound with Lucas Giolito to follow on Wednesday.
The game will start at 6:40 PM CT and can be viewed on NBC Sports Chicago.
Follow us @SoxOn35th for more updates throughout the season!
Featured Image: Brandon Anderson / Twitter