There have been a few pleasantly memorable moments in the 2018 White Sox rebuild season, and one of those moments just briefly occurred.
White Sox pitcher Dylan Covey, who has struggled in his latest starts, shined against the toughest team in the AL Central.
In a six-inning start, Covey did not give up any runs and held the Indians to two measly hits. This was a striking difference over his previous start against the Royals on September 11. In that game, he pitched 4.1 innings giving up five earned runs off of six hits.
One of the hits was in the first inning as Edwin Encarnacion hit a single. The other hit was in the second when Jan Gomes hit a double. Covey struck out five batters and walked three. He struck out Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley, Yonder Alonzo, and Jose Ramirez. All five of those men are serious hitters and striking out all five of them in one game is worthy of applause.
Covey start was followed up by solid bullpen pitching. Jace Fry replaced him in the seventh and two outs in the eighth and put up goose eggs in hits and runs. He was followed by Juan Minaya who did his job getting the last out of the inning striking out Encarnacion.
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Minaya started the ninth, but after giving up a leadoff single to Josh Donaldson, Rick Renteria wasted no time replacing him with Caleb Frare. He struggled a bit but did get Melky Cabrera out after Yandy Diaz singled.
With two men on and one out, Renteria put Ian Hamilton on the mound to face Jan Gomes with speedy pinch-runner Rajai Davis on second base. Hamilton hit Gomes on the first pitch. With bases loaded, Kipnis approached the plate and hit a walk-off grand slam on a 3-2 count.
And, that was it. The pleasant moment was over.
The only White Sox score of the game came from Daniel Palka who seems to find ways to hit home runs. In the sixth inning, he followed a Carlos Sanchez strikeout with a big bomb to center field off of Carlos Carrasco.
Sometimes the baseball gods shine down on a team for a little while. Hopefully, the Sox bullpen pitchers learn from the mistakes and from Covey’s success.