Nick Madrigal made his MLB Debut in a big Chicago White Sox win.
Opening week for the Chicago White Sox fans has been a rollercoaster of emotions. In the first few games, there were questionable plays and starting ace Lucas Giolito‘s redemption game. After that first loss against the Minnesota Twins, fans were fired up to call Nick Madrigal up to the show. Even though, Leury Garcia bounced back with a couple of homers after his defensive mistakes. The excitement for Madrigal to be apart of this lineup did not simmer down. In the first game of the series against the Kansas City Royals, the highly ranked prospect was called to make his MLB debut.
Unfortunately, Madrigal was not able to get his first major league hit against the Royals but he showed off his defensive skills and some speed. He grounded out in his first two at-bats and he managed to reach second base on a throwing error by Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi in his last at-bat. In bold fashion, Madrigal ran to home plate from second after Leury Garcia singles a ground ball to left fielder Alex Gordon. The Kansas City veteran threw a heater to catcher Salvador Perez just before Madrigal reached home for the out. Even though his offensive play was not a showstopper, he was very efficient on a few routine ground balls.
The Chicago White Sox claimed the lead in the top of the second inning when left fielder Adam Engel sent a rocket into the stands for a three-run homer. The right-handed batter has been looking good at the plate so far this season. Per Fangraphs, his slash line in the first few games is .400/.438/.800 and he has been consistent in putting the ball in play so far. With Nomar Mazara out, Engel’s performance has been filling the void of Mazara’s power at the plate.
In this game, Dallas Keuchel took the mound and showed managed to control his pitches. Even though, the strikeouts were minimal as he kept the Royals lineup privy to ground balls in the earlier innings. The Royals managed to get on the scoreboard with one run in the bottom of the third due to Nicky Lopez scoring off Salvador Perez’s single. Keuchel stayed on the mound until the bottom of the sixth. He was replaced by Jimmy Cordero after Ryan McBroom hit a home run off him to center field.
Until the middle innings, Keuchel was handling tough situations on the mound well. At the bottom of the fourth inning, he managed to strike out Alex Gordon with a runner on second base and striking out center fielder Bubba Starling afterward. Keuchle’s approach to hitters was very defensive and clean. His win against the Minnesota Twins was acquired in a very similar style where he pitches around and on the edges of the strike box.
After Engel’s homerun, the White Sox got cold in the run column so the bullpen carried the responsibility of securing the win. Cordero was crucial to keeping the White Sox in the lead by not giving up any runs. He struck out three of the Royals hitters, preventing the tying run to score. Evan Marshall took control of the reigns in the bottom of the eighth where he landed one strikeout and successfully retired the side. At the bottom of the ninth, Alex Colome replaced Evan Marshall and retired the side to capture the win for the Chicago White Sox, simultaneously notching his first save of the season.