At 9:51 p.m, Chicago White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodón reached back and delivered a 2-2 changeup to Sox-killer Jordan Luplow who sharply hit it to Yoán Moncada. He cleanly fielded the ball and threw a rocket to José Abreu at first base. At 9:52, the ball hit the back of Abreu’s mitt and Yermin Mercedes is the first one out of the dugout to greet the starting pitcher.
Carlos Rodón has just thrown the 20th no-hitter in Chicago White Sox history
Up until 9:46, this was going to be a different story. Following the athletic, perfect-game saving play by the MVP in Jose Abreu to retire the speedy Josh Naylor, a slider got away from Rodón and Roberto Pérez was clipped on his left toe. That ruined the perfect game. However, Number 55 finished the job and no-hit the Indians.
Oddly enough, Rodón was not supposed to pitch last night. Stomach issues kept him out of his scheduled start on Monday but two days later he took the ball and put on a show.
Everyone recalls how the 2020 season ended. Rodón has publicly taken the blame for what went wrong in that game. He was not alone at fault but that mindset seems to have brought out the ace Sox fans were promised.
Coming off arm and shoulder issues throughout his career, not to mention the Tommy John surgery he had in May 2019, Rodón has seen his fair share of struggles. Cut after the 2020 season, he did not know if baseball was still in his future but the White Sox brought him back to fight for the fifth spot in the rotation. Rodón has been showing he is up for the job and then some.
Rodón retired the side in order to lead off the game and was then supplied with a generous six-run cushion. Following a few quiet nights offensively, the bats woke up tonight. However, he only needed one of the eight runs scored tonight.
Nearly flawless, Rodón finished the night retiring 27 of the 28 hitters he saw with the one gut-wrenching hit-by-pitch. He struck out seven and set down 20 hitters with ten groundouts and flyouts each.
Anyone watching the game knew Rodón was going to be dominant early. Every pitch was thrown with the same conviction he pitched with when he was drafted. Even after114 pitches, his velocity did not decrease. Instead, it increased as the game went on. Adrenaline is a part of it but he threw a fastball in the first inning at 95 and one at 98 in the ninth.
I would be remiss not to mention how far the White Sox have come defensively. Moncada and Abreu both had solid nights defensively but so did Zack Collins behind the plate, Leury García at shortstop, and Andrew Vaughn in left field.
If you are a Sox fan who has followed Rodón’s career, it was hard to not get a little emotional last night. Wiping away tears during his post-game interview, Rodon tipped his cap to a bunch of fans huddled above the dugout chanting his name. The Big Hurt Frank Thomas himself wiped away a tear or two when the post-game show began.
When Lucas Giolito no-hit the Pirates last season, many said it was fitting for a guy who suffered the hardships he did to go out and make history. This is true but if you are going for a genuine tear-jerker of a story, this no-hitter could not have happened to the best guy in Carlos Rodón.