Carlos Rodón was terrific once again on Friday night. The left-hander threw six scoreless innings, walked none, and struck out eight Kansas City Royals. The quality start lowered his ERA to 0.58 on the season. It also improved Rodón’s record to 5-0. The Chicago White Sox are now undefeated every time Carlos Rodón has taken the ball this season.
Even the best video game pitcher would envy the numbers Rodón is putting up this season. He has only yielded two earned runs, allowed just twelve hits in 31 innings, with only one of those being a home run and he has 44 strikeouts to just nine walks.
His fastball was electric once again, topping out at 98.2 mph according to stat cast. Rodón relied heavily on his fastball after throwing his changeup with little success. His best fastball of the night came on a 3-2 count to Jorge Soler in which he blew a four-seamer past him to keep his shutout intact. He got ten swings and misses on the fastball.
“Good fastball today,” Rodón said after the game. “I think I gave up one hit on a fastball and four hits on changeups. I gave up some hits late in counts off the changeup. We’ll get that squared away and get that working better. It helps when the fastball is like that. I can get away with some mistakes.”
His slider has been equally impressive this season. He has yet to allow a hit off of it on the year. In 31 plate appearances ending in a slider, none have resulted in a hit.
Rodón is beginning to solidify himself as a Cy Young candidate this season. He currently ranks first among MLB starters in opponent batting average (.114), opponent slugging percentage (.162) opponent OPS (.367), hits per nine innings pitched (3.48), and is tied for first in extra-base hits allowed (3). His 0.58 ERA is also good enough for second in baseball.
Rodón’s dominant performance against the Royals continues a promising trend for White Sox starters on this road trip. In 19 innings pitched they have not allowed a single run. Dylan Cease threw six scoreless innings with eleven strikeouts and only one hit allowed against the Reds. Then Dallas Keuchel followed that up by going seven scoreless and only allowing two hits the next day. The last run allowed by a White Sox starting pitcher was from Lucas Giolito back on May 2nd.
The starting rotation as a whole has been a bright spot for this team. In 162.2 innings they have a combined 2.77 ERA. The White Sox are going to need this type of production from their starters if they want a shot at winning the World Series this season. With Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert out, the offense needs all the support they can get while they figure out how to patch those holes.
With the victory over the Royals and an Indians loss to the Cincinnati Reds, the White Sox moved into first place in the AL Central Standings. You can thank the starting pitching for that.