Chicago White Sox: The truth about Liam Hendriks in 2021
The Chicago White Sox are losers of three straight for the first time this season and it came to the red hot New York Yankees who have now won nine in a row. Of course, the fans think the sky is falling because they didn’t win every game by ten runs. They are eager to blame Liam Hendriks for their loss on Sunday even though he was put in a position to fail.
The truth about Liam Hendriks is something Chicago White Sox fans need to accept.
Liam Hendriks is a shutdown closer. He is not a long reliever. Putting him in a dirty inning is almost never going to work in his favor. He came in to face Aaron Judge with the bases loaded and he walked in the winning run. Of course, that looks bad on the surface but a deeper dive shows that is not even close to true.
Hendriks has actually been borderline awesome this season so far. He has given up a couple of solo shots which is unlike him and then he walked Aaron Judge. That was also his third walk allowed this season in 18 innings. He has a 2.50 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP. 28 strikeouts and a WAR of 0.4 are also included in those 18 innings which is a really nice pace so far.
Not many closers in the league have the stuff Hendriks has and that is why the league named him as the best reliever of any kind. He is meant to go out there and start innings fresh to hold other teams off. That is why they gave him all that money. Instead, Tony La Russa leaves out Aaron Bummer too long which makes him look bad as well. Hendriks should have started that inning so he can shut the Yankees down properly and take his chances in the 10th inning.
If that would have worked out, someone like Garrett Crochet could have come in and pitched in the 10th. The White Sox would have had a good chance because they already tagged Aroldis Chapman and they would have started with a runner on second with no outs. Baseball is played differently today than it was even five years ago but for some reason, nobody wants to believe it.
That loss was more on Tony than it was Liam. Could he have thrown a strike and not walked Judge? Of course. However, he should have never been in that position whatsoever. This team needs to figure that part of the game out and they will continue to win lots of baseball games. Hopefully, that works out better at home this week against the St. Louis Cardinals and Baltimore Orioles.