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Chicago White Sox: The ponytail gang dominates the Oakland A’s

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 16: Michael Kopech #34 of the Chicago White Sox throws the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 16, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AUGUST 16: Michael Kopech #34 of the Chicago White Sox throws the ball against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 16, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox needed a big game from everyone. They also needed to see their bullpen at its best if the ball was handed over to them with a lead. That was the case on Monday night when the White Sox defeated the Oakland A’s by a final score of 5-2. The offense did its job but it would have all been for not if they didn’t get good pitching.

Dallas Keuchel allowed the A’s to go up 2-0 early but that would be the end of that. He went five innings total and only allowed those two runs. It was a night where he didn’t have his best stuff but he battled and did just enough for his team.

Michael Kopech took the ball from Keuchel in the 6th and dominated. His stuff looked as good as it ever has. He ended up going two innings where he didn’t allow a single hit. He retired six of the seven batters he faced and three of them came via the strikeout.

They went to Craig Kimbrel in the 8th inning. He gave up one hit but struck out the side after that. Following that, they went back to Liam Hendriks. He is one of the best closers in the game but his last two outings were bad. We knew that Tony La Russa would send him right back out there and he did right away. Hendriks did his job by striking out the side himself and earning the save.

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The Chicago White Sox needs the ponytail gang to be at their best in 2021.

The trio of Kopech, Kimbrel, and Hendriks is now starting to become known as the “ponytail gang”. They all have magnificent stuff that can help the White Sox win a lot of games. When they are at their best, it is hard to think of a better late-inning group than what the White Sox have. When the starter hands it over to these three, you can expect a win. You won’t literally get the win every single time but it should be a very high percentage.

They are going to need all three of these guys at their best once October comes. This trio will really help the White Sox both individually and as a group. When you think about other studs like Garrett Crochet, Aaron Bummer, and Ryan Tepera amongst others, you realize that it is a really good bullpen.

After the game, Tony La Russa confirmed that Kopech won’t be available on Tuesday but did mention that he could go on Wednesday for an inning. Either way, it will be fun to see these three work down the stretch. There will be great games where they go 1-2-3 like this or other times where they are used differently with other relievers. Hopefully, the ponytail gang can keep going and help the White Sox to a division title.

Related Story. Tony La Russa has some nice words for Jose Abreu. light

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