Chicago White Sox: Garrett Crochet is the bridge the bullpen needs
With all the talk surrounding the ponytail gang in the Chicago White Sox bullpen, it is easy for Garrett Crochet to get lost in the fold. The former first-round pick has been a lethal weapon for Tony La Russa this season. He has posted a 2.48 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched this season.
During his recent stretch of dominance, he has proven to be a crucial part of the bridge between the starter and the back end of the bullpen. His last three outings have been a perfect example of this. In 5.1 innings of work he has pitched over an inning in each appearance and has an ERA of zero. On August 11th the Chicago White Sox had a bullpen day and needed multiple innings out of Crochet. He gave them two strong innings with four strikeouts and worked around a jam.
During his next appearance against the Yankees on August 14th, he entered the game during the sixth inning after Dylan Cease could only make it through five. Crochet put on a masterful performance and navigated through the heart of the Yankees lineup.
He struck out Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Luke Voit in the sixth. Judges at-bat against Crochet was the only time he recorded an out all evening. Dylan Cease, Craig Kimbrel, and Liam Hendriks had no such luck. In the sixth inning, Crochet got Rougned Odor to go down looking for his fourth strikeout then induced a flyout from Kyle Higashioka before eventually making way for Ryan Tepera.
The Chicago White Sox has been getting everything and more from Garrett Crochet.
Crochet was the first out of the bullpen again on Wednesday night. After Lance Lynn got ejected, Crochet was forced to go multiple innings once again. In 1.2 innings, he worked around a hit and a walk by inducing a double play in the fifth to end the inning. After allowing a leadoff single in the sixth he limited the damage by getting Matt Chapman and Yan Gomes to fly out. The White Sox held onto the lead and he was credited with the win.
When the playoffs come around, it is nice to have a hard-throwing left-hander that can record multiple outs in critical spots. He helps keep the White Sox in games then passes the baton to the three-headed monster of Micheal Kopech, Craig Kimbrel, and Liam Hendriks to close it out.
A great backend of the bullpen does not mean much if your team does not have a lead. The flamethrowing southpaw from Tennessee has carved a nice role in the middle innings to ensure that the lead is locked down.
The beauty of Crochet is that he can pitch in any spot. He was drafted as a starter but with a deceptive high leg kick that helps uncork an upper 90s fastball mixed with a sweeping slider, his stuff will play in any inning. Opponents are hitting just .215 off of him this season.
He also seems to be getting better as the season goes along. In his last 7 games, he has a 0.96 ERA. As the season winds down, Crochet will be an instrumental part of the success of the bullpen. He also figures to have a large role during the playoffs.