Chicago White Sox: Complete much needed sweep of Pirates
Last night, the Chicago White Sox completed a quick 2 game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In doing so, they maintained their division lead of 10 games while improving to 22 games above .500 with a record of 78-56 on the year.In Game 1, Lucas Giolito only made it 4.1 frames, allowing two runs while fanning five. He gave up 4 walks and 3 hits but ultimately it was hamstring tightness that served as the catalyst for his early departure. Obviously, you really need Giolito healthy if you’re the White Sox. Although Lance Lynn is only expected to miss one start, now is not the time to be getting bitten by the injury bug. It’s about the only thing that can slow this team down.
For the hitters, Grandal stayed hot, hitting another solo shot while drawing a pair of walks. Jose Abreu launched a solo shot of his own, his 28th of the year, and the other two RBIs were picked up by Leury Garcia and Brian Goodwin.
After Giolito’s early exit, a bullpen game would ensue as Ryan Tepera, Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer, Craig Kimbrel, and Liam Hendriks would combine for two-hit ball over 4.2 scoreless innings of work. Kopech would ultimately earn the win, lowering his ERA to 3.42 in the process.
The Chicago White Sox really needed to sweep the Pittsburgh Pirates this week.
For game two, Carlos Rodon took the mound and sailed through 5 innings of work, allowing five hits and one earned run. He was pulled after the 5th with a pitch count of 77. It would be nice to see Rodon get to go a little deeper into games and give the bullpen a little bit more rest. This time, it was a combination of Reynaldo Lopez, Aaron Bummer, Ryan Tepera, and Liam Hendriks. Rodon earned the win and Hendriks picked up his 31st save of the season.
The story in this one, however, wasn’t the pitching. It was all Gavin Sheets and his 2 home runs after being called back up as rosters were expanded yesterday. Sheets definitely has a bright future ahead of him and now has the chance to prove he has what it takes to make it in the big leagues. With a very important stretch of baseball coming up leading to the postseason, Sheets’ time to shine is now. Here’s to hoping for the best for him.
With an off day today, the White Sox will open up a 3 game set on the road in Kansas City against the Royals. Hopefully, the boys come back healthy and stronger than ever as they make the push to clinch the division and head onward to October.