The Chicago White Sox weren’t able to mount a comeback victory over the Detroit Tigers for a second night in a row on Sunday. They fell to the Tigers in the season finale as Detroit avoided being swept after a very promising season in their own right. Now, the White Sox head into the postseason as the American League Central Division champions.
It was a very fun year for the White Sox as they finished 93-69. They weren’t the 100 win team that we know they are capable of being and the reason why is very clear. Injuries have really ruined any chance of that happening. Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Nick Madrigal (before being traded away), and Yasmani Grandal all missed significant time this year.
We aren’t just talking about a short IL stint. They all missed months at a time because of some pretty bad injuries. By the time the White Sox got them all back in the lineup, it took a minute for them all to get back into the swing of things. Now, it appears that they are all the way back and ready to create chaos in the postseason.
In order to deal with some of that horrible injury luck, they needed some people to step up. Unsung heroes like Yermin Mercedes, Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets, Billy Hamilton, Brian Goodwin, Jake Lamb, and Leury Garcia have been so awesome at different points of the season. Some of them might need to step up some more in order to have a deep playoff run.
Good pitching is also needed in a season where some of your best hitters go down. For the White Sox, it starts and ends with their starting rotation. Dallas Keuchel had a down year in every way but Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, and Dylan Cease all backed him up to the highest level.
Seeing someone like Rodon have such a nice comeback story from an injury is amazing in general. Add in the fact that he had some serious pitching struggles as well to make it an even better tale. With the emergence of Dylan Cease as well, this rotation was so good.
The bullpen went into the season as the team’s strength. They are a strength but they needed to reach that level. They struggled early but they are locked in now. With talents like Liam Hendriks, Craig Kimbrel, Michael Kopech, Aaron Bummer, Garrett Crochet, and Ryan Tepera amongst others, things are looking good going into the playoffs.
The Chicago White Sox had an enchanted year in 2021 and now the playoffs loom.
There are a lot of things to look forward to as there is so much more work ahead but 2021 was certainly a memorable year. It was the first year that fans were able to see in person the result of the rebuild. Rick Hahn and Tony La Russa deserve tons of credit for it being such a special year. Hopefully, we can see them cap it off with 11 more wins.