The Chicago White Sox have an outstanding pitching staff. The starters were brilliant in 2021 and they were supplemented by an outstanding bullpen. There are a lot of superstars in this unit but they are led by closer, Liam Hendriks. He is one of the best players on the team and one of the most important pieces the Chicago White Sox have going into the postseason.
The Sox made a trade for Craig Kimbrel at the trade deadline. There was a lot of debate about his role and what it would mean for Liam Hendriks. All it did was motivate them both. With Michael Kopech, “The Ponytail Gang” is very good as a late-bullpen trio. Hendriks is the guy you want in the highest pressure situations as he has been so good.
Hendriks finished the season with 2.6 wins above replacement thanks to his 2.54 ERA, 0.732 WHIP, and 113 strikeouts. Those are some incredible numbers. Having 113 strikeouts as a closer is amazing. It does, however, make it clear why he led the American League with 38 saves. He was one off the league lead which was held by Mark Melancon of the San Diego Padres.
For the month of September, Hendriks was the Major League Baseball reliever of the month. He had a 0.00 ERA for the month which is absolutely insane. He is going into the playoffs as hot as any pitcher on the team. If the White Sox gets it to the ninth with a lead, Hendriks makes people confident.
During that span, he went 8/8 on saves and only allowed six hits. He also didn’t issue a single walk. The fact that he only had seven walks allowed all year long is incredible, especially when you consider his strikeout numbers. He led the White Sox with 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
Liam Hendriks really needs to stay hot for the Chicago White Sox going into the playoffs.
Out of everyone who is currently hot, Liam Hendriks is the one that most needs to stay that way. The starters and hitters are going to do what they do so the bullpen needs to hold up. Knowing that a guy like Liam is back there waiting for his moment is very nice.
White Sox fans remember what Bobby Jenks did for them in 2005. They believed they had a guy who could go out there and get the three most important outs of a baseball game. Not everyone can do it at a high level but Liam Hendriks has shown time and time again that he can.
He even had a big hand in eliminating the White Sox as a member of the 2020 Oakland A’s. The postseason moments don’t get to him so he should be ready to go this time around. Hopefully, the rest of the team gets him into a position to get these huge playoff saves. He is a major key to winning in October.