A lot of things have been going right for the Chicago White Sox in this series against the Kansas City Royals. On Monday night, a 10th inning home run from Luis Robert saved the day after Johnny Cueto dominated his first start of the season and White Sox debut.
There was a doubleheader on Tuesday against these Royals and there was something that happened that might have saved the entire series for the White Sox. It happened late in the game after almost an entire game of things going well for the visitors.
Jose Abreu led the offense to a 3-0 lead for Dylan Cease who was pitching very well. He went 5.2 innings before Bennett Sousa closed out the sixth inning for him. With lots of lefties coming up in the Kansas City lineup, Tony La Russa made a weird decision for the seventh inning.
Instead of keeping Sousa (a lefty) out there to try and mow these leftie Royals down, he throws out right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly who has struggled to find his command in the early going. He very predictably loaded the bases with no outs.
Ethan Katz might have saved the series for the Chicago White Sox in Kansas City.
Following that, Ethan Katz came out to have a little chat with Kelly and it might have saved the series. We may never know exactly what he said but whatever it was helped calm him down enough to get out of it unscathed.
He recorded two strikeouts and a third out to end the inning with 0s on the board for the Royals. That got them into the eighth where they used Jose Ruiz and the ninth with Liam Hendriks. It was a fantastic ending to a game that could have gotten out of hand quickly.
Ethan Katz is the pitching whisperer that we heard about when he was first hired. Not every pitcher turned into Lucas Giolito or anything like that but a lot of guys have become really good in certain roles. Joe Kelly needs to be better and this could be a turning point for him.
Now the White Sox have won the first two games of the series heading into that second game of a doubleheader. Tony La Russa made a questionable decision and both Katz and Kelly worked together to get out of it. Hopefully, this helps propel the team to more wins in this series. There are three left.