The Chicago White Sox needed a spark after mostly laying an egg against the New York Yankees last week. Before that series, things were going well for them but they were humbled by a team that is better than them right now.
They made a trip down to Missouri to take on the Kansas City Royals. They are not the best team in the world but they have some big-time hitters and defensive players that can make your life difficult.
For the first time in 2022, the White Sox used Johnny Cueto as the starter. When he signed with them, few people had any expectations of him but now he looks like someone who can provide value.
Chicago purchased his contract from AAA Charlotte on Monday morning and then announced him as the starter just a few moments later. It was a fun moment because it provided something new that could hold hope if it worked out.
Johnny Cueto was outstanding for the White Sox in this big win over the Royals.
Well, his White Sox debut was as magnificent as you could ask for from a guy like this. A former two-time All-Star and World Series champion is nice but most of these things were a long time ago. He needed to prove himself as a worthy number five and he might have done that.
Cueto shut down the Royals (who he won the World Series with in 2015) and finished with a stat line of 6.0 innings with two hits, two walks, no runs, and seven strikeouts. If he could keep that up in 2022 with the other men in the rotation doing what they’re doing, it could be very dangerous.
Kendall Graveman did everything in his power to ruin the night. He let the Kansas City Royals pound on the ball in the 8th inning. They eventually got it tied so they needed a bit of heroics to win it for Cueto.
Luis Robert came up to bat in the top of the 10th where the ghost runner was on second base. Robert hit a big-time home run to put the White Sox ahead for good. They hung on to win 5-3 thanks to some great pitching from Liam Hendriks in the bottom of the 10th.
Cueto wasn’t credited with the win because of Graveman messing it up but that doesn’t take away from how good he pitched. With Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech, and Lance Lynn in the mix, Cueto has to earn that fifth spot full-time over guys like Dallas Keuchel or Vince Velasquez. It is going to be a battle but this was a great start.