What was billed as one of the best pitching matchups of the 2022 Major League Baseball season took place this Tuesday night between Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease and Houston Astros slinger Justin Verlander.
The contest was not as good, perhaps, as it was billed to be as both guys allowed some runs but it was still very fun to watch. Verlander was a rock in this one going a long way before finally allowing the Sox to get back in the game.
Just like the night before, the Sox were able to storm back and win it 4-3. Another slow start was followed up by a strong finish giving them a huge win, their second in a row over the Astros and fifth overall.
The first team to score was the White Sox as Josh Harrison hit a single past Jose Altuve to score Jose Abreu and make it 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
The Astros would tie the game at one apiece after Alex Bregman boomed a ball to right field for a double which allowed Yuli Gurriel to score. This came in the top of the third.
On the scoring play, Andrew Vaughn struggled to catch the ball and allowed extra bases due to his mishandling of the ball. Although there was no error on the play, the run made it in and that hurt the White Sox early.
The Chicago White Sox should stop using infielders in the outfield regularly.
This exposed a significant issue with the outfield corps that the White Sox put out there on this night. It showed us that Vaughn is probably not the guy you want playing in the outfield. Not only does he have issues tracking the ball but he’s also a little bit too slow to play out there.
He is much better suited for the infield or as a designated hitter. The Astros would add another run (still in the top of the third) after Kyle Tucker doubled which allowed Bregman to score.
At that point, Cease allowed a couple of earned runs (even though the first one shouldn’t be scored as an earned run) for the first time in a while.
In the top of the fifth, a pitch from Cease to Altuve was taken deep into left field for a home run. The Astros went up 3-1 on the hit.
The Sox weren’t out of it though as in the bottom of the seventh, Gavin Sheets earned himself a triple (it was actually a double with an error) scoring Harrison and Seby Zavala to tie it up a three apiece. At that point, it was a new game.
Chicago would go up by one thanks to a single by Yoan Moncada which allowed Adam Engel to score from third. This came in the bottom of the eighth inning. The score was 4-3.
Liam Hendriks came in to close out the game in the top of the ninth. He was able to go 1-2-3 and he earned the save in dramatic fashion. The Sox won the game on his last out. It was his 18th straight save.
Cease’s time on the mound was less than stellar based on his standards but still good. He didn’t last as long as the team would have liked but he battled. He was on the mound for five innings where he allowed six hits and three runs.
He struck out four batters, walked three, and allowed one home run. Cease threw a total of 93 pitches with 55 of those being strikes. Cease was relieved by Jose Ruiz.
There were some weaknesses exposed on the White Sox Tuesday night. We mentioned the issues with the outfield not being able to catch balls consistently.
The offense struggled a lot in this game, granted, they were going up against one of the best pitchers in baseball but they woke up in time once again to help make it a close game. They got the win again in a dramatic fashion.
The Sox and the Astros will play again tomorrow in a game that features another good pitching matchup with Michael Kopech going up against Framber Valdez.
Hopefully, the White Sox can win again and keep up with the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins as they now sit within striking distance of earning the AL Central lead.