Dylan Cease gets so close to a no-hitter in White Sox win
Before Saturday night’s Chicago White Sox game against the Minnesota Twins, the radio broadcast on ESPN-AM1000 ran a spot in which a lucky fan could win a car if the White Sox posted a no-hitter.
Saturday was almost that night as American League Cy Young candidate Dylan Cease almost made it happen, coming within one out of recording the first no-hitter of his career.
Cease was one out away from posting the no-no when Luis Arraez kept it from happening by lining a single to right field. Although Cease lost the no-hitter, he did pick up his 13th win on the season as the White Sox blanked the Twins 13-0.
After sending the Twins down one-two-three in the top half of the first inning on fly balls, Cease was given a nice cushion to work with as the White Sox put up four runs in their half of the inning, capped off by a three-run homer from Eloy Jimenez.
Those four runs at the start seemed to put both Cease and the White Sox into a comfort zone from which they never wavered. In fact, Cease was so in control that he managed to go the distance to post the first complete game of his career.
Dylan Cease put on a legendary performance for the Chicago White Sox.
Cease didn’t dominate the Twins with the strikeout-type stuff people have come to expect. In fact, he ended the night with seven strikeouts and two walks. However, he managed to keep Twins hitters off balance with his slider and didn’t allow more than just a couple of hard-hit balls.
The performance by Cease was a Mark Buehrle type in that he worked quickly and efficiently, tossing 68 of his 103 pitches for strikes. In Buehrle fashion, Cease got the job done in two hours and 21 minutes.
During the television broadcast, AJ Pierzynski had said Cease should consider putting Arraez on by not giving him anything to hit. Unfortunately for Cease, he went after the league leader in batting average and left a slider up in the zone which Arraez laced into the outfield.
Still, it was a performance worthy of a guy who should be heavily considered for a Cy Young Award. A near no-hitter against a team in the thick of the playoff race is the type of thing that should get the attention of voters.
Over his last three games, Cease has given up a grand total of six hits in 22.1 innings. He gave up three to Baltimore followed by two against Arizona before allowing the one to the Twins. Based on that trend, his next start will result in no hits, right?
To say that Cease has been spectacular this season would be a huge understatement. To illustrate how good he’s been, according to Codify, Cease has a minuscule 1.23 earned run average over his last 18 starts and the third-fewest earned runs allowed (15) over any 18-start span in history behind only Bob Gibson (11) and Jake Arrieta (13).
While Cease was turning away Twins hitters, the White Sox offense came to play as well by belting three homers on the evening as part of their 13-hit barrage.
In addition to Jimenez’s blast, Romy Gonzalez went deep as did Elvis Andrus who hammered a grand slam as part of the team’s six-run eighth inning. Those three homers have given the White Sox 10 long balls over their last four games.
The win was the team’s fourth in a row and moved the White Sox back over .500 at 67-66 and one game behind the Twins for second place in the American League Central division and two behind the first-place Cleveland Guardians heading into Sunday.