When Carlos Rodon feels good about all his pitches, everybody feels good about watching the White Sox.
Rodon pitched into the eighth to power the Sox to a shutout over the Cardinals that also snapped a six-game losing streak. He allowed just three hits and two walks over 7⅓ innings, striking out seven. He dictated the action by throwing 66 strikes, and by throwing his changeup (23 times) almost as often as his slider (23).
It was the kind of effort that allowed the Sox to win by multiple runs without their best effort. For instance, Yoan Moncada made a couple of mistakes that could have undermined other nights.
In the first, Moncada took advantage of Yadier Molina botching a pop-up to draw a leadoff walk, then took second on Yolmer Sanchez’s infield single. Jose Abreu followed by hitting a soft liner to left. Moncada put his head down and dug toward home, assuming the liner was more of the gorked varietyo that would plot behind shortstop. Instead, it carried all the way to Marcel Ozuna in left, who flipped the ball to second for the inning-shorting double play. Weaver was on the ropes with 20 pitches thrown before his first out, but he ended up throwing six innings of one-run ball.
Still, Rodon kept the Cardinals off the board until the Sox could summon another rally. The Sox finally got that run in the fifth, as Leury Garcia walked, took third on Omar Narvaez’s single to center and scored on Tim Anderson’s groundout.
Moncada made a more critical mistake in the eighth inning. With a runner on first and one out, Rodon got a fairly tailor-made grounder to Moncada’s right. It should’ve been a backhand stab in flip, but the ball deflected off his glove and into center field, putting runners on the corners with still just one out. Rodon compounded problems by walking lefty Matt Carpenter on four pitches, putting the tying run on base.
But because he went so deep into the game, Rick Renteria only had to use his good relievers. Juan Minaya came in and struck out Tommy Pham for the second out, and Joakim Soria came in to face Jose Martinez. Soria schooled him, striking him out on two elevated fastballs and a slider well out of the zone.
Watching that crisis was a little easier since the Sox built a cushion in thee seventh, and Narvaez again played a big part. He shot a single to left with two outs off Mike Mayers, then chugged all the way home on Anderson’s double to the left-field corner. Anderson scored because Charlie Tilson had another RBI single against his former team, this time dropping a single into the triangle behind second base.
And for what it’s worth, Moncada at least contributed a highlight to go along with his lowlights. In the eighth inning, he greeted Jordan Hicks by roping a 102-mph fastball into the right center gap for a standup triple, then scored two batters later on Abreu’s chopper.
*Tilson was picked off by Molina after his RBI single.
*Abreu, Daniel Palka and Matt Davidson went 0-for-11 with five strikeouts in the middle of the order.
*Sanchez made a strong throw behind the bag, and Abreu had one of the longer 3-1 feeds after playing a hot one-hopper off his body.
Record: 31-61 | Box score
There last night . With Cardinal fans there some buzz in ballpark for a change. Excluding Moncada’s miscues I hope this type of game is a harbinger of seasons to come with the Sox getting a satisfying win.
Very impressed that Rodon pitched a shutout and “allowed just three runs” 🙂
That made me do a double-take, but since his return, Minaya’s allowed a .179/.292/.214 line with 19 K / 8 BB in 14.2 IP. The walks are up there, but quite a nice stretch for him.
Was at the game last night; ‘los was dealing. He seemed to get annoyed that a few 92 MPH fastballs weren’t called strikes, so what does he do? Ratchets it up to 97 to ring up Yadi. Beautiful. And Moncada, for all of his follies in the field and the basepaths (concentration lapses?), he is FAST. I did not think he was going to get a triple, let alone standing up. But he turned on that 102 MPH heat like it was nothing.
I like Carlos Rodon, but the pressure is on. If the Sox had not drafted him, they would have taken Aaron Nola, who is the Phillies ace, even with Arrieta. Carlos needs to stay healthy and perform like a number 1-2.
He’s been one of the 5 or 6 best players from his draft class, even with the injuries. Sure, it would be nice to have ended up with Nola, but I wouldn’t say the pressure is on yet. Especially since this team doesn’t look like it’s going to be particularly good next year anyway.
I don’t quite get your point. I don’t care if he’s one of the 5 or 6 best players from his class if he is mediocre or if he is frequently injured. I want him to be a substantial contributor; you know, like Nola.
He could be a substantial contributor and still be a hell of a lot worse than Aaron Nola. Nola’s an unfair standard to hold anyone to, regardless of draft order.
That said, taking the specificity away, there is a good deal of pressure for the White Sox to develop any pitcher in this window who can approach Nola’s level. Rodon is one of them with a chance, but I feel like his health history, age, and inconsistent command should lead us to temper expectations at this point.
Do you know if anybody has done an analysis of playoff rotations to see just how important a dominant ace is? It feels to me like most playoff teams have one, but I am curious how often a team can just put together a really solid 1-5 and be a contender. The Sox have so much depth in the minors, but nobody that looks like a sure bet to be an ace at this point. I feel confident that by 2020/2021, this team will have at least 5 league average SPs available to them, but I wonder if that’s actually enough to put a team over the top most of the time without an ace.
I don’t disagree with any of this. Rodon has a high ceiling, and my point was that it’s time to hit it if he’s going to hit it. We have only two others, I think, who might aspire to that level: Kopech and Cease.
Most organizations would love to have “only two” young guys (3 including Rodon) that have legitimate shots at becoming aces. Those are few and far between.
I guess my point was that he has time still. He’s been better than most players from his draft class, and I don’t think there’s much pressure on him to become that #1 starter by the end of this year or even next season. But yes, I too want him to eventually anchor a rotation on a contender. I just think there’s still plenty of time before said contending is likely.
Ok, I guess the only place that we disagree is as to whether there is plenty of time. He’s been around a few years, and the Sox want to compete by 2020. If he’s the number 1, he needs to make strides in his consistency pretty quickly.
First off you’re sounding like a Cub fan with that whole “Hurr durr Cubs would of taken Schwarber even if Rodon was available” nonsense they spout. Second, if i remember correctly Carlos was considered the better prospect by pretty much everybody anyway. And third, at the time the Sox were still in the “win now” mode and Rodon was going to reach the Majors and help the team before Nola.
You cant project injuries. People thought Sale was TJ waiting to happen with his motion and all the experts were saying Mark Prior was “injury proof” due to his perfect mechanics.
What the f@8k are you talking about? I did not complain about selecting Carlos; I was for it. I simply was pointing out that a guy drafted about the same time—and a guy that the Sox considered— has become a substantial contributor. If the White Sox are to compete in the next couple of years, it is pretty much imperative that Rodon become a front-line guy.
Boras trend is to not sign early extension contracts to buy out arb years with his clients, but I wonder if given Rodon’s shaky health throughout, the Sox could offer him an early extension. Don’t know if Rodon/Boras would want that, don’t know if the White Sox would want that risk either.
Q: If things stand as they do today, would Abreu be the first below-replacement level All-Star? Starter?
I doubt it. Numerous instances when guys were voted in their late career on name recognition, but didn’t deserve it. Likely some of them were negative WAR. Too lazy to look it up, though.
2014 Derek Jeter might fit the bill if we’re talking All-Star starters. He was only worth .2 WAR that year. B-Ref doesn’t do WAR splits by month, though, so not sure what his WAR was at the time of the ASG.
If we’re talking just all-stars, I’m sure there are plenty since every team sends a player. Probably some mid-late 90s/early-aught Royals would make the list.
If no one else did, Tony Womack probably already blazed that trail.
Salvador Perez has been much worse than Jose this year.
Scoring runs on ground outs and fly outs is what good teams do. Last night the White Sox looked just like a good team.
I know, weird, right?