Followed-from-work bullet point recap:
*The White Sox opened Hawk Harrelson’s final series with a game he had fun calling, outhitting the Cubs 19-9 with a run discrepancy to match.
*Unlikely heroes stepped forth, with the 5-6-7-8 spots all contributing three hits apiece.
*Reynaldo Lopez was terrific, at least after the first batter. Daniel Murphy took him deep on a poor 3-2 changeup to start the game, and that was the only run Lopez allowed.
*Lopez pushed around the Cubs with his fastball, throwing it for 71 of his 108 pitches and 10 of his 16 swinging strikes. He hit 97 on his last pitch of the game, which was popped up behind the mound. He looked very pleased with himself for catching it.
*His final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR. He lowered his ERA to 3.94.
*Quintana was the opposite — a 1-2-3, two-strikeout first inning, and problems afterward. He struck out eight and walked nobody over five innings, but hits were a problem.
*The Sox tagged him for nine hits, two of them homers. Kevan Smith followed a pair of pair of singles with a three-run shot to left center, part of a sequence of five straight hits. Two innings later, Smith scored on Ryan LaMarre’s double for a 4-1 lead.
*Quintana exited after Welington Castillo led off the sixth with a single, and Daniel Palka put a run on his tab. He smoked a hanging curve 110 mph out to right for a two-run shot, his fourth pinch-hit homer of the year.
*The final line for the former Sox: 5 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 HR. He was denied a career-high 14th win, and his ERA is back above 4.
*Itemizing the aforementioned 5-6-7-8 success:
- Castillo: 3-for-5, 2 R
- Smith/Palka: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI
- Yoan Moncada: 3-for-4, R, RBI
- LaMarre: 3-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI
*Shaky bullpen work dragged this game down a little, with the Sox needing three pitchers to get through the eighth. Jace Fry failed to retire either of his two hitters, Jose Ruiz gave up a walk and a sinking line drive that Ryan Cordell’s diving attempt couldn’t prevent from hitting the ground, and Aaron Bummer walked the first guy he faced before ending the inning after three runs had scored. Nate Jones handled the ninth by himself.
*That said, the Cubs used seven pitchers to cover only eight innings.
*Harrelson is having a blast:
HAWK IS RETIRING HE DON'T CARE. pic.twitter.com/WPJp9Afxk3
— Jim Margalus 🥌 (@SoxMachine) September 21, 2018
Record: 61-92 | Box score
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Lopez’s turnaround has been remarkable, and the stuff is legit enough that it doesn’t just feel like a fluke. If you’d taken a poll a month ago asking if it were more likely Lopez would finish an ERA over 5 or under 4, I think most would have voted the former. The concerns over weak peripherals earlier in the season has faded: the results are matching what we’re seeing.
Agreed – Lopez has taken a step that makes it look like he could be more than just good in the future. I was hoping there would be more of those this year but the fact that there’s one…and that he so clearly loves the game…is great.
‘bout time all you haters came around.
The last 2 months have been encouraging. I hope he continues to build on them.
Also, the change in results is backed up by some changes he’s made. His release point is coming from less over the top. There’s some noise in the data but he also seems to have adjusted how he throws his change and slider so they’re closer in speed. He’s generating more consistent whiffs with all his pitches. Plus he’s had much better control.
Lopez was great, looking forward to see rotation of Roden, Lopez,Cease,Giolito and ???. But those 19 hits were outstanding. Go Sox…
Michael Kopech is the name you’re looking for.
Naw, I’m looking at 2019. Maybe another lefty.