White Sox 6, Royals 0: A Complete Victory

After a two-hour rain delay, the Chicago White Sox finally kicked off their home Opening Day festivities that featured head groundskeeper Roger “The Sodfather” Bossard given a golden rake for his 55th season. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was in attendance to give Jose Abreu his 2020 American League MVP award. Unlike past years, there was no car parade along the warning track.

The 2021 squad aimed to buck a recent negative trend of poor performances by the White Sox on home Opening Day. After winning seven straight home Opening Day games from 2008 to 2014, the Chicago White Sox had lost five of their previous six. That trend of poor performances for the home opener ended as 8,207 fans watched Lance Lynn pitched a complete game while Yoan Moncada and Yermin Mercedes provided the fireworks to a 6-0 victory.  

The first inning set the tone of this game. Lynn started sharp, striking out the side on just 13 pitches by leaning on his cutter and sinker. Then it was the White Sox hitters turn. Jose Abreu started the rally with two outs against Royals starter Brad Keller. Wearing red gloves like Eloy Jimenez, Abreu sliced a double that split the gap between center and right field. Moncada followed by hitting an oppo taco off Keller’s hanging breaker. 

Being the first fans to watch the White Sox in-person since 2019, the crowd was already alive. Yermin Mercedes turned up the volume to 11 with his mammoth blast. An absolute no-doubter traveling 485 feet as his solo home run fell just short of the left field’s outfield concourse. According to the White Sox, it’s the third-longest home run hit at Comiskey Field/US Cellular/Guaranteed Rate Field. 

Later in the game, the White Sox padded their lead with the bases loaded. Luis Robert hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and in the sixth inning, Adam Eaton drove in two runs with his single. White Sox hitters didn’t walk ten times like they did yesterday against Seattle, but they had as many free passes and strikeouts with five each. Add in ten hits, and the offense was quite productive. 

While Mercedes home run will get plenty of run on social media, it’s Lynn’s performance that carries greater importance. Throwing 111 pitches, Lynn used his trio of a four-seamer, cutter, and sinker to strike out 11 Royals batters without allowing a walk. Lynn’s Called Strike Whiff rate (CSW%) was 32% generating 17 whiffs out of 60 swings for the evening.

He consistently lived in the strike zone, throwing 79 strikes to just 32 balls. It was the performance sorely needed for a team looking to give its bullpen a break. Now the bullpen gets two days off, thanks to Lynn.

Game Notes:

  • Luis Robert extends his on-base streak to eight games with a walk. 
  • Danny Mendick had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk
  • Yermin Mercedes went 2-for-4, and his season batting average is .556
  • Nick Madrigal went 1-for-3 with an infield single and walk. Both times he got on base he ended up scoring. 
  • Lance Lynn was the first White Sox starter to strike out 10+ batters in a home opener since Edwin Jackson in 2011

Record: 4-4 | Box Score | StatCast

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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Joliet Orange Sox

As previously proven by Wilbur Wood.


This was only the 3rd career complete game and 2nd career shutout for Lynn. And he struck out every Royals starter. Masterful.


Dane who?


Josh, this is the one time a year we get to mention Joe Borchard. C’mon.


You mean Mickey Mantle.

You can also sneak his name in when Charlotte comes up he holds a lot of their records I believe.


Great game!

Small thing I noticed is Mendick’s bad game on the base paths. He got caught off first on the one liner and on Eaton’s bases loaded single he looked like he would have been doubled up if the pitcher managed to glove it. Madrigal made sure it was going to get through (and still managed to score) but it looked like Mendick was a third of the way down the line already. Didn’t effect the game at all, but worth keeping an eye on as he covers SS over the next week

I think the getting caught off first on the liner is just one of those things. He would have to had almost no lead and been leaning toward first to see whether the ball was caught to not get caught off. That seems like a plan that would cost the team runs over the course of a season. Sometime reasonable risks don’t pay off.

I didn’t notice him in the frame on the Eaton hit up the middle. I know Madrigal made it without a throw but I was surprised there was no throw.


I’m mostly inferring on the Eaton single. But madrigal is faster and he was only ~60% of the way to third when Mendick gets to second base.

Trooper Galactus

Most of us figured Yermin could be a credible hitter, but holy shit, I don’t think anybody ever dreamed of anything even remotely like what he’s doing. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly the league adjusts to pitching to him and how quickly he can respond in kind. This is glorious.


The thing is that the plate discipline is impeccable. He’s been beat with a few wipeout breaking balls, but that’s about it. If there’s holes in his swing, they at least aren’t big enough for him to not be able to foul off those pitcher’s pitches.

Is he going to have a wRC+ > 200 for a whole season? Probably not. But the ingredients for a quality hitter are there.

Last edited 1 year ago by MrStealYoBase
Trooper Galactus

But will he have a wRC+ > 300 for a whole season?




Which, for a guy almost left off the team, would raise the question of talent evaluation

As Cirensica

That question has being raised many years ago with various transactions such as the fantastic Tatis Jr. trade or the fact we bring a lot of players that next year retire or can’t find a job.

We know the answer. White Sox talent evaluation is bad.


Had Tatis even played a pro game by the time the Sox traded him?


I mean, the Sox did pick him up in the Rule 5 draft. That’s something.

Right Size Wrong Shape

It’s exciting, because Mercedes’ game appears to be making adjustments. I’ve seen him use several different stances already this year, and he seamlessly goes from Reggie Jackson home run cut to emergency hack in the same at bat.


I didn’t think he would be just a credible hitter. I was always 100% optimistic regarding him and thought he should have been up in the majors since 2019 but even my naively optimistic expectations have been blown away.


Would anyone else be tempted to skip Cease for Rodon to keep everyone but Cease on schedule with the off day or is it too early for games like that?

Jim Margalus

Given Rodón’s health history, he needs extra days off more than anybody else on the staff.


I think its way too early in the year for that, but with a full pen very rested Cease may be on a tad shorter leash next time out.

Last edited 1 year ago by knoxfire30

NOOOO! You have to give my Boy Dylan “Cease Scoring Runs” his chance to come good! (Also, I have both him and Rodan on my Fantasy team. I need maximum Ks from both to win this matchday)


I’m looking forward to “Cease and Desist” orders becoming a thing, once he harnesses his command


YuM, YuM!
Read somewhere this was the first home opener complete game shutout with 10+ Ks and 0 BBs.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess it was also the first time 2 guys with the initials YM went back to back!

Trooper Galactus

Unless Yadier Molina had a teammate I’m not remembering.

As Cirensica

According to Baseball-Ref, there has been only 8 players with the Y-M name initials.

Yadier Molina (2004-2021)
Yairo Munoz (2018-2020)
Yale Murphy (1894-1897)
Yermin Mercedes (2020-2021)
Yoan Moncada (2016-2021)
Yoervis Medina (2013-2015)
Yohander Mendez (2016-2019)
Yunesky Maya (2010-2013)

So…I think the Y-M going back to back of yesterday was the first ever.


What satisfying fun! My only regret is that they can’t follow it up with another win today.