We thought Carlos Rodón’s career came down to his ill-fated relief appearance in Game 3 of the Wild Card series last year.
But maybe it’s all come down to this instead?
Then again, if Rodón can redeem himself after the previous October, he’d be one game away from having another start in store.
However it happens, Rodón seems like the right guy to have on the mound for an elimination game. He’s a big reason why the White Sox won the AL Central as easily as they did, so it’s hard to imagine them advancing into October with zero contributions from him. He could also be the wrong guy if he struggling to keep his fastball vibrant, but he’s the best of a whole bunch of imperfect choices, assuming he can maintain his recent condition at the very least.
The good news is that Monday’s rainout replenished the White Sox bullpen after the group’s heroic effort in Game 3. If Rodón can throw three decent innings, Tony La Russa can stitch together the final two-thirds of the game with his five most trustworthy relievers, as well as Lance Lynn for an inning. There’s always the chance that one of those guys doesn’t have it, but at least everybody should be OK with a given decision (at least the ones that don’t involve Craig Kimbrel).
On the other side, every Houston partisan should feel great about sending Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound on full rest for Game 4. He dominated the White Sox in Game 1 like he shut them down in the regular season, and there’s no particular reason to think it should go terribly differently. His strengths slot right into the White Sox’s weaknesses, making damage hard to come by.
The solace is that the White Sox would have to beat him — or outlast him — in one of the final two games anyway, and maybe home field can tilt something in their favor.
La Russa isn’t leaving it all to fate. He’s made one tweak in the lineup that would ordinarily minor, except it’s always news when José Abreu isn’t batting third. La Russa moved him down, putting Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada and Luis Robert in top three spots. The goal is to frontload the lineup with the guys having the most consistently formidable at-bats. They also possess the kind of speed that makes extra bases easier to come by, and double plays harder to turn. Another byproduct is moving Eloy Jiménez down to the sixth spot, which is probably a good idea against McCullers. Every little bit helps.
* * * * * * * * *
Time: 1:07 p.m. CT
TV: Fox Sports 1
|SS||Tim Anderson||1||Jose Altuve||2B|
|CF||Luis Robert||2||Michael Brantley||LF|
|3B||Yoán Moncada||3||Alex Bregman||3B|
|1B||José Abreu||4||Yordan Alvarez||DH|
|C||Yasmani Grandal||5||Carlos Correa||SS|
|LF||Eloy Jiménez||6||Yuli Gurriel||1B|
|DH||Gavin Sheets||7||Kyle Tucker||LF|
|RF||Leury García||8||Jake Meyers||CF|
|2B||César Hernández||9||Martin Maldonado||C|
|RHP||Carlos Rodón||SP||Lance McCullers Jr.||LHP|
Sox In 5
Yeah, that sounds about right to me for the ALCS as well.
Not sure about the WS though. I see that going to 6 or 7. The Giants are no joke.
Have some meetings this afternoon, so if the White Sox could have a minimum inning in the top of the first and score about 13 runs or so in the bottom of the first, I’d be much obliged.
Rodon is my ride or die.
I took a half day off at work and would like a win please.
Would you be rooting for a loss if you were at work?
That’s what work will do to you.
98.8 mph. That’s Hard Karl.
That was the second fastball. The first was 92.7. That’s quite the dial up in intensity. After that first fastball, the rest were all 96.8+. He looks great at that higher velocity. Now, we’ll see how long he can throw like that.
98.8 mph. That’s Hard Karl.
To add: That was against Bregman. Then hit 99.4 against Alvarez.
I’m hopeful he’s not throwing his arm off, but if he does, hopefully it’s a few innings down the road. Now let’s get some hits!
He’s back. This could be a fun one.
WOW!!! I didn’t expect that! The place is rockin!!!
I’m haing internet issues…missed the first inning. PANIC
Is it just me, or is Wainright a really good analyst?
He’s obviously been pitching a very long time in a very crafty way. His voice is also just of s really nice timbre.
It is not only you
He’s good, and this booth works splendidly together. I’d like to see these three work together in the future.
Still internet problems…I just saw a Katz visit to the mound….anyone knows why?
Pick out a wedding gift
He just answered an on-field interview with “there was something that was on my mind that need to be addressed and I think we did.” So, no details, but Wainwright just speculated maybe pitch tipping.
Sheets can’t leave this playoff without hitting a bomb. Our righty killer. Too bad for Meyers. That looks painful.
Great adjustment by Sheets. He looked completely lost against LMC in the last game, especially when he was getting those breaking balls.
Cesar Hernandez wears a pine tarred helmet like Abreu
And he is getting on-base in a Grandal-esque way
Walks have been hurting the White Sox in this series really bad
Kopech warming, so gamesmanship by TLR saying he was the only one not available?
Rodón gave it his all. Have to respect the effort.
Vic Carapazza strike zone is irregular.
It seems like we say that about every ump.
I think he made himself some money today.
The ump, or Carlos?
I dunno, I don’t think going 2+ innings in a playoff game after barely pitching the last 2 months is going to give teams a ton of confidence in his durability, sadly. Love the guy but how much value does he have to a team trying to win in the playoffs?
He might have a ton of value if he became open to being a reliever.
AJ going hard on TLR for not bringing in Kopech to face Correa
Makes it weirder when you’re willing to bring him in one batter later.
Rodon owns a .473 OPS against when facing Correa for his career. It wasn’t a bad decision.
I didn’t mind sticking with Rodón there. Velocity was 97, 98. He got up 0-2, but I’m not sure 3 fastballs was the way to go. I would have liked to see him bury a slider or changeup before going back to a 3rd fastball.
I’m not convinced Kopech would have gotten them out of the inning anyway.
Kopech almost got caught watching. Great play by Abreu!
Sox offense is back in ground ball mode.
This is a really high quality broadcast. Lots of interesting insight, great interplay between Wainwright (P) and AJ (C) from their perspectives. Amine is good. I’m telling the wife and kid to shut up so I can listen!
Any time the Sox want to stop challenging the Astros with constant fastballs would be ok.
Yeah, don’t complain about them stealing signs if you’re going to throw a fastball on every pitch.
In the end Kopech less “secret weapon” and more “young player pitching in his first posteason”
More hype than anything else.
Every team has a Michael Kopech.
Feels like a 10 run lead with McCullers in
Yeah, this 5-1 deficit is a lot different from the game three 5-1 deficit.
But also not like game 1. McCullers nowhere near as sharp, he can be gotten to. Except when Cesar is hitting.
Four postseason games, not one quality start. Not even close. Hard to win when that happens. It’s not over, but that’s a backbreaker.
Fortunate health for most of the season finally caught up with this rotation as well. Teams need to go something like 8 deep. Lots of work on Hahn’s plate
This should be a 2-1 game right now. The Sox suck at the little things. They might be the worst coached team in baseball.
Sheets should remind Eloy how to hit for power and get the ball in the air.
Probably add Jose to that list.
I was in a conference call. 5 x1???
I would be comfortable with not picking up Hernandez’ option.
No chance they’re picking it up.
If all it is incentivizing Hahn to resign Leury
There are plenty of good quality 2nd basemen available. Chris Taylor would be on the top of my list.
I don’t think Chris Taylor is that big of an upgrade over playing Leury full time at 2B.
I hope not. Ditto Kimbrel. I know people want them to pick it up and trade him, but who is going to trade for a $16 M reliever who blew chunks the last 2+ months? I say stay away and never look back.
Agreed. Assess his value immediately and if no one is interested, pay him the $1M and say goodbye.
They need to get a real 2b, has to be their top priority, maybe even more than RF. They need a lot of things.
I think starting pitching is before both of these, they have 5 (if you count Keuchel and Kopech) with no high minor depth. That’s not enough these days.
Bullpen will need work too. And more so if Kopech is in the rotation. Hendriks, Bummer, and Crochet initially come to mind as the guys under team control who seem certain to have roles.
Lack of minor depth could be a reason to keep Kopech in the bullpen as depth to start the year. If they can’t stash starter depth in the minors, they need to have it availabe in the ‘pen
He’s definitely still a $6M player, but I’d be fine with a decline if they have a clear upgrade planned.
Cesar…you have to swing the bat. At least once. Awful to strike out looking at 3 strikes. Just awful.
Ryan Tepera having himself a good series.
He should have come after Rodon
Hey Dusty, his name is Ryan Tepera. You might want to learn that since he has shut your team down twice now.
Sox should resign him.
AJ questioning a player about doing/saying something controversial with a straight face is quite the thing. We had the Bull Durham wedding present mound visit earlier. Also pertinent: “The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.”
Top of the order. It’s time to do some damage.
And McCullers out early.
Dusty is already looking to the ALCS.
Ump’s strike zone wasn’t too bad earlier, but it’s getting bad this inning.
That was the beef getting set down. Winter is coming.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense to bring in Tepera before Crochet. You gave them looks at fireballer after fireballer after fireballer. I think it’s obvious the Astros can hit fastballs.
This game seems out of reach. No McCullers, but 5 runs deficit in 3 innings? Ryan Pressly is around the corner. He is a tough pitcher.
Two straight post-seasons that Renteria’s bullpen management has cost us. It might be time to consider finding a new leader in the dugout
And what would you have done differently today? Everyone can be a Monday morning quarterback. The Astros know how to win. The Sox are still learning.
Not let Rodon load the bases and then bring in a tired, disinterested Kopech?
I would have brought Tepera. The Bummer. But hey, we all are managers if we have an ISP.
So he was the bullpen savior a few days ago, and now he’s just tired and disinterested. Wow.
Don’t get me wrong–Tony hasn’t been awful, but he hasn’t been great either. Today is yet another example of him using Kopech in exactly the wrong situations. Let a real reliever come in with guys on base. Hell, bring in Kimbrel if you want. Don’t pitch your tired, rookie, sort-of-a-starter in a pivotal moment where he’s set up to fail.
Seemed like Tepera could have been warming for the 3rd with runners on. Kopech and Crochet early, then Tepera / Bummer feels very formulaic. Though that still leaves late innings to cover with the secondary relievers.
Nah not Kimbrel. He’s useless outside of a save situation with zero people on base. Maybe Tepera and Hendricks are the only ones who can get out of that situation.
How about the last game? Dusty bringing in a guy with a 2-0 count would have driven you crazy.
So he’s worse than Dusty Baker.
LaRussa 3 rings, Dusty 0.
How’d he do this year, Mrs LaRussa?
His rings were between 10 and 30+ years ago, not relevant to his current managerial acumen.
And I’m not laying much of their postseason on him, the talent isn’t there to beat the Astros. But TLR isn’t great, and that’s a very kind and understated way of putting that.
On the other hand, since the new manager didn’t do the trick, now there is no excuse to not spend money on players.
What was on our grocery list about this time last year.
We went to the store but the list hasn’t changed.
Tony will be back. So don’t spend all of the next 6 months lamenting that.
I think he signed a 2 years contract and there is no way Reinsdorf will fire him.
To be fair, there might be more on the list this year
They did go out and get a Starter or two. Too bad all of the rotation decided to pick the same time to get roughed up.
The White Sox will make a few more post season with this core, but having a good young core is not enough. Reinsdorf has to realize that he still has to spend and sign good players to complement. Next year free agent list is loaded with talent. No time for dumpster diving this off season.
I don’t think next season’s FA class is loaded with the talent the white sox need. There’s no really great 2B’s on the market. Right Fielders, maybe Castellonos or Starling Marte but I just feel those deals are gonna blow up in the Sox’s face if they get them.
I don’t know what all is available, but if there isn’t much in position player areas of interest, they can emphasize other areas – double down on pitching (which they need anyway) or bench depth.
Beginning to think my expectation for success for the season, looking competent in the division series, may not come to fruition.
White Sox fans on 1st game:
“Where the fuck is Michel Kopech? La Russa sucks”
White Sox fans on 4th game:
“Why did he bring in Kopech? La Russa sucks”
Best comment of the day.
Never understood why Kopech was treated like he was Hader. He was interesting because he might be able to cover multiple innings out of the pen. But other than that, he was still just an unproven pitcher
He started the season really strong. I think that colored a lot of people’s opinion of him
Because La Russo was wrong both times.
Nice of the rest of the lineup to allow rookie Sheets to hit today’s ceremonial double.
Fitting that Kimbrel should put this completely out of reach.
It’s a good thing none of these games have been close so the stolen bases don’t matter at all
As the longest tenured White Sox they should give Leury the honor of pitching the ninth.
White Sox pitchers have been very considerate. The postseason schedule may have interfered with Ethan Katz’s fitness routine, but they are collectively making sure he is getting his steps in.