So today I will take my birthday morning to write a little bit about my favorite team; the Chicago White Sox. Ah yes, the good old days. 2005 was incredible. I’ll quote Andy Bernard of The Office here; “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.” Sigh. Amazing television series. Anyways, back to the White Sox. 2005 was great. Since then, not so much. Even so, there have still been many deeply staggering moments since then.
The White Sox have actually done well in being able to captivate their fans with huge moments and milestones since that World Series title without actually winning another one.
Remember when DeWayne Wise saved Mark Buehrle’s perfect game?
Jim Thome hitting his 500th home run for a walk-off shot against the Angels?
Mark Buehrle’s insane between-the-legs play?
And who could forget when the Sox and Cubs brawled?
The White Sox certainly have had very entertaining moments, especially for a team that has had little success over the past decade-plus. They have only had a winning season four times since 2006 and have made the playoffs only once in that same time span when they lost in four games to the uprising Tampa Bay Rays in 2008.
Then this past Sunday happened. Reynaldo Lopez entered Sunday with arguably the worst numbers of any starter in baseball. If not the worst, then definitely top three. He came into his Sunday’s start with a 7.46 ERA. He went six innings, giving up one unearned run on two hits. He walked three batters and struck out 14 on 105 pitches, 63 of them for strikes. He had a Game Score of 77, the second highest of his career and would have probably ranked as his best start had he walked a batter or two less.
Jace Fry would come in to strike out two batters in a perfect inning, recording his fifth hold of the season. Kelvin Herrera also struck out two batters in a perfect inning and picked up his fourth hold of the year. Alex Colomé topped it off with a walk and another two strike outs in a ninth inning save, his fifth of the year to finish up a 4-1 victory. That is a combined 20 strike outs, which ties a major league single-game team record, shared with six other occasions (note that this is only considering 9-inning games).
With an offense that has quietly been improving (15 point improvement in wRC+ from 2018 to 2019 so far, more power, more walks, less strikeouts) and a bullpen that can start to improve any day now, this team is only 12-14 right now. They would see a decent improvement to their rotation, one of the worst in baseball, if they were to sign, say, a Dallas Keuchel. They have lacked for winning baseball recently, but with a monster performance by the White Sox pitching staff on Sunday, to go along with the still promising farm system they possess, their 20 strike out performance could be the turning point for a franchise that has now won eight of their last 13 games, after starting the season 4-9. Things may be starting to look up for White Sox fans.
Featured Photo Credit: The Athletic
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