Chicago White Sox fans willing and able got to see their first glimpse of much-maligned starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. The Pale Hose rewarded fans that braved the weather with a win. A respectable outing from Keuchel and cannon fire off of the bats propelled the South Siders to a 6-4 win. The win was their fourth in a row.
Chicago signed Dallas Keuchel to a three-year deal in November 2019 as a free agent. The lefty underperformed in 2021. He did not make the playoff roster and entered 2022 with a lot of questions about his future performance.
He did not inspire much confidence in a very rainy game on the south side. Seattle jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first Inning after Ty France homered to left off Keuchel.
Scoring Early and Often
The Pale Hose Offense wasted little time responding. This is a trend we’ve seen in the first five games of 2022 and all of 2021. Eloy Jimenez hit a rocket to the seats in left to get the Sox on the board as the rain continued.
Andrew Vaughn scored after Jake Burger hit a rocket that skipped off the glove of JP Crawford into left field. Tim Anderson, on the first pitch, laced a double into left-center that scored two. The White Sox were off and running vs the reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray.
Keuchel Keeps it Close
Keuchel allowed two more runs to cross home in the fifth inning. The southpaw was effective for most of the evening aside from the home run by France in the first. A couple of unlucky singles in the fifth resulted in two more runs. His night was over after the fifth, giving way to Kyle Crick. Keuchel earned his 100th career win and started the season off on the right foot. He relinquished three earned runs over five innings with five Ks. He didn’t allow a free pass either.
Keuchel featured a three-pitch mix of a changeup, cutter, and sinker. All pitches showed good movement for most of the evening, which included 10 swings and misses. He spent the evening locating his cutter well by throwing it down-and-in for strikes to right-handed hitters. He was able to work off of that cutter and get ahead of hitters in most at-bats.
Firing on All Cylinders
In the top of the sixth, with Kyle Crick pitching in relief, Adam Engel made a spectacular catch. He robbed a home run from Jesse Winker to keep the Sox up by one run. It’s a play we’ve seen him make many times in his career with the White Sox. It is crucial the team keeps him healthy as his defense off the bench is a huge asset.
The Sox added back-to-back homers from Anderson and Luis Robert in the seventh, putting the White Sox up 6-3, enough to chase Ray the Cy Young award winner. Ray surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits over 6.1 innings, striking out four and walking two.
Outstanding in Relief
The White Sox bullpen has been a strength of the team despite some struggles early, most notably from closer Liam Hendricks. The bullpen and starters have shared almost equal weight in terms of workload. Tony La Russa has called on his bullpen early and often thus far. The Sox have yet to have a starting pitcher complete six innings. So far, nine relievers have already amassed 22.2 innings of work in five games and pitched to an ERA of 2.78.
What’s On Tap?
Tony La Russa’s challenge will be navigating an effective but overused bullpen. While also constructing an effective lineup that is now without four starters, Josh Harrison and Eloy Jimenez departed yesterday’s game. Jimenez left early after fouling a ball off of his foot, and Harrison came out with back stiffness. The White Sox announced that both players are day-to-day.
The White Sox will look to sweep the series with Jimmy Lambert on the mound in the afternoon Thursday. The Mariners will send out Logan Gilbert. The second-year righty pitched the first two innings of a suspended game vs the Sox last year.
Rain delayed the start of the game by 47 minutes.
Eloy Jimenez has driven in a run in all five games.
Per Statcast, The White Sox hit four baseballs that exceeded 110 MPH in Exit Velocity.
The last time Robbie Ray allowed six earned runs or more was Aug. 10, 2020, vs the Colorado Rockies.
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