I'm not one to get too up or too down about a game in May, but everything seemed to go right for the White Sox in Wednesday night's 9-4 beat down against Gerrit Cole and the mighty Houston Astros.
Outside of the lone error by Tim Anderson, the fielding looked very sharp as the White Sox managed to rack up four double plays and the first triple play in the MLB this season. The pitching was manageable as well, as the inconsistent Ivan Nova was able to scatter ten hits that only resulted in three runs against the potent Astros' offense through seven-plus innings of work. The bullpen cleaned up the mess left by Nova in the eighth inning and the self-induced mess left by Thyago Vieira in the ninth and our boys came out victorious.
In a game where the Sox put nine runs on the board, its no surprise that offense played a big role in this game as well. Most people are talking about Eloy Jimenez's two moonshots that went a combined 846 feet, and reasonably so as he is coming back from injury. My biggest takeaway, however, is the grand slam off the bat of Charlie Tilson for his first career MLB home run and one of his accompanying quotes in his post game interview.
First off, we'll talk about the home run itself. As you can see this was an absolute cannon, especially for someone not known for power. This blast couldn't have come at a more opportune time in the ballgame, in a big two-out spot to cap off a huge six-run sixth inning. This at bat pretty much determined the course of the game and Chuck decided that he wanted to put the game as far out of reach as possible.
After the dust settled, Tilson said something in his post game interview that really resonated with me. He said, "The day I was traded to the White Sox was the most exciting day of my life.” Yes, he is a local kid and grew up a Sox fan. I think it takes a total of watching one Charlie Tilson start all season to hear Jason Benetti drop the fact that Tilson went to New Trier (it seems like he does this every chance he gets), so it’s well known. But regardless of all of that, this tells me that this dude wants to be here. He wants to contribute to this White Sox team now and when this team turns the corner and becomes a contender. After missing out on some big name players this off season, it’s nice to see that someone with the grit and grind mentality like Tilson say something like this.
He's been more than just talk, however. He really has shown that he is dedicated to this team and the game of baseball. Since being traded to the White Sox in 2016 for reliever Zach Duke, he has had his fair share of disappointing injuries. He made his major league debut shortly after the trade and earned his first major league hit but immediately suffered a torn left hamstring in the same game and needed season-ending surgery. After battling back to be ready for Spring Training, he then missed all of 2017 with a stress fracture and played sparingly in 2018 for both the White Sox and AAA Charlotte. He has overcome all of these obstacles and has been a bright spot in an outfield that hasn't had much to write home about, earning 17 hits in 16 games played since his call up.
Featured Photo: NBC Sports