Johnny Cueto bounced back from a few rough outings and the Chicago White Sox got a couple of big hits in Monday’s win. The Sox are back to .500 at 80-80 with two games left against the Minnesota Twins. The series opening win guarantees a second-place finish in the AL Central. The team joined in on the press conference before the game to watch manager Tony La Russa announce his retirement.
La Russa’s Story Ends
The Hall of Fame skipper stepped down because of a couple of health-related issues. It was not the ending he envisioned when coming out of retirement to rejoin his old team. The White Sox can finish no better than one game above .500 in a year when they had World Series aspirations.
“The last thing I said to the players in the meeting was that love them,” said La Russa. “I can’t be more thankful.”
The Great Johnny Cueto
The White Sox received another gem from Johnny Cueto in his final start of 2022. Cueto was signed right before the start of the season to eventually fill in for the injured Lance Lynn. He provided stability to the pitching rotation and became the most reliable starter of 2022 outside of Dylan Cease. Not enough can be said for Cueto, but despite far exceeding expectations the team still fell short.
Cueto contributed his 18th quality start in 24 starts. He ends the season 8-10 with an ERA of 3.35, and 102 strikeouts in 158.1 innings pitched. Following the game, the veteran spoke to reporters and stated he pitched pain-free this season and feels like he could pitch two or three more seasons. He said he was open to a return to the White Sox, but of course, that is not his decision.
Minnesota opened the scoring in the first with a two-run homer by Gio Urshela, but the lead wouldn’t hold for long. The White Sox struck back in the second when Josh Harrison tied the game with a two-run homer.
The score remained tied until the seventh when Carlos Perez drove in his first career RBI on a base hit to score A.J. Pollock. Closer Liam Hendriks loaded the bases in the ninth allowing a hit, a walk, and a hit batsman, but struck out Mark Contreras to seal the win.
News and Notes
Rick Hahn spoke to the press in what was likely the season ending press conference. He spoke on their offseason approach to free agency, trades, and the managerial search.
Minnesota dropped to 9-19 in its last 28 games. Sox have won three of their last four and need to win the final two games of the series to finish above .500
What's On Tap Next?
Josh Winder and Lucas Giolito take the mound on Tuesday night. Winder is 0-3 with a 6.29 ERA in his last five starts for the Twins. Giolito has a 4.50 ERA in his previous six outings for the White Sox. You can watch it all on NBC Sports Chicago. Sox On Tap will have the postgame.