Micheal Kopech turned in another dominant performance on Sunday against the Texas Rangers. In his second start of the season Kopech punched out ten hitters, and only surrendered one run in five innings of work.
Kopech earned his first victory as a starter since August 26th, 2018. Sunday also marked Kopech’s first start at Guaranteed Rate Field since September 5th of that same year, before his season was abruptly ended by Tommy John surgery.
His ten strikeouts all came in the first four innings. Kopech joins Carlos Rodón as the only White Sox pitchers to fan 10 plus in four innings or fewer. Kopech was so good that even rival owners were impressed. Not just a rival owner, but a MVP winning quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes shouts out Kopech on Twitter
After the game Patrick Mahomes took to Twitter to show Kopech some love.
I know he isn’t on the right team but my guy is a monster! https://t.co/Q3ydXLIntI
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) April 25, 2021
Patrick Mahomes is already forever linked with the city of Chicago. The former NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion was passed on by the Chicago Bears in the 2018 draft in what will now go down as one of the biggest “what ifs” in franchise history. In 2019 Mahomes threw for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns while the Bears floundered with Mitchell Trubisky under center.
However his ties to the city, specifically the White Sox, do not stop there. Mahomes is also a part owner of the White Sox division rival Kansas City Royals.
His ties to Micheal Kopech go back to high school when the two were friends. Kopech and Mahomes knew each other when they played youth baseball in Texas. “In my opinion, Pat Mahomes the pitcher also plays football, to everybody else, it was probably the other way around” Kopech said in a SoxFest interview back in 2019.
In 2014 their two high schools met with Kopech and Mahomes facing each other on the mound. Mahomes threw a no-hitter, struck out 16 hit 95 mph on the radar gun. Kopech contributed to that total falling victim to Mahomes three times at the plate. Kopech fanned 12 and touched 98 mph. He struck out Mahomes twice but allowed him to reach on an error. Mahomes team would come away with a 2-1 victory.
Mahomes was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 2014 MLB draft. He opted not to sign with Detroit and it is safe to say he made the right choice by choosing to go to Texas Tech to play football instead.
Rangers Manager Heaps Praise On Kopech
Patrick Mahomes was no the only one impressed by Kopech outing. Ranger manager Chris Woodward had some nice things to say about him as well.
“Koepch is nasty, like he’s just got good stuff,” Woodward said after the game. “He’s got a really really good upper 90s fastball, it was a really good slider. The fastball is elite- not only the velocity but just the characteristics of it, the vertical on it is a pretty elite pitch.”
Kopech had everything working for him. Lucas Giolito was initially scheduled to start but was pulled due to a middle finger injury suffered early last week. Kopech was only suppose to throw three or four innings but was so effect that Tony La Russa let him come back out and work the fifth inning.
While he continues to push the envelope for a role in the starting rotation fans will have to wait to see the permeant switch. As of now Kopech will remain as a super weapon out of the White Sox bullpen.