Saturday, May 28, 2022

Rain Soaked Dallas Keuchel Records Major Milestone


A rain-soaked Liam Hendriks kicked the mud off his cleats before settling in to uncork his final pitch of the night. Hendriks buzzed in a 97 mph fastball that Adam Frazier chopped softly right back at him. He flipped it to first best to put a ribbon on a 6-4 White Sox victory over the Mariners.

Eloy Jimenez, Tim Anderson, and Luis Robert were all able to hit home runs off of reigning Cy Young winner Robbie Ray. The bullpen was stellar once again. Kyle Crick, Jose Ruiz, and Kendall Graveman each threw a scoreless inning. Liam Hendriks locked down his second save and the White Sox’s fourth win of the season.

But for White Sox starting pitcher, Dallas Keuchel this wet and soggy night in Chicago was a culmination of a career. On this night he earned his 100th career win in the big leagues, a milestone that provided him an opportunity to reflect on all he has accomplished in baseball.

All-Star in 2015 and 2017. Five-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner. Cy Young Award winner. Fifth in the MVP voting in 2015. Leader in ground ball percentage since 2012. One of just nine pitchers in baseball to win 20-plus games in a season since 2015. Sub 3.00 ERA four times, over 200 innings pitched three times. Four-time AL pitcher of the month winner, and 2017 World Series Champion.

“It means more to me than I originally thought it was going to,” Keuchel told the media after his 100th victory. “Kind of just think back quickly about various wins, or sitting out ’19 half a year, and COVID pretty much-canceling two-thirds of a season.

“Not going to lie, I feel like this should’ve been a couple of years previously, but you never let this game get too far ahead of yourself and that was a very humbling experience, not to reach it until now.”

Keuchel was making his first start of the season. After a disappointing 2021 campaign, he was eager to start the new season on the right foot. He did just that. Keuchel threw five innings and despite the rainy and windy conditions, he was able to outduel Robbie Ray and limit the Mariners to three runs on six hits.

The baseball gods may have been on his side. “It rained on Robbie, sprinkled on me. So I’m hopefully going to sleep well tonight with a few drinks in me,” Keuchel said.

He seemed to have his strikeout stuff with him as well logging five punchouts. Most of them came via the sinker which seemed to mystify hitters all night. Eugenio Suarez and Julio Rodriguez both froze as a sinker dropped right over the heart of the plate before they walked back to the dugout.

After the game, Keuchel made sure to snag a few souvenirs to commemorate the evening. He grabbed the lineup card from the dugout and held plans to have his jersey authenticated.

However, Liam Hendriks has yet to give him the game ball. It was sitting in Hendriks locker after the game.

“I’m going to keep an eye on that ball over there in that locker,” Keuchel said with a smirk. “At some point, I think I’m going to get it. Hopefully, it’s not too costly.”

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