When Dylan Cease struck out Wili Castro on strikes in the seventh inning of Thursday nights game it put a ribbon on a great night for Chicago sports. The Chicago Bears drafted their franchise QB in Justin Fields and the White Sox completed a double header sweep of the Tigers.
The sweep was curtesy of a pair of gems from Carlos Rodón and Dylan Cease. The two combined for 13 innings pitched, five hits, 1 earned run allowed, one walk and 21 strikeouts.
Rodón Continues Hot Stretch
Rodón did what he has been doing all season and dominated. Through six innings he struck out 12 and only allowed one run in a 3-1 victory in game 1. He became the first pitcher in American League history with seven or more strikeouts and three or fewer hits in his first four starts of a season. Rodón finished the month April with a 4-0 record and a microscopic 0.72 ERA. His highlight of the month was a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. Not bad for a guy that didn’t even know if he would make the roster in spring training.
He has looked like much more than a back end of the rotation starter and Tony La Russa has taken notice.
“I just look at what he can be when he’s healthy. I’ve seen him when he is healthy, and he’s not one of those back-of-the rotation starters” the skipper said after the game.
“You can’t say enough good things except remind him there’s a lot ahead.”
Cease Dazzles In Game 2
Not to be outdone Dylan Cease one upped him in the second game tossing his first career complete game and shutout. While it was only seven innings, it was the first shutout Cease has ever thrown at any level.
He recorded a season high nine strikeouts and did not walk a single batter. He overcame a choppy first inning where he allowed two hits but settled down and only yielded one more base runner the rest of the night.
His stuff was filthy. Cease threw his pitches with command and conviction. A total of 71 percent of his first pitches went for strikes and he was able to rack up a 53 percent whiff rate on his slider.
Dylan Cease, White Castle Special. 🍔🍔🍔🤮 pic.twitter.com/UeHQscSzjS
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 30, 2021
He line for the night was seven innings, three hits, zero runs, zero walks and nine strikeouts. This is a welcome site for White Sox fans who were calling for him to be replaced by Michael Kopech.
Cease finally turned in a start that the White Sox were envisioning when they acquired him in 2017. The key for Cease was keeping things simple. As Tony La Russa put it “he said he ‘that’s how I’m going to pitch’ and that’s exactly how he pitched. It was a beautiful thing to see.”
Leury Garcia shrugged off his slow start by having a huge day. The longest tenured member of the White Sox came through with a huge go ahead single off Case Mize in the fifth inning of the opener. Until that point Mize had been untouchable. In the second game he drove in three more runs and ended the day with a total of three hits and five RBIs.
“Today was a good day that we were able to combine good pitching with good hitting,” Garcia said through interpreter Billy Russo.
He was not the only one to get involved in the parade around the base paths. Jose Abreu continued to heat up with two hits and two RBIs in the nightcap. Andrew Vaughn had one of his best nights at the plate hitting a pair of doubles and a single in game 2. Yoán Moncada launched a three run homer then the Yerminator added a 449 moon shot for good measure.
International pop sensation, Yoán Moncada, drops another big hit. 🎵 pic.twitter.com/r3d87gKfV5
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 30, 2021
Overall it was a good day to be a White Sox fan.