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Rodon Rolls Over Mariners

August 27, 2015 vs Seattle Mariners

Sox Project Update:
Staved off demolition for another night
Doing just barely enough for the project to still have a chance of completion.

Short Take:   Offense gives just enough to support Carlos Rodon as Sox take the series opener against Seattle 4-2

It was "Throwback Thursday" at U.S. Cellular Field as the White Sox wore their infamous V-neck collared uniforms from the 1970s during the game. While not as popular as their 1983 throwback counterparts, these 70s uniforms are slowly reaching the "so ugly, they're cool" status among many fans. Personally, I've always felt these uniforms looked somewhere between pajamas and a bowling shirt but they hold a special place for Sox fans of a certain age and I can certainly respect nostaglia. On the diamond, nobody would confuse the light hitting 2015 White Sox offense with the South Side Hitmen of 1977, but on this night, they did just enough with the lumber to support a quality start from budding ace Carlos Rodon in the series lid lifter as he outdueled the Mariners and southpaw Roenis Elias. 

The game started in an ominous way in the first inning as the recently refined Carlos Rodon struggled to find his early command and resembled the tentative inconsistent rookie from his earlier starts. After loading the bases to begin the game, a productive mound visit from Don Cooper saw Rodon easily retire slugger Mark Trumbo with a K to strand the bases. The Sox offense went to work early on M's pitcher Roenis Elias, scoring their first run in the bottom half of the first on an Avisail Garcia RBI bloooper which was helped along that inning by some generous defense on the part of the Seattle Mariners. In the bottom of the 4th, the Sox offense came to life with their most productive inning of the night notching two laser beam RBI doubles from Jose Abreu and rookie Trayce Thompson which expanded the White Sox lead to 3-0. The 4th and final run for the Sox offense came in the bottom of the fifth. The inning began with Eaton getting plunked on what appeared to be the second straight purpose pitch from Elias. Adam Eaton stared him down a bit but other than that, the tension ended there. However, the Sox would eventually make Elias pay for hitting a batter as Eaton would cross the plate on an Avisail Garcia sac fly opening a 4-0 Sox lead. The inning would end prematurely though as Jose Abreu overslid second base and got tagged out on a play where he should have been safe. This was almost a blueprint of a bad baserunning play Avisail Garcia made just a few days ago. The Sox continue to be a bad baserunning team, and these kind of careless mistakes adds yet another log on the fire that is forming around Robin Ventura and his coaching staff.  

After the shaky first inning, Carlos Rodon went to work and took command of the game. It was pitching 101 for Carlos during the next 5 innings as he moved his 94-96 mph fastball all around the strike zone early in the counts setting up his wipeout slider quite nicely. Rodon even got a couple strikeouts on his developing change up which is a beautiful thing to see. Overall, Carlos did a great job avoiding walks, keeping the ball on the ground, and getting quick outs. Carlos Rodon continues to develop at the big league level and is showing Sox fans why he was drafted #3 overall last year and that the pitching future of this team is in capable hands. For a guy who was pitching to college hitters last year, he has come a long way indeed. The one blemish for Rodon tonight came in the 7th inning as he kicked things off with the old "dreaded leadoff walk" on 4 pitches. After falling behind in the count to Franklin Gutierrez, he made him pay for it by lofting a moon shot into the wind that carried into the right field seats cutting the Sox the lead to 4-2. Robin Ventura had seen enough and put the game into the hands of the bullpen.

Despite walking the tight rope in both the 7th and 8th innings, setup men Jake Petricka, Zach Duke, and Nate Jones were able to hold off a late charge by the Mariners. The biggest of those innings being the 7th when Zach Duke came on in relief of Jake Petricka and got two huge strikeouts followed by an Austin Jackson pop up which ended the Mariners threat with no further damage. David Robertson came on to close things out in the 9th inning with a quiet 1-2-3 inning to notch his 27th save of the season as the Sox would take the series opener 4-2. The Pale Hose will send John Danks to the bump Friday night in Game 2 of the 4 game set and the Mariners will counter with Taijuan Walker.


-During his last four outings, Carlos Rodon has a 1.61 E.R.A. and opponents are hitting a paltry .177 against him.

-Melky Cabrera made two plus defensive plays in LF. One of them was a jumping catch and the other was a laser beam throw to nail a runner at 2B. Both plays came at the expense of Nelson Cruz.

-Adam Eaton had a 3 hit night and was on base 4 times

Rebuilding Recap:
 Rodon showing fans the future is not as bleak as it seems.

submitted by Foulke You

Sox Clubhouse "Pick to Click"

Adam Eaton

Batted 4 times, reached base 4 times, scored 3 times.

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