Sox observations: Dallas Keuchel earns win No. 100 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
With rain pouring down in the early portion of Wednesday night’s game, the Mariners looked lost at sea both in the field and at the plate. The White Sox, however, had no trouble finding their footing and managed to lock up a series win, behind another strong outing from the bullpen and a trio of homers from Eloy Jiménez, Tim Anderson and Luis Robert. The Sox go for the sweep on Thursday.
DALLAS KEUCHEL: 100-WIN MAN
Wednesday was a night that Keuchel will likely never forget. In a torrential downpour, he made his season debut, had some of his better strikeout stuff, and did enough to hit a major career milestone. While Keuchel got touched up a bit in his last inning of work, for the most part he had the Mariners hitters guessing, especially slugger Eugenio Suarez. Keuchel caught Suarez looking twice, and induced ugly swings from a few other hitters with his sinker. If Keuchel can rebound from a bad 2021 to deliver quality starts in the back end of the rotation, it will go a long way towards helping the team bridge the gap until Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn return from their injuries.
WHITE SOX THRIVE IN THE SLOP
You’d think the guys from Seattle would be the ones to thrive in the rain, but that turned out not to be the case. Mariners ace Robbie Ray struggled to command the slippery ball, and the White Sox took advantage by putting up four runs in the second inning. Ray wasn’t helped by his defense, either. Shortstop J.P. Crawford in particular had a tough time fielding in the rain, giving the White Sox some extra opportunities. Meanwhile Keuchel was able to find the zone, throwing two thirds of his pitches for strikes. The Sox’ defense managed to turn some nifty plays too, like a home-run robbing catch from Adam Engel, or this slick transfer from Josh Harrison to Tim Anderson:
ELOY JIMÉNEZ’ TORRID START INTERRUPTED
Early on this season, the spotlight has shined on players like Robert, or stellar performances, like the bullpen’s five hitless innings to seal a series win over the Tigers. But Jiménez was the man quietly pacing the offense. Until tonight. Jiménez opened up the White Sox scoring with a mammoth home run to left field. That gave him seven RBI on the year, which leads the team. With the homer, Jiménez also became the first White Sox hitter to notch an RBI in each of the team’s first five games since Paul Konerko did it in 2011. But his night was cut short after taking a foul ball off the left ankle in the third inning. The White Sox say his x-rays are clean, and he’s considered day-to-day with a left ankle contusion, so at least there’s a chance he can continue the streak on Thursday.