2020 OOTP sim: A brawl, an ejection, and a sweep
DENVER — There is no truth to the rumor that the Rockies have petitioned Major League Baseball to have their miniseries in Chicago bumped up to the next week.
But you wouldn't blame them, because a 6-21 team entering Colorado has to wait a month to play the White Sox again, and it fattened up on the South Siders these two games.
The White Sox jumped out early, as on Tuesday, taking a 1-0 lead on a Yoán Moncada single, Nick Madrigal double and Eloy Jiménez sacrifice fly.
But Garrett Hampson hit Dallas Keuchel's first pitch out to left, into the teeth of a 19 mph wind, to tie the game. And, apparently, Keuchel was not pleased, because he jawed at Hampson as he rounded the bases, then plunked Trevor Story before Story could even get settled in the box.
Story charged the mound and whacked Keuchel with a vicious haymaker, as the benches emptied into a riot on the infield. Keuchel sported a shiner as he was escorted off of the field, so while both players were ejected, only one was worse for wear.
As were the White Sox, who looked to give their starting rotation some rest with both a sixth turn in the rotation and two days off this week. Kopech, for the second straight Kid Keuchy start, was pressed into relief work, and acquitted himself almost as well as he did in Anaheim, throwing four innings of two-hit, two-walk, two-run, eight-strikeout ball.
"I knew the situation we were facing [with the bullpen] and really let my emotions get the best of me," Keuchel said postgame, sporting a ice bag on his swollen right eye. "This team is looking to me for leadership, and I blew it."
"Me and Keuchy talked, before the game was even over," White Sox manager Ricky Renteria said. "He knows he can't do that. He knows he has to be better. We settle our scores between the lines, not with [headhunting]."
A flagging bullpen forced Kopech deeper into the game than desired, tossing 68 pitches, but the flamethrower has looked better than expected so far in two outings.
The same could be said for woebegone Rockies starter, Kyle Freeland, who entered today's action 0-4, with a 6.04 ERA. All he did was throw seven innings of two-run, six-hit, eight-strikeout ball in earning his first win of the season.
The White Sox had no fight in them in Colorado, and frankly looked tired and ready to get home. At Game 31 of the season, this team should not be flagging.
NOTES: Dallas Keuchel's suspension was handed down immediately: six games ... Trevor Story got a four-game suspension for his attack on Keuchel, which he said after the game "was worth it" ... Leury García had two errors in right field, one on an overthrow to third base, the other a flub on a single when the game was already out of hand ... the White Sox are off on Thursday and return to action hosting the Baltimore Orioles at Sox Park on Friday.