CHICAGO — After getting out of the first inning with the help of a slickly-turned José Abreu double play, Dylan Cease was bailed out again with the help of a SLICKER double play turned by Yoán Moncada in the top of the second.
Cease started the second with a walk, a single, and a hit by pitch, before striking out Oscar Mercado. That still left with the bases loaded and only one out, a situation that could have led to an early departure for the young righty. The next batter, Sandy Leon, delivered a sharply hit grounder to Moncada, who casually stepped on the bag and flicked the ball over to first for the double play.
When I say casually I mean CASUALLY, and when I say flicked I mean FLICKED. Just like his teammate Luis Robert, Moncada's defensive highlights are often more impressive than what he does offensively. Moncada makes plays like that look so easy, you'd think he wasn't even trying.
There is no doubt Cease has plus-plus stuff, but the one thing that could hold him back from taking the next step is his control.
And Cease knows it.
"You're always happy with the W, but there’s no excuses for walking four or five guys," Cease said postgame. "A game like this will not be sustainable in the future, so I’ll have to do better."
Cease hasn't yet shown that he can rein in his stuff, but if you want an example of a young pitcher with great stuff and little control who turned it all around, look no further than White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
Cease struggled with command throughout his five innings of work, but also didn't allow a run, which is hard to complain about, at least for one night. He finished with a final line of five innings, two hits, five walks and four strikeouts. His 60 game score represented his best effort of the season, and the third-best start on the White Sox this year.