Ridin’ solo for 5-0: Sox break through vs. Bauer behind five solo dingers
In what figured to be the marquee pitching matchup of the series, Trevor Bauer and Dallas Keuchel did not disappoint early on, dueling through four scoreless innings.
However, in the fifth, Chicago's penchant for the long ball finally came to fruition, albeit from an unlikely source. Nomar!!! Mazara!!! connected for his long-awaited first home run in a White Sox uniform. Later in the inning, Tim Anderson added an insurance run with a solo bomb of his own.
TA would add another dinger in the eighth, going back-to-back-to-back with Yasmani Grandal and José Abreu.
Dallas Keuchel got through four odd but effective innings, and the White Sox bullpen took over from there, completing five more scoreless innings to seal the 5-0 shutout victory.
Dallas gets it done
In his first start off the IL, Keuchel’s results were characteristic, but how he got there was not. Keuchel came in with one of the highest ground ball percentages in baseball, but on this night, he did not record a single ground ball out. He was missing location more often than normal, leading to a high pitch count, but he was able to strand seven Reds baserunners behind seven strikeouts in only four innings of work.
"It's nice as a finesse pitcher to get a little wider plate sometimes," Keuchel grinned postgame.
Dallas is a great competitor, which will serve him well in postseason play. Look for him to get back to his normal “pitch-to-contact” ways moving forward.
Nomar homerless no more
Much-maligned Nomar Mazara's power outage finally came to an end, as he blasted a Bauer fastball 414 feet for the game's first run. Other than this one swing, there have not been many signs that Mazara is turning a corner, but with the monkey off his back, maybe he will be able to relax and at least get back to career average production.
"It's not the timing I wanted, but you can never put your head down," Mazara said postgame. "I’m never gonna stop working. Just ride with the wave now."
One for the YouTube channel
Anderson and Bauer are two of the most polarizing players in the sport, and tonight, TA came out on top. Anderson got the best of Bauer both on the field and off, hitting a home run and taking a second to “walk it out,” as he had promised Bauer.
Anderson also provided A.J. Pierzynski and Don Orsillo with a quote that was pure gold, in what was otherwise a rough night for the Fox broadcast team.
Anderson and Abreu continue to bolster their own respective MVP cases, as the duo combined for three home runs on the night.
In the two games I have provided a recap of, the White Sox are 2-0, with 11 home runs. [Ed note: More recaps for Trevor.]
Former White Sox reliever Nate Jones pitched a scoreless top of the ninth for the Reds. After the numerous injuries Jones has overcome, it is good to see him back healthy and pitching in the big leagues.
Luis Robert is now 6-for-58 in September after another 0-for-4 night. He looks lost right now, going through the growing pains that many expected from such a free swinger. The White Sox would love to see him get hot again heading into the postseason.