Streak ... snapped
Both starting pitchers in Wednesday night's game hail from the (great? idk I've never been) state of Oklahoma.
White Sox starter Dallas Keuchel was born in Tulsa, while Brewers starter Adrian Houser is from somewhere called Tahlequah, which is not only apparently a real place, but my editor also informs me happens to be a town in Oklahoma.
I wanted to make a joke about Tahlequah, but quite frankly, I know nothing about it, and I spent about 10 minutes on it's wikipedia page trying to find content to make a joke about it, but I came up dry, and you never want to force it, ya know?
Both Oklahomans started out the game dealing on Wednesday night.
Keuchel threw a perfect first two innings, before allowing the first three Brewers to reach base in the top of the third, spotting Milwaukee the first runs of the game. He limited further damage by retiring the next three batters, as a veteran is prone to do. The White Sox hitters couldn't back up Keuchel's sterling performance, throwing seven innings of one-run ball, giving up five hits, striking out eight and only issuing one walk.
Strangely enough, Houser had already faced the White Sox this year, in their final exhibition game before the real ones started, back on July 22.
In that game, Houser went 4 ⅔ innings, striking out five and only giving up one run.
Through the first five innings of Wednesday night's game, Houser only threw 51 pitches, which is actually kind of remarkable. As my fellow SSHP writer Janice Scurio noted, a pitch count like that is generally only found in video games.
Houser was absolutely brilliant in his outing, keeping the scorching-hot White Sox hitters silent through his seven innings of work. His night at the office consisted of five hits, five Ks and two walks.
Would you like to see Keuchel talk about tonight's game? And fellow Oklahoman, Houser? Of course you do. Thanks to the White Sox, here you go:
Luis Robert is human... kinda
If you're planning on throwing out Luis Robert on a slow infield grounder, you're going to have a bad time. Robert opened the bottom half of the first with a grounder to Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia, and Arcia didn't even bother throwing to first, because by the time he had fielded the ball, Robert was only about a half-step away from the bag.
In the young season, we've already seen Robert beat out many a slow roller, and sooner than later, more infielders will stop attempting throws like Arcia did, avoiding even further damage with an errant throw on a play they'd never make.
Later in the inning, Robert was thrown out trying to steal his fifth base of the season, but don't expect to see that all too often. Anyone who has watched Robert run this year will tell you that, assuming he wasn't a figment of White Sox imaginations this whole time, he's going to steal a WHOLE bunch of bases in his career.
Robert also grounded into his first career double play in the third inning, which quite frankly, I didn't even know he was slow enough to be capable of doing with his speed.
The 24-year-old Montana native drafted in the sixth round in 2016 continues to be an early-season gem for the White Sox. Pitching in the most high-leverage situation of his young career, Heuer looked in control, tossing two scoreless innings to finish the game, striking out three and lowering his season ERA to 1.80.
Any value a team gets from a draft pick beyond the first round, hell even outside the first 10 picks, is huge. While we can only go off of what we've seen so far, Heuer has looked like he can be a key piece of the Sox bullpen not only this year, but throughout their competitive window.
Have you read today's SSHP story on Rick Hahn? If you haven't, don't leave yet, just make a mental note. But if you have, you know you want to see Hahn praise Heuer and his area scouts again:
This was a game that looked especially familiar for fans of former White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana. As many of you not so fondly remember, Quintana would throw a gem of a game, giving up one, MAYBE two runs, but take the loss due to the bats just not showing up that night.
Some nights your offense doesn't show up, even when it's been tops in the American League.
Sometimes you just have to top your cap to an opposing pitcher in Adrian Houser, who was just phenomenal tonight.
Speaking of tipping caps, Ricky Renteria himself tipped his cap to Houser. Thus we interrupt these last words to bring you Ricky's postgame comments:
You take this Keuchel start 10 out of 10 times. Per game score, Keuchel not only had the best White Sox start of the season, but outdueled Houser, 75-73
The Brewers improved to 4-5, while the White Sox dropped to 7-5.
Gio González and the White Sox will try to win the series tomorrow night against Milwaukee righty Josh Lindblom at 7:10 CT.