TORONTO – Before Thursday afternoon’s league final, White Sox coach Frank Menechino said he did not like what he had seen from his offense. Hitters chased too much and did not attack the right pitches, resulting in high strikeout prices and low electricity production.
By saying that, Menechino acknowledged the offensive output “day to day”. Things can change quickly, and they certainly did for the White Sox in a 10-7 win over the Blue Jays to share the four game at Rogers Center.
Chicago homered three times in the early innings and chased Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu and ran for a 7-1 lead. Among the White Sox’s 30 hits in the first three games of the series, only three went to extra bases. They saved their fireworks for the finale.
Cèsar Hernández got the show started by homering in the second inning on a ball that just snuck over the left field wall. In the third, Luis Robert and José Abreu hit back-to-back blasts to give the White Sox the lead for good. In the process, Abreu added his league-leading RBI total (now 97), while Robert continued his hot streak after injury (1,015 OPS in his last 12 games and reached safety in 11).
“I think it was mandatory that we wanted to go out and pull them,” said Tim Anderson, who had three hits. “You can see how we jumped on them. It was mandatory to win. ”
For the first time since August 7, Carlos Rodón was back on the bump and he handed in a respectable five-innings with two runs on 67 lanes to earn his 10th win. Rodón gave up a solo shot in the opening frame, and the Blue Jays put together a couple of hits during a singular rainy fifth (as the roof of Rogers Center closed slowly), but he squeezed three goalless innings in between.
“He looked the form he’s been in every start this year,” said manager Tony La Russa. “Very encouraging. Can’t wait to send him back out there. ”
Given that Rodón was put on the sideline with fatigue in his left shoulder, his fastball speed was of particular interest. His average speed was a cross below normal (94.9 mph instead of 95.8), but at first it is no cause for concern. And Rodon’s last fastball in the afternoon was his hardest: 97.3 mph.
“The place counter will build itself,” Rodón said. “I’m not really worried about that. I just want to compete. Go out there and compete, and throw the ball well. ”
With three days off scheduled for an eight-day period following this weekend’s home series against the Cubs, Rodón will get extra rest as he works his way back to full health.
After the glove, the foot should remain on the gas
When they left Toronto, the White Sox closed the book on a grueling four-series stretch against some of the American League’s best clubs: the Yankees, Athletics, Rays and Blue Jays.
Chicago went 7-7 in those games, and La Russa believed his team competed well in 13 (except for a 9-0 road loss to Tampa Bay).
Now a softer schedule awaits: the Cubs, Pirates and Royals are in print and their overall winning percentage is .414.
Clearly, the White Sox are working with expectations for October. But about five weeks of the season are left and they will have to go after the weaker teams with the same strength that they showed over the last two weeks.
“When you have an ‘X’ on your back and you are a playoff team, everyone will beat you,” Menechino said. “So every game is a playoff game, [and] you have to get prepared every day to go out there, whether it’s a World Series game, a playoff game or a game against a non-participant. You have to go out there every day and do your job as you should. ”