KANSAS CITY – It’s one thing to get to the majors, but it’s another thing to get a very important first: A base hit.
It can be a single, double, triple, or a home run, but until is arrives, there is always some tension with a Major League Baseball player until that happens. Nick Madrigal has been dealing with that kind of stress since Friday, when he was put into the starting lineup by the White Sox.
Through his first two games, the second baseman still had no hits, and the pressure was on a bit as the team approached their series finale against the Royals Sunday.
“I felt like I was seeing the ball pretty, I just had nothing to show for it,” said Madrigal. “I tried to stay positive, I wasn’t getting down on myself. I was just thinking it was going to come around.
“You know, it’s hard though when everyone knows you haven’t got a hit yet so they kinda joke with you and then the pressure goes up.”
In the end, however, it was just a two-day wait for that milestone, and when he got it, the flood gates opened.
Madrigal broke through for his first major league hit in the third inning of Sunday’s game at Kauffman Stadium. It was one of four he had on the day, including his first major league RBI, as his efforts helped the White Sox to a decisive 9-2 victory over the Royals.
The rookie’s big day gives the White Sox their first sweep of 2020 along with a four-game winning streak as the team goes over .500 for the first time this season. For Madrigal, it’s also a major relief.
“Once I saw that first one fall in, it felt like the weight was lifted off me, definitely,” said Madrigal.
Officially the second baseman went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored, with his biggest contributions coming in a major seventh inning for the White Sox. Madrigal started it off with a bloop hit to left field and he eventually scored on a Jose Abreu RBI single.
Yasmani Grandal singled in one of his three RBI on the day later in the inning, and Nicky Delmonico’s two-run single made it 6-2. After the White Sox scored on an error, Madrigal singled in the seventh and final run of the inning.
“It was great to put the first one away,” said Madrigal of his breakthrough day. “I’m excited for the future.”
One that he can approach with a little less pressure in the future.