CHICAGO – As the White Sox compete for a playoff spot for the first time since their rebuild began, they are still doing what they can to develop their young talent as well.
One of those players who is doing so is pitcher Dylan Cease, who enters his second year at the major league levels as one of the key members of the team’s rotation moving forward.
Like most young players, he’s had his growing pains since making his debut in early July of 2019 and those continue in 2020. Yet in the first three games of this season, Cease continues to make subtle progress through his three starts.
Friday was another example as the pitcher enjoyed areas of progress while also identifying things to work on as well. This time he got through five innings without allowing a single run, though he needed 99 pitches to do it and had five walks.
But his four strikeouts helped to get him out of trouble, and a strong bullpen picked him up in a 2-0 victory over the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field. While it stopped a two-game White Sox losing streak, it’s part of Cease’s two-game winning streak as the team improves to 8-6 overall.
The five-inning effort was the third outing of the year for Cease, who had a rough start against the Indians in Cleveland on July 28th. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits along with a pair of homers in 64 pitches in 64 pitches.
Cease rebounded in his next start, lasting six innings with two runs allowed and four strikeouts compared to one walk in a 9-2 win over the Royals on August 2nd. On Friday he allowed just two hits to the same Cleveland team that roughed him up in his first start, and despite the four walks, he never let a run cross the plate.
Meanwhile, the White Sox managed to get him a lead in the first inning when Jose Abreu’s double play grounder brought home Luis Robert to make it 1-0. Adam Engel’s eighth-inning homer gave the team some insurance, but the bullpen would make sure they wouldn’t need it.
Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, and Alex Colome held the shutout the final four innings, though Bummer left after 1 2/3 innings with left biceps soreness.
In the end, Cease got his second win, developed a little more with the good and the bad, while also ending his team’s two-game losing streak.