CINCINNATI – A look at what took place on Saturday night at Great American Ballpark is one reason why the White Sox could be a major factor once the postseason begins.
Don’t think Tim Anderson doesn’t understand that.
“From top to bottom, we’re dangerous,” said the shortstop on Saturday night. “Any one of those guys can take it out of the ballpark and anyone of those guys can put it in the gap. That’s from top to bottom.
“So when we’re clicking on all angles, we’re tough to beat.”
The nine batters in the lineup proved that against the Reds, especially Anderson, who led the White Sox power display on national television on Saturday evening. The shortstop had two of the team’s five homers in a 5-0 victory in Cincinnati, coming just a day after the White Sox scored just a single run in the series-opening loss.
Nomar Mazara started the scoring in the fifth inning with his first White Sox homer down the line in right off Trevor Bauer. Anderson followed him with a 421-foot shot to center field to make it 2-0, and the shortstop kicked off another long ball run in the eighth inning with another homer to right center.
It was his second multi-homer game of the season, doing so against the Tigers on August 17th, and he inspired the hitters around him. Yasmani Grandal and Jose Abreu followed him with solo shots of their own as the back-to-back-to-back homers made it 5-0.
“It was definitely dope,” said Anderson of the trio of consecutive homers. “It was the ice breaker to pull away a little bit more. To go back-to-back-to-back, man, says a lot about our lineup and what we can do when we’re clicking.”
It also helped that the pitching staff was doing the same, including starter Dallas Keuchel, who pitched for the first time since September 6th. Back tightness landed him on the injured list and he returned with four shutout innings with seven strikeouts compared to one walk in 75 pitches.
Four White Sox relievers picked him up the rest of the way as the Reds got only two more hits on the evening. It’s the sixth shutout for White Sox pitching in the 2020 season, but the offense was the star on this night, including the defending American League batting champion.
To add to the effort, Anderson hit his first career homer off Bauer, whom he’s often chatted with on Twitter about bat flips through the years.
“I was so happy to finally get him. I had to let him know, I walked it out a little bit. What better spot to hit it than dead center. He know I got it and he knew I watched it,” said Anderson of the fifth inning homer off Bauer. “I told him to put it on his YouTube channel as well.”
The pitcher might not do that, but for sure it will remain on his mind. It will do the same for others around the country, who saw what the White Sox could do both now and over the next month.