CHICAGO – When people look at the starting pitcher on the mound for Wednesday’s game at Guaranteed Rate Field, they see a player that can have a major part in the success of the White Sox rebuild.
Over the last few weeks, Reynaldo Lopez looks like someone getting closer to fulfilling those hopes.
After struggling most of the year, he put together two strong efforts to start the second half of the season, triggering hopes that a turnaround may come before the end of the 2019 season.
Those hopes got a boost when the pitcher took the mound against the Marlins, as Lopez delivered another outstanding effort as he worked into the eighth inning and allowed just two runs. He had strong control and location and did everything he could to pick up the victory.
Unfortunately, for a second-straight night, the White Sox offense had nothing to help him.
Cesar Puello’s eighth-inning, two-run homer was even more than the Marlins would need as they beat the White Sox 2-0 at Guaranteed Rate Field, handing Lopez the hardest luck loss of his 2019 season. Instead, it was Miami starter Zac Gallen, who worked seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts, along with relievers Nick Anderson and Sergio Romo that led the Marlins to a victory in the game and the series.
But really, Lopez did all he could.
Over the course of eight innings he surrendered just four hits while striking out ten batters while walking just one. That gives Lopez 25 strikeouts compared to just four walks in the three starts he’s made since the All-Star Break, and yet he only has one victory to show for it.
With the offense sputtering, Lopez made his one mistake in the eighth as Puello smashed a pitch 432 feet to left field with a man on, giving the Marlins a 2-0 lead. The White Sox would not have a response on offense, as the mustered a hit in each of the last two innings but could do nothing with it.
At least Lopez’s effort gives White Sox fans something to be excited about from the series finale, even though it left a bitter taste in the end.