CINCINNATI – With their upcoming playoffs featuring a number of consecutive games, pitching depth could very well determine who wins a championship.
Rick Renteria is getting one last look at his hurlers this week as the White Sox prepare for their first postseason in 12 years. There is little doubt who’ll be the top two starters for the team in the postseason – Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel – but after that, it’s a toss up.
Dylan Cease figures to be in that category, and so far in this shortened 2020 season he’s had his ups and downs. Sunday would be the latter, as control escaped the second-year pitcher, and the Reds wouldn’t let him get away with it.
Cease walked seven batters as he worked into the fourth inning on Sunday against the Reds, and it set the tone for a rough afternoon for the pitching staff. A five-run fourth inning, one in which Cease started by loading the bases with a trio of walks, was the difference in a 7-3 loss to Cincinnati at Great American Ballpark.
The White Sox walked 11 batters in total as the dropped the series to the Reds two games to one, staying 2 1/2 games ahead of the Twins for first in the AL Central. Minnesota faces the Cubs tonight at Wrigley Field as the White Sox now prepare to travel to Cleveland for four games to start the final week of the season.
Cease started things off with a clean first inning but surrendered two walks in both the second and third innings. He didn’t allow a run in each as he worked out of jams, but in the fourth he couldn’t, walking the first three batters of the inning.
Already at 80 pitches with the seven walks and three strikeouts, Rick Renteria went to the bullpen and got Ross Detwiler to try and get out of it. He surrendered two runs on ground outs by Tucker Barnhart and Aristides Aquino before issuing three-straight walks to bring in another run.
Mike Moustakas singled in two runs after that to complete the five-run inning.
The White Sox got two back in the next frame on an infield single by Nick Madrigal then a double by Jose Abreu, but Aquino’s two-run homer off Detwiler in the bottom half of the inning got those runs back. Edwin Encarnacion’s 18th homer of the year would complete the scoring on a day where the White Sox came up short to end their second-to-last week of the season.