The Chicago White Sox needed a boost and a spark after the miserable weekend. They got just that. The ace of the staff Lance Lynn made his first start of the season in the series opener against the Detroit Tigers.
Lynn was going to be on a pitch count. Likewise, the expectation was for a rocky first start of the season, after all, he’s finding his footing for the first time this year. However, the game helped provide hope to a White Sox team that certainly needed it.
Lynn’s breakdown vs. Tigers: 88 pitches. 33 fastballs. 20 cutters. 18 sinkers. Eight sliders. Seven change-ups. One curveball.
Lynn’s rough start
Lynn’s outing looked grim from the first pitch. A fastball framed to the outside of the plated went to the inside of the strike zone. It’s a mistake that Willi Castro wasn’t going to let Lynn live down.
Suddenly, the White Sox cushion, one that was needed, was cut in half. The good news was that the start only improved from there. The problem was the constant contact that the Tigers batter made in the subsequent plate appearances.
The Tigers never took Lynn deep after the first pitch. However, they were constantly getting on base and keeping rallies going. As a result, they scored two runs in the first inning and another run in the second inning and the White Sox were trailing 3-2.
Fortunately, Lynn started to find his stuff and the fans started to see what made him the team’s top pitcher.
Lynn settles down
After the first two innings, the Tigers didn’t score off Lynn. Instead, the ace of the staff settled into his pitches, notably, his fastball and cutter, the two pitches that made him a Cy Young Award finalist last year. To be fair, the first two innings were frustrating, and it was clear from Lynn’s reaction in the dugout.
The Tigers’ batters were constantly guessing at the plate. Moreover, Lynn was hitting the strike zone but painting the corners, limiting the contact that hurt him in the early innings. It’s the type of stuff that allows fans to look at the start with optimism that Lynn will not only return to the rotation but return as the ace that he was last season.
Granted, Lynn struggled in the fifth inning, resulting in a short outing. The White Sox only received 4.1 innings from their starter and needed Kyle Crick to get the team out of a jam. However, in the short outing, the team saw everything they needed, and in the rainy conditions, just needed to get the win.
Fortunately, the offense, which has scored 32 runs in the last four games, stepped up once again. Largely, because of the best hitter in the lineup.
Abreu’s homers lift White Sox
Jose Abreu batted cleanup against the Tigers, not ideal for plate appearances but still good for runners on base. In the first inning, Abreu had a runner in scoring position, but that wasn’t significant. With a hanging curveball, he crushed the pitch well over the left-field fence to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
The White Sox wouldn’t keep the lead for long, but some strong plate appearances and errors by the Tigers gave them the lead again. Late in the game, with a 7-5 lead, the team needed some insurance, especially with the bullpen hanging by a thread. Once again, Abreu delivered. This time, with a fastball right over the heart of the plate.
The White Sox play the Tigers in two more games in this series. Moreover, the team is still three games below .500 and frankly, hasn’t played well this season. However, with Lynn back and the lineup playing well, there’s something to look forward to with the season in full swing.
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