After getting no-hit last night, the Pirates got their first hit of the series on the very first pitch of the game from Sox starter Dallas Keuchel. That was about as close as the Pirates would get to winning this game, as Keuchel settled down, and the Sox offense put up 10 runs to sweep the two game set Wednesday afternoon at home.
Dallas Keuchel. It was a tough act to follow, but Keuchel did his job, keeping the Pirates offense at bay and allowing his offense to get rolling. He got himself in trouble in the 6th, walking the bases loaded and allowing a base hit to score two runs, but aside from that, he was solid. Just what you need from your no. 2 starter.
Eloy Jimenez. There was some concern that he could be lost to injury after celebrating Giolito’s no-no last night. But he was back in the lineup today, and all he did was go 2-for-3 with a 3-run home run in the fifth inning. He did leave the game after a base hit in the 8th, but that was likely due to the game being well in hand at that point.
Tim Anderson’s defense. It’s been much improved over earlier this season, and he made a very nice leaping grab on a line drive to take away a hit. Overall, the Sox defense is leading MLB in defensive runs saved, which has greatly helped the pitching staff, and kept the offense in games that might otherwise have gotten away from the Sox.
Jose Abreu. Some people have hitting streaks. Abreu had a home run streak, but it was snapped last night. He got back on the dinger train with another home run, his 12th of the year which ties him for the most in MLB just over halfway through the season. His 30 RBI are solo first in all of baseball, and he’s one of the front-runners for AL MVP at the halfway point. His last 7 games have been otherworldly, slashing .500/.548/1.429 with 8 home runs and only 2 strike outs. He was signed to be a team leader this year, and he has done exactly that thus far.
Yoan Moncada. He looked a bit off during the Cubs series, not moving very fluidly, and he struggled at the plate, but the off-day Monday seems to have done him wonders, as he swung the bat freely and showed no signs of leg discomfort, by going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles. A healthy Moncada will help this team not only get into the playoffs, but perhaps advance.
The Pirates hit column. I mean, c’mon? Is it too much to ask that Keuchel follow up Giolito’s gem with a no-no of his own?
The Sox have officially passed the halfway point now and will have another off day tomorrow before welcoming the Royals to the South Side for a 3-game set. Time to continue fattening up on the bottom-feeders.