Carlos Rodon went through 26 starts in 2016 without striking out 10 or more batters in a start and then pulled off the feat in each of his last two starts to close the season. It didn't take that long in 2017 for Rodon to reach double-digit strikeouts.
Rodon struck out 10 Oakland Athletics on Monday, giving up two runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out the side in the third inning and started the seventh with his 10th strikeout before getting into a jam and being pulled. Anthony Swarzak got out of the jam and kept the lead intact.
Rodon's shoulder injury kept him out of action until he pitched against the Yankees on June 28. He only had two strikeouts, and walked six, in five innings in that loss.
"My command was better – way, way better," Rodon said. "It started off a little shaky, but I built some confidence throughout the start too, so that kind of helped. Another thing I want to say is Swarzak bailed me out at the end there, with a big, big strikeout on (Matt) Chapman. He’s a good hitter. It was a big-time strikeout, so thanks, Swarzak."
The third-year White Sox pitcher has now struck out 10 or more five times in his career, including three of his last four starts in the majors.
Carlos Rodon 10-plus strikeout performances:
June 4, 2015 at Rangers: 6 innings, 1 run, 10 strikeouts, 3 walks, 5 hits allowed
Aug. 11, 2015 vs. Angels: 7 innings, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, 1 walk, 4 hits allowed
Sept. 25, 2016 at Indians: 8 innings, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, 3 walks, 2 hits allowed
Sept. 30, 2016 vs. Twins: 6 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), 10 strikeouts, 3 walks, 3 hits allowed
July 3, 2017 at A's: 6 1/3 innings, 2 runs, 10 strikeouts, 3 walks, 4 hits