Carlos Rodon can be a fiery pitcher on the mound and on Sunday he showed some frustration when things weren’t going his way.
After giving up back-to-back singles in the third inning against the Yankees, Rodon appeared to be laboring through his start. He had already given up two runs on two walks and three hits before the end of the third.
The one that really appeared to get to Rodon was Gleyber Torres’ single in that third inning. Rodon threw a pitch that appeared to jam Torres, but Torres was able to get his hands inside and make enough contact to softly loop a single to left field. Rodon threw his arms up in frustration after he saw the ball land for a hit.
On the previous at-bat Rodon got ahead of Aaron Judge with a 1-2 count, but couldn’t get him out. Judge fouled off three straight pitches with two strikes before getting an RBI single.
“I tried to find a groove early, but it really wasn’t working so they made it tough,” Rodon said. “They were pretty patient, swung at pitches. They had some good at-bats, took me deep into counts. I’d get ahead and they’d seem to fight their way back into it. They drove the pitch count up.”
What happened after Rodon was visibly frustrated ended up being a turning point in the game. Pitching coach Don Cooper came out to talk to Rodon. Cooper had plenty to say and appeared fairly animated when talking to his pitcher.
On White Sox Postgame Live, Ozzie Guillen and Frank Thomas talked about that sequence. Guillen, who managed with Cooper as his pitching coach from 2004-2011, said “Cooper can get hot” when he talks to his pitchers.
“No coach wants to see that, especially from their ace pitcher,” Thomas said. “Cooper went out right away and let him have it. I loved it. It turned around the whole ballgame for the Sox.”
Rodon get out of the third without more trouble and went on to retire the next 11 batters he faced. He only had one more count with three balls the rest of his outing. Rodon went six innings, giving up two runs and picking up his second win of the season.
“We found a groove there after the third,” Rodon said. “(Catcher) James (McCann) and I got on the same page. The tempo went up and the strikes started coming.”
When asked what Cooper said to him, Rodon didn’t give much detail, but did say it was a mechanical fix.
“Just something quick mechanically that I know that I can get to and gets me back in the zone,” Rodon said. “It worked.”