White Sox

Reynaldo Lopez shuts down the Indians: How close is he to making this a regular thing?

Reynaldo Lopez shuts down the Indians: How close is he to making this a regular thing?

Reynaldo Lopez was excellent Monday night.

He's been excellent before. In all likelihood, he'll be excellent again. But the challenge for him and fellow young starting pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't to be excellent once, to be excellent every now and then. It's to be excellent most of the time. All of the time.

And Lopez feels that in this critical learning season, as the White Sox inch closer to the transition from rebuilding to contending, that he's close to finding the consistency that's proved so elusive for so many White Sox players in recent years.

"I am very close. I think I am very close because I'm working hard to be consistent," Lopez said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "I think that's something that I can do on a consistent basis. I truly believe that I'm very, very close to getting to that consistency level."

Lopez dominated the visiting Cleveland Indians in Monday night's win. He gave up a first-inning home run to Francisco Lindor, but that was it. He ended with just one earned run allowed on two hits and two walks. He struck out six in 7.2 innings. A terrific evening.

Of course, we knew Lopez was capable of this. He was the White Sox best starting pitcher last season, finishing his 2018 campaign with an ERA under 4.00 thanks to a spectacular final month in which he posted a 1.16 ERA over his final six starts. And though he got off to a bumpy start in 2019, he's turned in some great performances of late. He struck out 14 batters against the Detroit Tigers on April 28. He limited this same Cleveland lineup — one of baseball's worst offensive teams, by the way — to just three runs in a quality start last week. But, again, that consistency is still out there waiting for him; he's just two starts removed from giving up six runs in five innings to the Boston Red Sox.

So where did Monday's performance rank? For Lopez, who struck out 14 batters in a game, remember, this one was the best yet.

"I’ve had good outings but today’s was probably the best of the season," Lopez said. "All my pitches were sharp, I was using a very good arm angle, I was throwing strikes. I was using my legs much better today, too. All those factors helped me have a good outing.

"Yes I think (this was better than the 14-strikeout game). Because I felt good, I felt much better. I was commanding all my pitches. It’s not like the results from that 14-strikeout outing were bad, I just felt better today overall. With the command of all my pitches and how I felt physically. This was the best."

As Lopez starts piling up more starts like this — and know that he's not there yet, not with a season ERA that's still at 5.58 — it's a sign of the kind of dominant pitcher he has the potential to be.

There are a lot of starting-pitching question marks for the White Sox right now. Will Lopez and Giolito be able to find consistency? How will Michael Kopech, Dane Dunning and now Carlos Rodon come out the other ends of their recoveries from Tommy John surgery? Will Alec Hansen make it back to the rotation? When will Dylan Cease make his major league debut?

Lopez being able to provide an answer to one of those would be huge for a team still waiting to see what their rotation of the future will look like.

There's a lot of baseball left to be played before the next contending White Sox team takes the field. There are a lot of learning moments still to come for Lopez. But steps like these give the White Sox and their fans a glimpse of what the future might hold. And Lopez feels he's close to turning that future into his present.

"He's pretty good," manager Rick Renteria said. "He's got good stuff, and when he's commanding it he can dominate a ballgame. And I thought today he did."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

MLB The Show: White Sox win extra-innings battle vs. Royals, reach .500 mark

MLB The Show: White Sox win extra-innings battle vs. Royals, reach .500 mark

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Result: White Sox def. Royals, 10-5
Record: 31-31, 3rd in A.L. Central (2.5 GB of Twins and Indians)

W: Jimmy Cordero (4-0)
L: Tim Hill (0-1)

Game summary: After an Alex Colome blown save in the ninth with a 5-3 lead, the White Sox again looked to their extra-inning hero, Yasmani Grandal, to come up clutch in the 11th inning. Grandal’s RBI single opened the flood gates as the White Sox scored five in the 11th to take a 10-5 lead. 

The White Sox were led Wednesday by Luis Robert, who had his best game at the plate in a Sox uniform, going 4-for-6 with a double and two RBIs. The 3-7 lineups spots produced 12 hits and seven of the 10 RBIs. 

The turning point for the Sox offense came in the seventh, when Yoan Moncada broke the 3-3 tie with a solo home run to left field. The next inning, Grandal doubled to center field to give the South Siders a 5-3 lead heading into the ninth. Grandal’s .328 average ranks seventh in the American League, as he and Edwin Encarnacion battle for the team's best batting average on a daily basis.

With a win Wednesday, the White Sox returned to .500 after sliding to more than 10 games under .500 in the opening months of the season. As the Twins' skid continues, the White Sox have drawn within 2 1/2 games of the division lead.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 1-4, 2B, 2 BB (.327 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 1-6 (.266 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 2-6, HR, 2 RBI (.259 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 2-6, 2B (.259 BA)
Jose Abreu: 2-6, 2 RBI (.313 BA)
Tim Anderson: 2-6, RBI, 2B (.295 BA)
Luis Robert: 4-6, 2 RBI, 2B (.251 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 2-4, 3 RBI, 2 2B (.328 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 1-3, 2B, 2 BB (.252 BA)

Scoring summary:

Bottom second:

Salvador Perez doubled to left field, Hunter Dozier scored. 1-0 KC.

Top fourth:

Luis Robert doubled to right field, Nick Madrigal scored. 1-1.

Bottom fourth:

Jorge Soler homered to center field. 2-1 KC.

Top sixh:

Robert singled to center field, Madrigal scored. 2-2.
Yasmani Grandal sacrifice fly to center field, Jose Abreu scored. 3-2 CHW.

Bottom sixh:

Perez grounded out to third base, Dozier scored. 3-3.

Top seventh:

Yoan Moncada homered to left field. 4-3 CHW.

Top eighth:

Grandal doubled to left field, Tim Anderson scored. 5-3 CHW.

Bottom ninth:

Perez homered to left field, Dozier scored. 5-5.

Top 11th:

Grandal doubled to left field, Robert scored. 6-5 CHW.
Moncada singled to right field, Grandal scored. 7-5 CHW.
Abreu singled to left field, Nomar Mazara and Edwin Encarnacion scored. 9-5 CHW.
Anderson singled to center field, Moncada scored. 10-5 CHW.

Notable performance: Jimmy Cordero picked up his fourth win of the season and continues to have the best ERA in the White Sox bullpen (2.58). Cordero was electric Wednesday, coming in for two innings of work and striking out four Royals on the way to the extra-innings victory.

Next game: Thursday, June 4 - Game 63: White Sox at Royals (Dylan Cease, 3-4, 6.00 ERA vs TBD)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Tim Anderson calls out MLB commish Rob Manfred with 2020 season up in the air

Tim Anderson calls out MLB commish Rob Manfred with 2020 season up in the air

Will there be baseball in 2020? It's a question that's still without an answer.

And folks are getting restless.

As mad as baseball fans might be over hearing the latest from the negotiations between Major League Baseball and the players' union, the guys sitting at home waiting to hear when they'll go back to work are irritated, too.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson vented Wednesday, following word that the league had rejected the players' latest proposal for a shortened season, taking aim at commissioner Rob Manfred on Twitter.

RELATED: MLB rejects players' 114-game proposal, making 50-game season look possible

As team owners continue to insist they'd be unable to pay players the full prorated salaries they agreed to in March, the players are adamant they haven't yet seen enough economic proof of that claim to warrant agreeing to another pay cut.

In the absence of an agreement with the players' union, the league could take the step of implementing a season of roughly 50 games, preventing players from earning more money on a per-game basis and robbing fans of a whole lot of baseball.

Even with some players expressing concerns over playing during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many have stated how eager they are to get back to work.

While simultaneously saying that it's been tough to think about baseball during the nationwide protests over the police killings of Black people in the wake of George Floyd's murder in Minnesota, Anderson said Monday that he is itching to get back on the field.

"I think this problem is bigger than baseball at the moment," he said. "But can’t wait to get back out there when the time is right."

We'll have to wait and see if and when he'll have that chance.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.