Just five players in Major League Baseball history have thrown two no-hitters in a single season. Only 35 have thrown multiple in their careers. Maybe one day, White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodón will add his name to one or both of those lists, but that day was not on Sunday afternoon in Detroit.
Rodón entered the seventh inning of the series finale against the Tigers with eight strikeouts, one walk and no hits allowed. After striking out Miguel Cabrera on an outside slider, Tigers’ catcher Eric Haase stepped up to plate. On a 2-2 count, Haase took an inside slider that everyone except home plate umpire Pat Hoberg thought had the zone. The replay showed as much, too. Two pitches later, Haase doubled to deep left field, though Andrew Vaughn gave an admirable effort to make the epic snag.
A wild pitch, sacrifice fly and flyout later, Rodón exited the game with a one-hit, one-run, nine-strikeout performance.
“I just felt good,” Rodón said after the game. It was one of those days that I just feel really good and have good command for [the] fastball, slider. Zack [Collins] called a great game, and [we] did what we had to do.”
The lefty’s slider was particularly nasty, grabbing seven of his nine strikeouts on the pitch. Rodón told reporters that he thought his stuff today was even better than in his no-hitter on April 14.
“Pretty nasty stuff,” White Sox catcher Zack Collins said. “I mean, It kind of turns into a video game for me back there. Everything he throws is pretty much a swing and miss. He’s got an upper 90s fastball; got that wipeout slider. I can’t really call anything wrong back there.”
Rodón, Collins and White Sox manager Tony La Russa all agreed that Rodón looked fierce from the jump.
“It seemed like from the first pitch, first inning, everything was in sync as far as delivery,” La Russa told reporters. “The ball just jumping out of his hand. Command of the three pitches. And he kept it through seven innings. He was outstanding.”
When asked about the strike that was called for a ball in the at-bat that broke up the no-no, neither Rodón nor Collins disparaged the umpire, who admitted he missed the call.
“A lot of people are probably gonna ask about the slider strikeout pitch that was called a ball, but it’s part of the game of baseball,” Rodón said. “Nobody’s perfect. All you can do is think about the next pitch.” … “And Pat’s a very good umpire. Like, one of the best, I would say.”
“Honestly, it’s disappointing, but Pat called a great game all day,” Collins said. He was good on both sides. Missed one pitch, and obviously it hurt us, but I have nothing bad to say about him, and it’s just tough luck. That’s about it. That’s baseball.”
Evan Marshall and Liam Hendriks’ each pitched a perfect inning to end the game and hold the Tigers to just one hit on the afternoon. It was another first-class bullpen performance from a staff that held Detroit to just two runs in 10 innings over the course of the series.
The White Sox scored two of their four runs on base hits from Abreu and Moncada in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, and two in the sixth on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and walk in consecutive fashion.
It wasn’t a historic day in Detroit, and what felt like the makings of an extra special outing ended in just a regular, old-fashioned W. And the White Sox, who lead the AL Central by 5 1/2 games, will take that any day of the week.