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So Close to Perfection, Sox Carlos Rodon Hurls No-Hitter

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Retiring the first 25 Cleveland Indians to come to the plate, White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon eyed the first Perfect Game in MLB since Mariners legend Felix Hernandez in 2012, and the first for the Sox since Philip Humber that same season. Alas, it was not meant to be as catcher Roberto Perez was hit with a slider on the top of his foot with one out and two strikes in the top of the ninth inning.

Only two weeks into the season, however, Rodon threw the league’s second no-hitter (Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres) and the first White Sox no-hitter since Lucas Giolito last year. Overall Rodon struck out seven in the ballgame, including the game’s penultimate batter, Yu Chang, who Rodon punched out on a breaking ball inside. The final hitter was Jordan Luplow, who rolled over Rodon’s 114th pitch of the ballgame to third baseman Yoan Moncada to end the ball-game. Perhaps the play that caused the most anxiety was also in the ninth inning, as Josh Naylor almost beat out an infield hit to first baseman Jose Abreu, who lunged toward the first base bag as Naylor’s right hand slid past first base without making contact.

It was the 20th no-hitter in White Sox history. It was the fourth no-hitter thrown by a White Sox southpaw, with the first being the 1991 no-hitter by Wilson Alvarez, followed by a 2007 no-hitter and 2009 Perfect Game by Mark Buerhle. The Sox ultimately won the game 8-0, highlighted by Yermin Mercedes homerun in the first inning. It was the catcher’s third homerun on the season, as he had already posted a gaudy 1.298 OPS prior to tonight’s ballgame. Mercedes currently leads MLB in both batting average and on-base percentage.

For Rodon, this is the culmination of a journey back from Tommy John surgery, being non-tendered by the club and only having thrown 42 innings since the 2018 season. Heading into tonight’s ballgame, Rodon was 30-33 lifetime with a 4.10 ERA and 534 Ks since 2015. The Southsiders even back at .500 and now sit one game back of the Royals for first place in the AL Central.

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