Chicago White Sox starter Dylan Cease ‘checked all the boxes’ in an outing that included a unique strikeout

It had to be one of the most unique strikeouts ever for Dylan Cease.

The Chicago White Sox right-hander was credited with a punch out when Oakland Athletics shortstop Kevin Smith got called for an automatic strike for batter violation tied to the clock to end his second-inning at-bat.

Cease pumped his fist as he walked back to the Sox dugout.

“It was a little bit of sarcasm, but a little bit of, ‘This is nice’ kind of mixed in together,” Cease said with a smile Tuesday.

He agreed it was one of his best “pitches” of the afternoon.

“Saved a bullet and got a strikeout?” Cease said. “You’re killing two birds with one stone there.”

The 2022 American League Cy Young runner-up was back to form at Camelback Ranch, allowing one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts in 3⅓ innings in a 5-4 victory on Tuesday.

Cease rebounded from a rare off night in his last start when he allowed 11 earned runs in two-thirds of an inning on March 8 against the Kansas City Royals at Surprise Stadium.

“Any time you get beat down pretty good, I think the best thing is to get back out there and keep going until you have success,” Cease said.

Manager Pedro Grifol said Cease “checked all the boxes” against the A’s.

“He was 94-97 (mph), started throwing his offspeed stuff for strikes,” Grifol said Wednesday morning. “He found it there after the first inning with the four (strikeouts). (He) felt good. He looked good.”

Cease struck out the final two batters of the second, including Smith. He began the third inning with his third strikeout of the game before exiting in fourth after striking out Ryan Nola.

Control was an issue in Cease’s first two spring starts. He was just missing with …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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