Former NC State ace Carlos Rodon got off to a shaky start this season, but if his start against the Red Sox this past Friday is any indicator, he has found the recipe to his dominant stuff once again.
On Friday, Rodon gave up 2 earned runs over 7.2 innings (the deepest he has gone into a game all season), while walking none and striking out 11 at Fenway against the Red Sox. The 11 k’s marked a career high for Rodon, and this was the 1st time all season that he went a whole start without walking anyone.
Look at the difference between Rodon’s last two starts compared to his previous three.
Don Cooper, the White Sox pitching coach, feels like they have worked out the kinks in Rodon’s mechanics.
‘‘We’re on to something now,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘I feel good where he’s at. ‘‘Now he has to be good at remembering. Remembering his keys will help him throw more strikes and make adjustments when he’s not. Over the last two or three starts and sidelines, he’s starting to figure it out. It has been the same thing for a long time. He has not been able to remember that and repeat that. But here’s what was happening: His head was jammed up. He had anxiousness. He wasn’t trusting, believing. His confidence level was down in his ability to throw strikes. Frustration and negativity set in because of that, and he was tying himself up in knots. His best physical attribute and gift is a good, live left arm. The mental guy was choking the physical guy and not letting him come out to play. When that happens, you don’t have anything. ‘‘Can the hitter hit his stuff? I will bet on Carlos against anybody who steps in there. I will double-down if he gets ahead [in the count].’’ (SunTimes)
Rodon’s next start is this Thursday against the Houston Astros. Here’s to hoping his elite streak continues against the best team in the American League