Despite the early exit in the ALDS at the hands of the Houston Astros, the White Sox had three pitchers that were graced with MLB yearly honors. Closer Liam Hendriks was awarded a back to back Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year award, lefty starter Dallas Keuchel was awarded his 5th Gold Glove and righty starter Lance Lynn was named a Cy young finalist. Let’s take a look at their season that earned them these prestigious honors for the 2021 season.
Aussie Liam Hendriks had a stellar first year on the Southside, collecting an AL leading 38 saves, 14.3 K/9, .174 BAA and posting a 113/7 K to BB ratio. Liam was also named the AL reliever of the month for May and September and didn’t allow a single run from August 16th to the end of the season on October 3rd. The one bugaboo of the righty’s season is that he had the tendency of giving up the long ball, allowing 11 home runs which was his most since the 2012 season before transitioning from a starter to a reliever. Liam has really made a name for himself over the years after being DFA’d 5 times in his career and transforming himself into one of game’s dominant relievers.
Despite having his most underwhelming season of his career from a statistical standpoint, Dallas Keuchel continued to display solid defense when he took the mound. The southpaw threw 162 innings with a 9-9 record, posting a 5.28 ERA and 1.531 WHIP and allowing 25 home runs. It was a season to forget for Dallas as he was left off the team’s playoff roster but managed to pull off 12 DRS, collecting a league leading 41 defensive assists , and only allowing two stolen bases in six attempts. The hurler is looking to prove the doubters wrong and finish the last year of his contract with the White Sox with a better season closer to his career numbers.
Fastball savant Lance Lynn put together an All-Star season with a 11-6 record, 2.59 ERA to go along with 176 strikeouts over 157 innings pitched. Lynn threw the 1st complete game shutout of the regular season for the league back in April and also started in the inaugural Field of Dreams of Game vs the Yankees in August. This was his third consecutive year in the Cy Young conversation after having two solid seasons with the Texas Rangers before being traded to the pale hose in December of 2020. Lance will be a key cog in the Southsiders’ contention window after inking a 2 year extension earlier this year.
The trio contributed to the White Sox 1st division title since 2008 finishing with a record of 93-69. The White Sox look to build upon the successful season in 2022 as long as MLB owners and players come to an agreement on a CBA this offseason. It’s going to be a long winter for the MLB and hopefully if all goes well in the proceeding labor negotiations, the White Sox can continue their quest to bring home another World Series championship to 35th and Shields.
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