CHICAGO — There was no win to be had for Reynaldo Lopez during one of his best starts of the 2018 season, with the Angels completing the weekend sweep of the White Sox via a 1-0 shutout Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field.
But missing out on that particular individual accolade is nothing new to the White Sox right-hander. Over his last eight starts, Lopez has a 1-0 record and seven no-decisions. The work he did Sunday was more important than improving his 5-9 ledger..Lopez pitched six scoreless innings, striking out 10, walking three and allowing two Mike Trout singles, while throwing 71 of his 105 pitches for strikes. In his last four trips to the mound, Lopez has given up four earned runs on 15 hits over 25 2/3 innings to go with eight walks, one home run and 29 strikeouts.
“I am feeling good. I feel strong,” said Lopez through interpreter Billy Russo. “My mindset in every outing is to go at least six. If I can go more, that’s even better. Go at least six innings and try to finish strong.”
“He had a really good fastball today. Really good life on the fastball,” White Sox catcher Welington Castillo said. “Our game plan was to attack those hitters with fastballs, throw a couple good changes. That was the game plan and he executed well.”
Against the Angels, Lopez recorded 16 swinging strikes and 22 called strikes per Statcast™. Ten of those swinging streaks came on the fastball, which topped out at 98.6 mph, and 16 of the called strikes were on the fastball. Lopez made liberal usage of his changeup, throwing it 23 times against 72 fastballs, with six swinging strikes and three called strikes off the pitch.
An adjustment with his arm angle upon delivery helped give Lopez a little more life on his fastball, according to the hurler.
“When you use that arm angle and you are consistent with it, you are getting more speed with your fastball and at the same time you are being more effective with your changeup,” Lopez said. “That was the case today. If you are able to stick with that arm angle during the whole game, you are going to be more effective with all your pitches.”
“I thought his fastball was really good today,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He was elevating and when he needed to throw a strike early, off-speed, get a swing, he was working it very well. He just looked really composed today.”
Andrew Heaney was every bit as good as Lopez for the Angels. The southpaw set a career-high with 12 strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
.The Angels scored the game’s lone run in the seventh, charged to Ian Hamilton, when Kole Calhoun’s single off Caleb Frare brought home Jose Fernandez. It left the White Sox with five straight losses and a 3-7 mark on this second-to-last homestand.