Given the Utilization of Pitchers Today, Mike Clevinger’s Performance was even More Impressive
As the 2023 baseball season enters its final two weeks, the Chicago Cubs are fighting for the right to play October baseball. Coupled with the Chicago Bears continuing to be at the epicenter of countless debates, the Chicago White Sox have been pushed to the backburner of the Chi City sports scene. Even so, their starting pitcher from Monday night accomplished a rare feat that’s been done only once on average per team in 2023.
Taking the hill against the Washington Nationals, Mike Clevinger came within one strike of his third career shutout, but he settled for a complete game victory instead. He allowed one earned run on six hits with seven strikeouts, throwing 79 of his 109 pitches on the night for strikes. Luis Robert Jr. provided more than enough run support with one swing of the bat, as his quest to reach 40 home runs for the season now enters the home stretch.
Mike Clevinger’s complete game was the first thrown by a White Sox pitcher since ace Dylan Cease nearly threw a no-hitter on September 3, 2022, against the Minnesota Twins, and only the thirty-second complete game in the big-leagues this season. Eleven teams have not had a starter go the distance in 2023, and no team has tallied more than three complete games this season.
To put the rarity of complete games today into perspective, the White Sox as a team led all of baseball with 28 complete games recorded in 1991. Knuckleball specialist Wilbur Wood was the last pitcher for South Siders to complete 20 or more games in a season on his own, doing so in 1974.
Mike Clevinger Likely Heading into Free Agency this Offseason
Mike Clevinger talks about his brilliant command and that small scrum at the end of tonight's game pic.twitter.com/UwNBesqhvk
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) September 19, 2023
Clevinger has been a reliable starter in the White Sox rotation for 2023 despite spending time on the injured list, having off-the-field problems, and being waived at this year’s waiver wire. He’s now 8-8 with a 3.42 ERA in 22 starts, striking out 108 batters in 123.2 innings pitched. Advanced metrics paint his 2023 season as a comeback year, as he’s given up a 34.1% hard-hit rate on balls put in play, which is a career best. His strikeout percentage (21.2%) and home run percentage (2.7%) have also improved from 2022.
Signed to a one-year/$8,000,000 with the White Sox back in December, Mike Clevinger has a mutual option with the White Sox worth $12,000,000 for 2024. However, after being placed and clearing waivers, despite solid production on the mound when healthy, it’s very likely that the right hander will be a free agent this coming offseason. It’ll be one of many decisions new general manager Chris Getz will have to make, including whether to pick up Tim Anderson’s club option for next year.
The official start of the MLB offseason will begin five days after the conclusion of this year’s World Series.
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