CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox left-hander, Dallas keuchel, understands that next September will likely determine his playoff role on the team after lasting just one inning in his last outing, Friday night, against the Chicago Cubs.
“My last 10 starts have been ugly, to say the least,” Keuchel said Saturday. “There are probably only a handful of games where I’ve been the real me. I need to lock him up in this last month. That’s for sure.”
Keuchel gave up six runs, seven hits and one walk on Friday, increasing his ERA to 5.00 for the season. He blames his straight two-seater against rights for many of his problems. The righties are slugging .425 against that pitch, up from his career average of .376.
“I’ve been looking for that for so long,” Keuchel said. “That’s my biggest disadvantage right now … My lack of mastery of the two-seam fastball down and out against rights has been hampering my ability for most of the season.”
Keuchel is part of a dynamic rotation featuring Cy Young candidates Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon, along with the young pitchers Lucas Giolito and Dylan cease. The quartet has been key to the team’s first place in the Central American League. It will not be easy to beat any of them in October.
“You keep track of who is playing well and who is shooting well until the end,” manager Tony La Russa said. “It’s a factor that you look at. You put a lot of factors together. The history of [Keuchel] it’s definitely an advantage for him. “
Keuchel helped the Houston Astros win a championship in 2017 before signing a 3-year, $ 55.5 million deal with the White Sox before the 2020 season. He compiled a 1.99 ERA last year and said earlier this season that he will he was preparing for the 162-game marathon instead of the 60-game sprint from a year ago. But so far it has not gone well. Keuchel has a 7.43 ERA in five starts in August.
“I wish I had something for you that I wasn’t feeling well,” Keuchel said. “This is the best time I’ve felt, physically, all year. It’s mind-blowing … Home runs have been my death wish this year. More than any other year I’ve been pitching.”
Keuchel has already given up 23 home runs this season, the most of his career. It remains to be seen if he can fix his game in time for the postseason, as the White Sox are close to playing in October.
“I think it’s fair to say,” Keuchel said, when asked if he was pitching for a postseason roster spot. “I’ve been the weakest starter in the rotation for much of the year. Of course I think so. Letting them wrap me in that idea is the least of my worries right now.
“I’m trying to handle this in September and make adjustments and I hope we’re sitting here talking about a lot of wins instead of a lot of regrettable performances.”