White Sox right-handed pitching prospect Michael Kopech took the mound for the Charlotte Knights this afternoon in game two of their double-header against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. Kopech was provided plenty of run support and tossed an effective game, earning his fourth win of the season as the Knights went on to win this one 8-2.
It wasn’t the typical outing for Michael Kopech, who is known to pile up the strikeouts whenever he takes the mound. Regardless, he still managed to have a strong outing this afternoon and gave the Knights a great opportunity to pull off a win.
The RailRiders did all of their damage in the second inning. Michael Kopech left a pitch high in the zone and Mark Payton kept it up as he sent it over the fence for a two-run home run. After the homer, Kopech decided that was enough and he only allowed one more hit for the rest of the game.
Even though Michael Kopech only had four strikeouts today, he still did a great job controlling the strike zone. Out of the 19 batters he faced, he was ahead in the count in all but four of them. In one of those plate appearances, Kopech was in a 9 pitch battle that he ended up winning by getting Abiatal Avelino to strikeout on a 97 mph heater.
Speaking of controlling the strike zone, Michael Kopech did not issue a walk today. That’s the first time this season that he didn’t allow a freebie. He has issued one walk or less in three straight starts, including today. That’s a positive sign for someone who has had control issues on a few occasions this year.
Despite being effective today, Michael Kopech only went for five innings. With today being a double-header, game two was shortened to a seven inning game and that’s likely the reason he only went for five innings.
Final Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K. 81 pitches with 57 of them being strikes.
It was nice to see Kopech have an outing like he did today. It’s always fun to see him blow batters away with his fastball, but knowing he can be an effective pitcher without needing strikeouts to do so is refreshing.
The Charlotte Knights got off to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Eloy Jimenez blasted a two-run shot to center field. This was Eloy’s sixth home run since being promoted to Charlotte. Eloy would also have a double in this one, going 2-4 at the plate with two RBI’s and two runs scored.
If you were a member of the Knights outfield position group, chances are you had a successful day. Trayce Thompson also went deep and he did it against our former friend, Tommy Kahnle. Lead-off hitter Ryan LaMarre collected three hits and was a homer away from the cycle. After the RailRiders tied the game in the second inning, the Knights pulled away and put the game out of reach.
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