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Carlos Rodon getting stronger as his rookie season nears an end

David Banks/Getty Images

Despite command that still comes and goes, Carlos Rodon has been consistently outstanding for the White Sox over his last few starts. On Thursday night he picked up his sixth win of the season after a 6+ IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 K, 3 BB effort. It was his fourth solid start in a row.

If you want to put Rodon's rookie year in a nutshell, the first inning Thursday takes care of it: Rodon sandwiched a single in between outs, then walked the bases loaded, then got himself out of trouble with a strikeout. He cruised through the next five innings, then gave up a two-run bomb in the seventh, which prompted his exit.

The control issues linger, but it's telling that Rodon is starting to miss bats with his changeup. Coming into August, he'd never gone seven innings in a start. In three of his last four starts, he's gone at least seven innings, and a week-and-a-half ago he pitched an eight-inning complete game in Anaheim. Slowly but surely he's become more economical, to the point where the White Sox don't have to worry about him hitting 100 pitches in the fifth inning.

Thursday night he looked on track for another deep start, maybe a complete game, but he lost his rhythm, his control died, and that was the end of his evening. For once, Chicago didn't over-expose him, or provide some misguided teachable moment in a lost season--Rodon was removed in the seventh inning with a pitch count well under 100.

He was frustrated, which is understandable since his last pitch of the night landed in the outfield seats, but it was a fine evening in general for Rodon, who is proving he can be dependable in the long run despite some relatively wild inning-to-inning fluctuations.

He's also proven he can handle any sort of uniform situation; the White Sox wore mid-70s throwbacks on Thursday, which is to say jerseys with collars that went untucked. They looked a little oversized on everybody.


The uniforms were a tribute to this getup, but they didn't go so far as to make the team wear shorts. Those 70s uniforms are kind of the White Sox's own unitards era. It happened, it was a regrettable error, but at the same time, ... okay I don't know how to finish this sentence.

No uniform combination or opponent seems to matter to Rodon, who is well on the way to reserving a spot in Chicago's rotation for a long time.