Beating the Dodgers just meant more to AJ Pollock on Tuesday night, so naturally he played a massive role in dealing a ringing blow to his former club. Meanwhile, Craig Kimbrel sat on the paternity list, missing out on a late-and-close scenario that never materialized.
Though Michael Kopech didn’t allow the high-flying Los Angeles offense a single run and the ChiSox remain in the doldrums, mired below .500, the opener of this road series was punctuated by the one player Dodger fans did not want to hear from. Consider the narrative stolen, for one day minimum.
Pollock hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire during his time on the South Side, hitting .220 with a .246 OBP and .600 OPS to start the campaign. Those snoozeworthy numbers should’ve already made it crystal clear he was going to show up for this series, though.
That “when” came with runners on the corners in a scoreless game, with disappointing Dodger David Price on the mound desperate to keep a quiet offensive contest deadlocked.
Given the chance to play two-out hero, Pollock’s tiebreaker and resulting postgame comment proved that, even though the team moved on from him minutes before Opening Day, neither side has really moved on.
AJ Pollock got revenge on Dodgers with double, postgame comment
After the Pollock trade upended the Dodgers’ roster at the literal end of spring training, we asked three questions. Would Craig Kimbrel’s White Sox hangover carry over? Should the Dodgers have just re-signed Kenley Jansen? And who would actually play left field in Hollywood without Pollock?
Kimbrel’s strikeouts have remained exemplary, but his consistency has been lacking. Jansen rounded into form of late with the streaking Braves, and his Ks have matched Kimbrel’s. In left? It’s mostly been Chris Taylor (and his .257 average), who’s ceded second base to Gavin Lux (and his below-average 93 OPS+).
It’s easy to say Pollock hasn’t stolen the reins in Chicago and the Dodgers are better off without him. But it’s harder to say that LA has anyone who’s filled his gap spectacularly, too.
After Tuesday’s game, Pollock admitted finishing off the Dodgers was “extra special” after his offseason took a significant turn when Andrew Friedman shook Rick Hahn’s hand (virtually).
Being uprooted less than a week before Opening Day and losing your annual playoff trip with Mookie, JT and the gang had to sting.
On Tuesday night, a stuck-in-the-mud Pollock stung back. Hopefully, the remainder of the season series is a bit less “special” for him.