White Sox, Royals prove 1-0 pitching duel is a beautiful thing


Pitching duels are supported by great defense and David Lough's catch saved the game.
David Lough’s sliding catch in the bottom of the ninth helped preserve the Royals’ 1-0 win Saturday.

For all of the writing I do about baseball, I don’t get to the ballpark nearly as much as I’d like. Saturday night was only the second game of the season where I found myself sitting in the stands. For pitching duels and great defense, there was simply no way to top the Royals’ 1-0 win over the White Sox on Saturday night. Even if you aren’t a fan of either — and I’m generally not — you still have to tip your cap anyway. The baseball on display was about as good as anyone could ever expect to see.

Several of the plays made last night were worthy of any sports highlight reel. After all that great defense, though, the game turned on a diving catch made by David Lough in the ninth inning. The game was on the line, and nobody but a big-league outfielder could have made the play Lough did. And with Alex Rios somehow not tagging up from third, the play turned out to be enough for the Royals to come out with the win.

The fireworks that immediately followed the game at The Cell were great, but they were also cold comfort for White Sox fans, who had just watched the Royals take the game away with their defensive wizardry. The Cubs fan in me admired the way both teams had played the game, as well as the efforts of Wade Davis and Chris Sale. It was a fine pitching duel, such as any baseball fan from any era would be able to enjoy.

The old saying that pitching and defense wins championships can be extended to ballgames like Saturday night’s. The fact that MLB saw three other 1-0 games, on top of the White Sox/Royals game, means that plenty of fans got to see exactly how true that statement is.  It’s one more reason why baseball is such a wonderful game to follow.

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