I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Luis Robert is a daily human highlight reel, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, he showed signs to the contrary on Sunday night as the White Sox used a six-run fifth inning to down the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
A night after Luis Robert launched a pair of home runs that traveled about 900 feet combined at Guaranteed Rate Field in an intrasquad game, White Sox Manager Rick Renteria penciled in baseball’s No. 3 prospect into the six-hole against the Cubs. Robert didn’t disappoint.
In the box score, he was 2-3 with an RBI double, but the box score doesn’t do his evening justice.
In his first at-bat, Cubs’ Opening Day starter Kyle Hendricks bullied Robert with three pitches that he wasn’t going to be able to do anything with and struck him out looking on three pitches.
His next time up against Hendricks, Robert did exactly what he needs to do in order to reach his potential at the major-league level — adjust to big league pitching on the fly. After fouling off a sinker and a changeup — one that would have landed on Waveland Avenue had he held up just a hair longer — Robert sat on a high fastball. High fastballs were a pitch that gave him trouble in the minors. Robert won the second round versus Hendricks by muscling a single to the opposite field on the next offering.
In his third at-bat of the evening, Robert crushed a Jharel Cotton offering into the Wrigley Field ivy for a ground-rule double. Cotton’s 92 mph offering left Robert’s bat at a scorching 106 mph and pushed the Sox lead to 4-2.
Again, the key to Luis Robert’s success in 2020 will be whether or not Robert can adjust to the plan of attack that opposing pitchers will present him with, and Sunday night was a good sign that he’ll be able to have success doing just that this season.
Sure, the one time Oakland Athletics prospect turned Cubs’ depth reliever, Jharel Cotton isn’t the cream of the crop, but as we’ve pointed out before, Luis Robert is going to see more than enough Jharel Cotton’s when the Sox play the Tigers, Royals, and Pirates in 24 of their 60 games.
While the real test begins on Friday, one thing is for sure today, and that’s the fact that Luis Robert will make opposing pitchers pay dearly for their mistake pitches.
With great success, comes a great deal of envy, and sometimes even jealousy, especially in the social media-driven society that we find ourselves living in these days.
In recent weeks, Cubs fans have been taking to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the prospect that the Chicago — and national — media can’t stop talking about as of late, and most have been complimentary. Of course, there’s a number of Cubs fans who haven’t been as complimentary towards Robert.
Take Twitter personality ‘DOM Frederic’, who joked with his 14.5K followers earlier this month that Luis Robert spent too much time on the popular social media app, TikTok. All the while their first-baseman Anthony Rizzo was busy losing 25 pounds during the quarantine layoff. Since then, Luis Robert has mashed seemingly everything thrown to him, and Anthony Rizzo’s weight loss couldn’t stop him from once again missing time with back issues.
Hell, even the Cubs’ very own Twitter account got in on it on Sunday night, wasting no time mocking Robert after Kyle Hendricks rung Robert looking in the second inning.
After the Robert pulverized a fifth-inning double into the ivy in centerfield, the White Sox account returned the favor.
While there’s been a fair amount of trolling by the Cubs and some of their fans, the response to Luis Robert bursting onto the national scene this past couple of weeks has been received in good fashion by Northsiders (most of the time).
Like it or not, Luis Robert being a recurring guest on your televisions and in your social feeds is here to stay, so you’d better get used to it.
Third Time’s the Charm
The White Sox trailed the Cubs 2-0 heading into the fifth inning but had made Kyle Hendricks work for the zeros that he was hanging through the first four frames. Then, after Adam Engel crushed a Hendricks’ offering to deep left field the White Sox bats broke through in a big way.
The Sox chased Hendricks from the game at 83 pitches and just 4.2 innings pitched, batted around and scored six runs against the Cubs in the fifth inning, their third time through the batting order.
In addition to the Engel homer, Yasmani Grandal doubled home a pair of runs, Edwin Encarnacion and Luis Robert picked up RBI doubles, and Leury Garcia drove in the sixth run of the inning on a triple to centerfield.
That was all the White Sox needed as they topped the Cubs 7-3 on Sunday night.
Feature Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune