The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox had a series to remember this week.
It featured an error to end a game, a legendary duel on the mound, and even a no-hitter.
Thursday’s game did feature a bit of an altercation, caused by Adam Eaton, but it lacked the mind-blowing drama seen earlier in the series.
The best news was that the Indians won the game.
Cleveland and Chicago ended up splitting the series 2-2 and it is clear there is a new, fun rivalry in the American League Central.
Both of these teams have October aspirations and the early signs look good for both sides.
Tempers flare between the Indians and White Sox and the benches empty after Adam Eaton shoves Andrés Giménez at second base.#OurCLE pic.twitter.com/J6wqVRgHZ8
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 15, 2021
The Overall Highlight From the Series
Carlos Rodon throwing a no-hitter is impossible to be topped.
He was inches away from a perfect game and made baseball history with this impressive feat.
The crazy thing was that it came one night after Shane Bieber put on a historic performance of his own.
Only a no-hitter could top what Bieber did and Rodon was up to the challenge.
The final out. A spectacular night on the mound for Carlos Rodón! pic.twitter.com/xkYMaLR9vP
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 15, 2021
The series itself got started with a White Sox win thanks to a Yu Chang error that involved him throwing a ball off the head of Yasmani Grandal.
That one play created a storyline about how Terry Francona playing people out of position may not be the best idea.
But overall, Rodon took the focus an rightfully so.
A Competitive Rivalry in 2021
The AL Central was so top-heavy when the Indians were winning the division regularly from 2016-2018.
Now the Indians, White Sox, and Minnesota Twins are all legitimate contenders.
The Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers cannot be counted out yet either.
That will change as the year goes on and more divisional games are played.
However, the point remains that this division is wide open and every single game should be competitive.
The skirmish between Eaton and Andres Gimenez that took place Thursday proved this is not the usual Indians-White Sox matchups from the recent past.
Rivalries are only fun if both teams are playing at a high level.
The Indians actually enter play Friday tied with the Royals for the most wins in the Central so far with seven. Of course, the next three teams all have six wins.
What will carry this rivalry is the pitching.
Bieber and Giolito proved both these teams have legitimate aces and Rodon took it to a whole other level.
The Indians offense waking up sooner than later would be a nice change too.
Next up is a series against Tyler Naquin and the Cincinnati Reds.
Both Ohio teams being competitive could mean we see another rivalry begin brewing this weekend as part of the Ohio Cup.
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