Michael Kopech

Michael Kopech calls his recent starts 'embarrassing'

Kopech pitched four innings before Pedro Grifol subbed him out of the game on Wednesday

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On Wednesday, Michael Kopech didn't have his best stuff.

He gave up three earned runs in four innings, eclipsing a pitch count of 86 tosses before Pedro Grifol relieved him from the mound. It wasn't Kopech's day. His last three starts fit into that same description, too.

"To be frank, (I'm) a little embarrassed about how I've been pitching," Kopech said after the game. "I know what this team needs. And I know I haven't been giving that. To not be getting more than five innings, especially in the last few starts, it's embarrassing, to say the least."

Grifol mentioned the "bigger picture" of Kopech's season when deciding to yank him from the game. It's a decision no athlete loves to hear, but one Kopech swallows, along with his pride.

"I can appreciate what he has to say, keeping me rested," Kopech said after the game. "As a competitor, I wanted it. As part of this team, I knew I didn't have it today. So I did understand the move. Just wanted to be better. He saw a bigger picture and I can appreciate that."

In Kopech's last three starts, including Wednesday's, he's given up four runs in 13.1 innings. He's failed to get past five innings in each of his last three starts, too.

In late May, Kopech pitched stunning back-to-back starts, going seven and eight innings into games against the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Guardians without allowing a run. He allowed just three hits from those games, too, and struck out 19 batters.

He's going through a bit of a rough patch, which is common for pitchers, especially ones as young and continuously growing accustomed to starter responsibilities, like Kopech.

But, the White Sox need everything they can get right now. They're looking for wins, but haven't found enough to climb the ranks of the AL Central. What's more, they have key players on the injured list right now, including Yoan Moncada, Mike Clevinger and Liam Hendriks.

Life won't get any easier for the Sox, either. They have a series against the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels coming up. Kopech's next start is slotted for the Sox' second bout with the Angels in Los Angeles. Not exactly the free throw Kopech needs to catch his rhythm.

Still, he's pitching with a chip on his shoulder, and vows to improve upon his recent outing on Wednesday.

"I'll be better. I'll be better," Kopech said.

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