More reasons for Jordan Leasure, White Sox to keep smiling

Rookie Jordan Leasure has only one look off the field, and it comes with a smile.

He smiles when he walks, smiles when he talks.

“That’s just who he is,” White Sox starting left-hander Garrett Crochet said of the right-handed reliever.

“He’s very stoic on the mound. Kind of an emotionless guy. Whether it’s going good or bad, you couldn’t tell. He’s the same guy every day. As a rookie, you either have it or you don’t, and it comes really naturally to him. He has really impressive stuff, and he’s answered the call really well.”

In 19 appearances, Leasure, 25, has shown high-leverage stuff and a closer’s mentality, too. That job belongs to Michael Kopech, but it could be Leasure’s if Kopech happens to get traded to a contender.

In any case, Leasure says he’ll just go about his business and let the chips fall.

Smiling all the way. The nicest guy in the room.

“I don’t know, I’m just always in a good mood,” he told the Sun-Times. “I try to bring good vibes to the clubhouse. I’m a very positive person. Not much to be upset about, right?”

Not when you’re enjoying the major-league life for the first time, with a promising career in view. But Leasure always has been this way.

“In high school, everyone said I smiled too much,” Leasure said. “I don’t care. It just comes naturally.

“I feel like it’s a good thing. Living life, what is there not to smile about?”

After a horrendous 3-22 start, the Sox had more to smile about Wednesday afternoon after improving to 11-8 in their last 19 games with a 2-0 victory over the Nationals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Crochet pitched five scoreless innings, Jared Shuster pitched two, Leasure needed only nine pitches — eight of them strikes — to breeze through the eighth and Kopech survived two walks in the ninth and struck out Keibert Ruiz and Luis Garcia Jr. to notch his fifth save.

The Sox (14-30) have won consecutive series and three of their last four, including against the Cardinals and Guardians, after taking two of three from the Nationals (20-22).

“It’s huge,” Crochet said. “We have really homed in on exactly that, just winning series. The energy is really good right now.”

Outfielder Tommy Pham, who arrived the day the 11-8 stretch began, doubled in a run against lefty Patrick Corbin, and catcher Korey Lee had three singles and a stolen base. He drove in Andrew Benintendi, who had two hits, including a double.

“We’ve got a tough schedule coming up [five series against American League East teams and the Cubs and Brewers through the first week of June],’’ Pham said, ‘‘so it’s going to take a lot of good baseball played by us to beat some of these teams.’’

“By no means are we even close to out of the woods; it doesn’t mean anything,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “It’s just that in the midst of a storm like we had early on, the culture, character and resiliency of this clubhouse was strong enough to withstand that now and play better baseball. It doesn’t mean we won’t face that storm again. It means we have the strength to get through something like that and know the sun will shine after the rain.”

And, as Leasure would do, keep on smiling.

“A lot of good things for me personally are happening,” Leasure said. “Very thankful, very grateful, very blessed.

“I feel like I’ve been doing really well, just trying to ride the momentum. The team is starting to play a lot better, just keep doing what I can to help the team win.”

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