clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The clutchest White Sox performances of 2013

In a season of close games, some players were occasionally able to turn them into wins

David Banks

It doesn't seem like it, but the White Sox did manage to have some big moments at the plate during the 2013 season. As you'll see, the Sox made some of them necessary with mind-boggling incompetence beforehand, but fortunately for the players involved, Win Probability Added looks at every situation with fresh eyes.

As I did last year, here's a rundown of the top 10 White Sox performances according to WPA. If you're unfamiliar with WPA, check out that post for a detailed description.

No. 10: Alexei Ramirez vs. Mets

June 25 | WPA: 0.402

Ramirez went 1-for-3 with a walk, but the hit was a walk-off single off New York's LaTroy Hawkins. The clutch moment was made possible by one of the lowest moments of the season, Gordon Beckham's ankle tackle of Conor Gillaspie on what should've been a game-ending pop-up.

Highlight: Alexei's walk-off single

No. 9: Gordon Beckham vs. Mariners

June 5 | WPA: 0.406

Beckham had an extremely useful game against Seattle, but needed 16 innings to factor into the scoring. He led off the 16th with a single, stole second and scored on Alejandro De Aza's single to center for the decisive run. Altogether, he went 4-for-7 with two stolen bases, but here's another guy who made this list only because of an unfathomable failure by his teammates. In this case, it was the bullpen blowing a 6-0 lead in the 14th.

No. 8: Jordan Danks vs. Royals

May 6 | WPA: 0.413

Jordan Danks' second career homer is also a game-winner, this one in the 11th off Kelvin Herrera. Danks, however, might've been able to end the game earlier had he followed Joe McEwing's wave home instead of checking up a third of the way down the line on an infield single in the ninth, so he pretty much padded his own stats.

Highlight: Jordan Danks' homer

No. 7: Adam Dunn vs. Yankees

Aug. 7 | WPA: 0.420

With two on, two out and down two strikes to Mariano Riera in the ninth inning, the pinch-hitting Dunn goes with an outer-half cutter and shoots it through the left side to drive in the game-tying run. That pushed the game into extra-innings, setting up heroics that will appear later in this list

Highlight: Dunn's game-tying single

No. 6: Avisail Garcia vs. Tigers

Aug. 13 | WPA: 0.434

Garcia sure seemed to enjoy sticking it to his former team, and he stung the Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer with a two-run triple to the right-field corner. Making matters better, Garcia came home on an error caused by Miguel Cabrera's inflexibility for a virtual inside-the-park homer, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead.

Highlight: Garcia's two-run triple

No. 5: Adam Dunn vs. Orioles

July 4 | WPA: 0.456

In the middle of his furious midseason surge, Dunn went 3-for-4, driving in two of the Sox's three runs. He cashed in Alex Rios with a two-out single in the sixth, stretching the Sox's lead to 2-0. When two runs wasn't enough, Dunn took Tommy Hunter deep the opposite way for a walk-off blast on Independence Day.

Highlight: Dunn's walk-off homer

No. 4: Adam Dunn vs. Blue Jays

June 10 | WPA: 0.514

And here's the game that basically jump-started Dunn's rebound. He added 55 points to his OPS in a single day by going 4-for-4 with a walk, two homers and five RBI. The biggest blow: a go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, which answered Edwin Encarnacion's three-run blast in the top of the inning.

Highlight: Dunn's three-run homer

No. 3: Jordan Danks vs. Astros

Aug. 27 | WPA: 0.522

With the bases loaded and the White Sox trailing 3-2, Danks singles past Erik Bedard to drive in two runs, which turn out to be the game-tying and game-winning tallies in a victory over Houston. Danks went 3-for-4, and this performance would've ranked higher if he didn't ground into a double play with runners on the corners and one out earlier in the game.

Highlight: Danks' go-ahead single

No. 2: Alejandro De Aza vs. Indians

Sept. 24 | WPA: 0.530

The only one of the top 11 clutch performances to come in defeat, De Aza only went 2-for-5, but both hits gave the Sox a pair of late-inning leads. The first one was a go-ahead single in the seventh that made it a 2-1 game, and the second was a solo homer off closer Chris Perez, which gave the Sox a 4-3 edge in the ninth. Jason Giambi stole the show with a pinch-hit walk-off (good for a WPA of 0.865, in case you were curious).

Highlight: De Aza's solo homer

No. 1: Alejandro De Aza vs. Yankees

Aug. 7 | WPA: 0.604

De Aza didn't quite match Giambi in this game, but the impact was just about the same. After Dunn's RBI single off Rivera extended the game into extra innings, the Sox fell behind again in the 12th on a Robinson Cano solo shot. In the bottom half, De Aza came to the plate with two on and two outs and socked a deep drive to the right-center gap off Adam Warren for the guttiest victory of the year.

Highlight: De Aza's walk-off triple