Let’s talk about how farcical the “win” statistic is. Xavier Cedeño today “won” the game. Now, by all accounts, we can agree he was the worst White Sox pitcher today, despite earning the win. But by WPA, Cedeño was the worst pitcher of the entire game, and in fact the worst player in Thursday’s game. Cedeño’s -0.57 WPA was in fact worse than that of the entire Kansas City Royals staff — and they were the losing team!
With one swing of the bat, resulting in an eighth-inning pinch-hit, three-run, GWRBI homer, Daniel Palka compiled 0.30 WPA, second-best on the White Sox today. Only José Abreu, with two hits including the game-tying home run earlier in the eighth, outpaced Palka, at 0.32.
Today was a rare occurrence, where the game MVP came from the losing team. Whit Merrifield’s three-run homer in the top of the eighth (briefly) gave the Royals a 3-2 lead. Merrifield clocked in with a 0.54 WPA for the game.
With essentially identical, eighth-inning, three-run homers, both Palka and Merrifield led all batters today with 2.033 wOBAs.
Jace Fry entered the game in the eighth inning with ducks on the pond, and induced a whiff of Alex Gordon. Then, in part because Ricky Renteria is his manager, Fry departed. That one play earned Fry the top single-play (LI) and full-game leverage (pLI) of 3.77.
Today’s winning pitcher, Cedeño, pitched to a 42.16 FIP.