The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins entered into a slugfest for today’s Opening Night. In fact, Max Kepler pulled the first pitch of the ballgame to right field for a home run. Both teams combined for 10 runs after two innings. Chicago used eight pitchers, and the Twins used six.
Although the 10-5 score looks like a runaway for the Twinkies, Leury García, who was never charged for an error, missed a few double-play turning opportunities and missed on a few bad hops. The Twins took advantage and ran with it for the game.
As for Chicago’s hitters, four players tallied hits, and those four players had a multi-hit game. Tim Anderson, Eloy Jiménez, and Luis Robert (!!) snagged two, and Yoán Moncada grabbed three (including a three-run bomb).
Lucas Giolito and José Berríos pitched rather similar ballgames. Lucas pitched 3 2⁄3 innings, where he gave up seven runs off of six hits (including two home runs); he did strike out three batters. As for Berríos, he went a full four innings, giving up five runs off of seven hits (including a home run). He only struck out one batter, so the Chicago White Sox saw him very well.
Jorge Polanco, in the fourth inning, faced Evan Marshall with the bases loaded. He notched a 3.42 LI hit to center field, scoring scored Miguel Sanó and Luis Arráez. This gave Minnesota a 7-5 lead and ended up being the winning runs of the game.
Evan Marshall, who was called into the game in the fourth to clean up some of Giolito’s mess, faced the highest pressure in the game, with a 1.86 pLI. He didn’t do too well under that pressure, giving up a single that added two runs to Giolito’s docked and later filling the bases back up with a walk.
Back-to-back stats feature the South Siders, this one on the positive side. Yoán Moncada, who just returned from recovering from COVID-19, went 3-for-5 and was a triple away from the cycle. However, in the highest WPA play of the game at .260, YoYo BLASTED a three-run bomb to right field. His helmet was so excited that it was falling off of his head. At the time, this crushed ball tied the game, 5-5.
Surprisingly, a Good Guy takes the trophy in this loss. YoYo edges out Jorge Polanco for the MVP honors. Polanco notched a total .222 WPA, but Moncada blew him away with a total .327! Yep, at least based on Opening Night, Moncada is going to win the AL MVP.
Magic Number 115.8
Swinging at the first pitch in his major-league debut, Luis Robert singled to left field for his first ever major-league hit (he even tallied his first extra-base hit in the later innings, a double to right-center field.) The single was crushed to left field at 115.8 mph. Had the ball been a little bit higher in the zone, it leaves the ball park. ¡La Pantera está aquí!