The White Sox jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first, and they never looked back in tonight’s 8-4 win. They were due for a lopsided victory, so it is nice to see them deliver a performance like this. This win probability chart is a thing of beauty.
Play of the game
In terms of wins probability added (WPA), the three-run homer by Eloy Jiménez in the first inning was the most important play of the game. Eloy’s fourth home run of the season had a WPA of +.200, and it put the White Sox up by a score of 4-0.
The White Sox’s inability to get hits with runners in scoring position has been a problem this season, but it was not an issue tonight. The White Sox were 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which played a role in the offensive outburst.
The White Sox became the first team to get to Tyler Alexander this season, scoring five runs (all earned) in 3 ⅔ innings against him. Previously, Alexander had a 1.17 ERA, and his track record this season includes a relief appearance in which he struck out nine consecutive batters.
Matt Foster continued his excellent start to the young season, as he pitched two scoreless innings of relief. Nobody reached base against Foster, and he struck out four of the six batters he faced. Foster’s updated line this season is as follows: 7 ⅔ innings, no runs, two walks, 13 strikeouts.
Getting on track
Through 18 games in 2019, the White Sox were 7-11. A 9-9 record has a much better ring to it, and with the expanded playoffs, the White Sox are in a decent spot despite the injury bug. Also, the losing pitcher of that 18th game of 2019? Carson Fulmer, who allowed two runs in one inning of relief in a game in Detroit. Fulmer also allowed two runs in one inning of relief in Detroit tonight. Luckily, this time, we are on the winning end.
With a win probability added of +.244, Jiménez earned player of the game honors tonight. In addition to his first-inning home run, Jiménez drove in a run with a sharp RBI single to right in the sixth inning. Considering how crisply Jiménez has hit the ball this series, it appears he has broken out of his slump.