The White Sox did what they needed to do in Detroit, take two of three and get back above .500. It’s no coincidence that Tim Anderson was the driving force in wins on Tuesday and Wednesday, and in today’s win he was on fire: 4-for-5 with a triple, homer, and swagger to burn.
Here are the highlights, as the South Siders ended their recent rough stretch on the right note, taking a two-game streak into Thursday’s day off.
A lot of praise is being showered on Dylan Cease for his longest-ever start with no walks, but this was not a great game from him. The earned run tally, given he crossed up catcher James McCann on the passed ball in the fourth inning, should have been five. But game score cares not for runs earned or unearned, and Dylan comes in with a 40 today, worse than he season average and his worst since that really bad first start of the season. His -.181 WPA tells me he was the least valuable player for the White Sox today.
Aside from getting your lunch handed to you with a TA staredown solo shot to lead off the game and an Eloy poke to right, right after, how’d you enjoy the play, Matthew Boyd? Boyd definitely had a worse outing than Cease, with an astronomically-bad seven earned in just 4 ⅔ innings, and a game score of 20. Only Roland Bolaños of the Royals has had a worse outing against the White Sox this season.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, trailing 5-3, Luis Robert tagged a ball to deep center that came within a foot or two of being his first career grand slam. As it stood, the clout cleared the bases — including a huffing Edwin Encarnación from first base — to give Chicago the lead for good. The leverage for that play was a robust 3.64 LI.
Evan Marshall took over for Biceps Cordero in the seventh and then came back to finish the eighth as well, under nail-biting 2.37 pLI pressure to preserve a two-run lead. His success under that pressure led to a .178 WPA day, making him fourth most valuable on the field on Wednesday.
Robert also recorded .316 WPA on his bases-clearing double, which was the most valuable play of the game.
Believe it or not, Anderson was not the most valuable player this afternoon in spite of four hits. Perhaps a K in his final at-bat trimmed his WPA total? Anyway, outscoring TA ..271 WPA to .236 was Detroit’s Willi Castro, whose home run made it a 5-3 game in Detroit’s favor, en route to a 3-for-4, run, two-RBI day.
Magic Number: 2
There have been two games this season where a player had had four hits of 100-plus mph exit velocity: Anderson, today, and Eloy Jiménez, on August 1.
That’s not among White Sox. That’s in ALL of baseball.
The White Sox hit the ball HARD.
And sometimes, you just need a break after all of that heavy hitting.