Well, bummer, the White Sox had the advantage early, making Yu Darvish labor a bit (on the Darvish scale, at least) and having a few chances to push a few more runs across. But José Abreu’s fourth straight home run (to lead off the second inning) was all the South Siders could muster today. Darvish got stronger as the game went by, and the Cubs dodged some gamey relief work to leave the sacks packed in the ninth to secure the win.
Tomorrow is a day off, and then it’s time to welcome in Pittsburgh for a two-game sweep on Tuesday!
While by no means a gem, Darvish’s 69 game score was the best the White Sox have faced in 14 games — when Zack Plesac decided to jeopardize the health of his teammates and go out for dinner with friends after a win in Chicago.
Dylan Cease was solid, putting up a 55 game score, his third-best effort of the season. The game pulls the White Sox’s average game score up to 51.9 and making it eight of the last nine games with a game score north of 50 (league average).
You rarely see numbers like this, but then, rarely does the game end with the bases loaded in a one-run game. Jeremy Jeffress got Yoán Moncada to ground out and save the game for the Cubs on a 9.16 LI play. WOOF.
It’s a testament to how tight this game was throughout that a lot of players faced high leverage today. But no one matched the astronomical level of Jeffress, at 4.01 pLI. To be fair, he sort of added to his own tension by walking two White Sox and eventually filling the bases in the ninth, but the righty escaped.
Schwarber had, by far, the most valuable play of the game with his two-run homer in the sixth, counting .287 WPA
By going 2-for-4 and ultimately clocking the deciding home run, Schwarber took game honors, at .368 WPA, edging out Darvish at .303.
Magic Number: 43
Only 43 times in major league history has a player hit home runs in four straight at-bats, as Abreu managed to accomplish with his second-inning clout on Sunday.