Sunday Night Baseball. Our ace against their ace. Playoff-caliber teams proving their worth early.
That was the storyline through nine innings of play. The 10th? The funky new runner-on-second-base-to-start-the-inning rule and a whole bunch of rain. As a result, the Chicago White Sox lost their weekend series against Cleveland, as Cleveland beat the wrong Chicago team after a rain delay.
Lucas Giolito walked five batters tonight. If not, he could very well have pitched into the ninth inning. Luc-ace G-elite-o notched a quality start. He went seven innings, where he gave up two runs off of four hits. In the seventh, Lucas struck out the side to end his night and to bring his strikeout total at nine for the game.
This young ace exhibits emotion, and he is wonderful to watch every five games.
Shane Bieber did what Not Justin Bieber does. He pitched six innings and only walked two. He struck out eight batters, but for the first time this season, he gave up three runs (off of four hits), as the Good Guys got to him. Scoring three runs off of a future Cy Young nominee is an outstanding job for the Sox’s offense.
After coming back from a 40-minute rain delay, Leury García resumed his at-bat with a 1-0 count. There was one out and runners on first and second; Leury took the first pitch he saw for a 7.16 LI pop out to short right field. All the momentum wiped away via the rain ... and ... that. It’s OK to take pitches and work the count, Leury. If that was a pitch Leury absolutely liked, there has to be a better swing on the ball to advance the runners to second and third at the very least.
Oliver Pérez came into the game after the rain delay because Brad Hand had no chance against the White Sox (and it’s kind of dangerous to the health of the pitcher to come back after an extended break, but I’ll stick with my first point). He induced a first-pitch fly out and a 2-2 strikeout to end the game, facing a whopping 6.94 pLI. The 18-year veteran stared pressure in the face and got the job done.
In the top of the eighth, the Good Guys held a 3-2 lead. Evan Marshall was on the bump in relief. With two outs and a runner on first base, Franmil Reyes doubled to center field, driving home the run and tying the game at three. This key .273 WPA moment lead Cleveland to a comeback victory performance.
Not fazed by the rain and coming in hot to end the game, Pérez goes home with tonight’s MVP honors, totaling a .343 WPA. He did not mess around: He came into the game, and he got the job done by recording the last two outs with just six pitches. He waited 40 minutes to end the game in less than three, but it all counts as a win for him and his team.
Magic Number: 20
Although YoYo could not add more magic to the night with a game-tying or even a walk-off hit, he was able to extend his on-base streak (started at the end of the 2019 season) to 20. Not too bad for an integral player for the White Sox.
Yoán Moncada walks to increase his consecutive on-base streak to 20 games— Ashley Sanders (@Ashley22Sanders) August 10, 2020