The White Sox raced out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the top of the first. Unfortunately, despite that inning and a solid day from the pitching staff, the White Sox could not get the victory. Let’s take a closer look at this one.
Play of the game
In terms of win probability added (WPA), the go-ahead RBI single by Byron Buxton was the most important play of the game, with a WPA of .196. That single made the score 3-2, and it was the last run of the game for either side.
Squaring it up
Eloy Jiménez has been tearing the cover off the ball this season. According to Baseball Savant, Jiménez has an average exit velocity in the 92nd percentile, and a 98th-percentile hard-hit rate. Eloy’s strong performance continued tonight, as he mashed a two-run double (111.6 mph exit velocity) in the first inning to open the scoring.
Tim Anderson continued to do what good leadoff hitters do. He went 3-for-4, and the infield single he legged out to lead off the game resulted in the game’s first run. With this strong performance, Anderson boosted his slash line to .345/.385/.600 (168 wRC+). Besides Anderson, the rest of the White Sox combined for only four hits.
Missing the pop
The only extra base hit for the White Sox in this game was the first-inning double by Jiménez. Considering how well the White Sox have crushed the ball this season, the lack of extra base hits is highly unusual.
After yesterday, when the White Sox beat the Twins, and Kansas City pulled off an upset against Cleveland, the inverse happened tonight. Cleveland beat Kansas City 10-1, so things are mighty tight at the top of the division. The South Siders and Cleveland are 22-14, while Minnesota is close behind, at 21-16. The Tigers (17-16) are not completely out of the picture yet, either.
With a WPA of +.223, Nelson Cruz is today’s MVP. After struggling against Lucas Giolito and the White Sox last night, Cruz went right back to his normal ways, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a double. The 40-year-old just does not stop raking, as tonight’s performance boosted his OPS to 1.101.