After a nail-biter on Friday and laffer Saturday, Sunday’s win to cement the sweep, 5-2, split the difference. Yeah, Ricky Renteria had to go to Alex Colomé to secure the win in the ninth, but Alex isn’t much for side work, anyway — get him on the mound!
Jonathan Stiever made his major-league debut, with a successful jump from High-A to MLB. Wow. His first inning was very jittery, but he settled down before getting the hook with two outs in the fourth, at 73 pitches.
The White Sox offense used some station-to-station work, and also a towering homer from Eloy Jiménez, to put a five-spot up.
Stiever’s debut was pretty solid, all told. As harrowing as that first inning was, where Renteria even had to get the bullpen up, the righthander settled down and cruised through the rest of his outing. He outdueled opponent Spencer Turnbull, with a 54 game score. That’s better than the White Sox average this season (52.8) as well as the averages for Dylan Cease, Reynaldo López and Gio González.
Turnbull gave up five earned in five innings, and while sharper than his first outing vs. Chicago (August 20), his game score was still a mere 36. He’s been worse than Michael Fulmer vs. the White Sox this season.
With the score 2-1 and opening the fifth with a walk to Austin Romine, Jimmy Cordero struck out Isaac Paredes facing 2.05 LI pressure. The strikeout raised the White Sox win expectancy to 63.2%.
Cordero also faced the most game pressure, with 1.42 pLI today; that low total in a pretty close game indicates the tension was spread around the field on Sunday.
Jiménez’s solo shot in the bottom of the fourth clocked in at .129 WPA. The homer gave the White Sox the lead for good, and at the time increased Chicago’s win expectancy to 66.2%.
On the strength of a 3-for-4 game with an RBI double, Yoán Moncada eked out MVP honors, at .123 WPA. Eloy (.119) and Detroit offensive hero Jorge Bonifacio (.114) trailed him.
Magic Number: 30
With the win, the 30th of the season, the White Sox have assured themselves their first non-losing season since 2012.