Well, didn’t we all sort of expect a bit of a letdown after clinching the playoffs, especially hitting the road immediately and running into a buzzsaw of a Cincy team that’s now .500 after winning six straight?
The offensive good news: None
The pitching good news: GARRETT CROCHET
The pitching bad news: See below
Jonathan Stiever’s second start was a true stinker, with three solo homers and a three-run shot to knock him out of the box. He ended with a 0 game score, worst all season for the White Sox. Impressively, the White Sox have had only a a few poor starts this season; second-worst was Lucas Giolito’s Opening Day masacreé (14). Stiever did not pitch the worst game we’ve seen all year; that still belongs to the Jon Lester of the ivy bumblers, who threw a -1 against the White Sox.
One could imagine Carlos Rodón taking Stiever’s next scheduled start, on September 23 at Cleveland.
Reds starter Tyler Mahle was excellent, throwing a 67 game score, the highest the White Sox have seen since José Berríos threw a 71 way back on September 2.
Overall, the White Sox starters have an average 51.6 game score, while opponents are averaging 45.6.
With the score still just 1-0, Reds, Nomar Mazara led off the third inning with a walk. Yolmer Sánchez faced 1.67 LI pressure in his at-bat, and struck out. The strikeout lowered Chicago’s win expectancy from 43.5% to 39.5%.
A tie, at 0.72 pLI! Wow, what a weird game tonight. Mahle faced a fair amount of pressure over his 5 ⅔ innings, while Mazara faced the same amount of pressure in the game, responding relatively well with a walk and a hit in three plate appearances.
Jesse Winker’s three-run bomb to knock Stiever from the game was the biggest value, at .119 WPA. The homer also skyrocketed Cincinnati’s win expectancy, from 82.8% to 94.7%.
Mahle takes the honors, with a strong, stifling start good for .174 WPA. With Joey Votto (.109) and Winker (.096) trailing, this is a rare game where no White Sox even placed in the MVP race.
Magic Number: 101
Crochet just crushed his first major league appearance, striking out the first two batters he faced with extreme prejudice. Among multiple, triple-digit fastballs thrown, Crochet topped out at 101 mph.