No other way to say it, for a guy with no-hit stuff, Dylan Cease was awful today.
It’s not just losing the game, of course — it’s essentially handing a win to a Reds club that by and large cannot hit (I know, Friday there was lighting in the Cincinnati bats, but broadly, the hitting has been in 2020). Getting thumped is one thing, or losing a walk-off squeaker. But handing a game to an incompetent offensive team? Bleah.
There was a some talk on the broadcast today that this was a weird “letdown” series between the clinch-intensity of the Twins and then the final week of Cleveland and the northsiders, but I dunno. This marks two of three really uncompetitive efforts from the White Sox.
Win or lose, it will be good to see a strong bounce-back behind Dane Dunning tomorrow.
For as bad as Dylan Cease was, the fact that he racked up some Ks with that wide plate, and surrendered no hits, left him with a better game score than you’d expect: 40, the same number he started the game with. So at least according to game score, it was like Dylan never even pitched! if only the rest of us could erase the start from our memories.
Until he had to sit for like three hours during that interminable, walk-ridden fourth inning, Michael Lorenzen was cruising. He ended up with eight Ks and a 60 game score, much better than our opponents’ average of 46.1.
Bases full, scoreless game, two outs in the second inning. Dylan Cease was in trouble, all of his own doing per usual, facing Tucker Barnhart — extreme pressure of 2.88 LI is on the line. And Cease prevailed here, coaxing a ground out to first to end the threat and drop Cincinnati’s win expectancy down from 57.5% to 50%.
We almost had another tie today for top pressure in the game, but Reds catcher Barnhart (1.73 pLI) edged out Eloy Jiménez (1.72). The funny thing is, neither player did well under pressure, as Eloy went 0-for-4 with two Ks and Barnhart managed just a hit — and a ton of bruises behind the plate.
I’m not sure I’ve seen this in a long time, but perhaps for a game with no big clouts and a million walks, it makes sense. Mike Moustakas’ dribbler single against the shift that plated two runs in the fourth, making the game 5-0, was the biggest value of the game, at just .079 WPA. But the WPA essentially iced the game early, nudging Cincinnati’s win expectancy from 86.2% to 94.1%.
Lorenzen makes it yet another starter taking the honors, a recent trend. José Abreu was tops for the White Sox (.163) and Freddy Galvis (.125) finished third.