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Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 4, A’s 1

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Behind a Lucas Giolito masterpiece, the White Sox won their first postseason game in 12 years

MLB: Wild Card-Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics
Providing power: José Abreu went deep to extend the White Sox’s lead to three in the third inning.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

It was the first White Sox playoff game in 12 years, and the South Siders gave their fans a thrill that many of us have dearly missed. Let’s take a look at how the White Sox started out their postseason with a victory.

Favored most of the day: The White Sox got on the board first, and they never looked back after Adam Engel’s home run.
FanGraphs

Play of the game

In terms of win probability added (WPA), José Abreu’s two-run homer in the third inning was the most important play of the game. This home run, which occurred with two outs, had a WPA of +.175.

Giolito comes up big

The White Sox had lost seven of their last eight regular season games. Needing to turn the tides quickly in a hectic best-of-three series, the White Sox turned to Lucas Giolito, their ace. In his crucial role, Giolito delivered what the White Sox wanted and then some. The ace set down the first 18 A’s to bat, as Giolito didn’t lose his perfect game until the seventh inning. In doing so, Giolito became their fifth pitcher ever to have a perfect game through six innings in the postseason. Tommy La Stella broke up the perfect game with a ground ball that found a hole up the middle. Still, Giolito’s performance was a masterpiece. Seven-plus innings, one run, two hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts.

Three long balls provide more than enough support

Adam Engel got the scoring started with a solo home run in the second. In the third, José Abreu, who hit 19 homers in the short regular season, hit a two-run shot to make it 3-0. In the eighth, Yasmani Grandal provided some more insurance with a solo home run. With how well the pitchers performed, that was plenty of offense.

Setting the table

Tim Anderson was the only White Sox player to score a run without hitting a home run. Anderson crossed home plate on Abreu’s blast in the third inning. By going 3-for-4 with a double, Anderson did his part and then some at the plate.

Bullpen closes the door

Giolito took care of 21 outs, but the bullpen did a great job to get the last six. Evan Marshall, Aaron Bummer, and Alex Colomé combined for two scoreless innings. During those innings, the only hit that Oakland got was a single by Sean Murphy against Marshall.

MVP

With a WPA of +.270, for Lucas Giolito is today’s MVP. Honorable mention goes to José Abreu, who had a WPA of +.186 for the game. This was due to his 2-for-4 performance, which included today’s play of the game.


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