This was a pretty tight game for the first two-thirds, paced by an outstanding effort from Dallas Keuchel, on the way to his best start as a member of the White Sox.
Then, in the bottom of the sixth with the White Sox leading, 2-0, Keuchel couldn’t complete his warmup tosses and had to leave the game with a stiff back. Fortuitously, not only did the White Sox pen hold down the fort for an unexpected four innings (two runs), but the offense exploded to take pressure off of these beleaguered relievers, adding six runs to the final tally over the last third of the game.
Keuchel exited for the second time this year with a tight back. Kid Keuchy wasn’t happy about hanging a dog-tired bullpen out to get 12 outs, but was nearly perfect for the five innings he pitched, giving up just two hits, for a 68 game score. He’s now back over 60 for the season at 60.2 (Lucas Giolito leads the staff, at 62.2).
You’d figure Matt Harvey would be in line for a much worse game score given his shellacking last start, but he put up a 45, getting seven outs and giving up just one run. Bullet dodged for K.C. The bullpen wasn’t so lucky, though.
For two games in a row, a strikeout of Ryan McBroom was the most pressure-filled moment of the ballgame. Last night, Codi Heuer swept McBroom away in a 2.47 LI situation, Sunday it was Jimmy Cordero ending the sixth inning with runners on first and second, punching out McBroom in a 2.55 LI moment.
(Not The) Dutch Oven Greg Holland faced just two batters in the top of the sixth, with the White Sox up, 2-0. Holland walked Yolmer Sánchez to fill the bases, but then struck out Tim Anderson to escape the jam and succeed in the face of 1.84 pLI pressure.
It’s easy to forget that this was a 1-0 nail-biter for more than half of the game. But Nomar Mazara changed that in the top of the sixth, doubling home Luis Robert with two outs to double the White Sox lead and pocket the most value-added play of the game, at .122 WPA.
Keuchel was the runaway MVP this afternoon, even with his truncated, five-inning effort. His .315 WPA far outpaced teammates Mazara (.095) and Yasmani Grandal (.075).
Magic Number: 16
José Abreu extended his hitting streak to 20 games on Sunday. The White Sox have won 16 of those games.