Starting pitching has dominated the headlines this series, and it was no different on Friday. Lance Lynn and Aaron Civale each pitched six innings, but the White Sox fell 4-2 in the series finale.
The offense went flat after an outburst a day ago. Two runs won’t win many games.
Lynn made a costly mistake on a 3-2 fastball that José Ramírez launched into the right-field bleachers, but he otherwise worked out of jams and gave the White Sox a chance to win. Lynn allowed three inning-opening base hits, but was an out away from keeping his season ERA spotless. His scoreless streak reached 19 1⁄3 innings before Ramírez’s blast, departing after six innings that featured two earned runs and 10 strikeouts, including six in the first three innings.
Lynn’s final pitch was a curveball to strike out Franmil Reyes. It was only the second curveball during his 93-pitch outing, as he relied on his fastball variations high in the zone and working the wider strike zone given by home plate umpire Brian Knight. He finished with a game score of 64.
Here’s a breakdown of his 93 pitches:
4-seam fastball: 53% | 8 called strikes + 12 whiffs (40%) | 94.2 mph avg.
Cutter: 25% | 4 called strikes + 1 whiff (8%) | 88.6 mph avg.
Sinker: 20% | 1 called strike + 0 whiffs | 91.1 mph avg.
Curveball: 2% | 0 called strikes + 1 whiff (50%) | 81.4 mph avg.
Cleveland finished with eight hard-hit balls, but four came in the sixth inning. Lynn worked out of trouble with strikeouts and not giving up multiple hard-hit balls in an inning.
Lance Lynn: first pitcher in #WhiteSox history with 10+ strikeouts & 0 walks in consecutive starts— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 15, 2021
It looked like potentially another short outing for a Cleveland starter when Tim Anderson singled on Aaron Civale’s first pitch. But like Lynn, Civale allowed base runners but didn’t let them cross home plate, allowing an earned run, five hits and two walks while striking out four batters.
The White Sox made soft contact right at defenders. Civale gave up four hard-hit balls, including one in his final three innings, as the White Sox had an average exit velocity of 88.7 mph. Civale’s game score was 63.
Here’s a look at his 99 pitches:
4-seam fastball: 31% | 3 called strikes + 5 whiffs (33%) | 90.9 mph avg.
Changeup: 29% | 3 called strikes + 2 whiffs (18%) | 84.4 mph avg.
Curveball: 15% | 5 called strikes + 0 whiffs | 76.5 mph avg.
Slider: 12% | 5 called strikes + 2 whiffs (67%) | 82.9 mph avg.
Cutter: 10% | 2 called strikes + 0 whiffs | 87.3 mph avg.
Sinker: 2% | 0 called strikes + 0 whiffs | 84.8 mph avg.
Fastest pitch: Whenever Emmanuel Clase pitches, there’s a good chance he will throw the fastest pitch. Cleveland’s closer topped out at 101.5 mph, a swinging strike to open Anderson’s at-bat. Clase had 11 pitches reach triple figures.
Most swing-and-misses: Lynn had 14 whiffs to help him reach double-digit strikeouts. He had five more than Civale, finishing with a 26% whiff rate.
Cesar Hernandez came to the plate trailing 1-0, with a runner on third and one out. He struck out on a trio of 4-seamers. The at-bat had a 2.21 LI.
The second-highest pressure play (2.17 LI) came in the next at-bat, when Ramírez hit a two-run bomb.
Garrett Crochet felt the most individual pressure, recording a 1.49 pLI. He entered the game trailing 2-1, but was tagged for a run on two hits in two-thirds innings.
The only play to record a WPA above .100 was Ramírez’s home run, which swayed the odds of Cleveland winning by 30% (.300 WPA).
To no surprise, Ramírez also was the top performer with an individual 0.31 WPA. His home run was his only hit of the game.
Luis Robert (0.09 WPA) was the White Sox’s top performer. He finished 2-for-3 with a triple and walk, as he saw the ball well in all of his at-bats.
Luckiest hit: Yermín Mercedes’ luck continued on Thursday. He hit a double in the eighth inning that fell between three Cleveland defenders. It owned a .010 xBA. Might as well have been 1.000 xBA with the bat Mercedes has been swinging.
Toughest out: Maybe the universe was rewarding Mercedes with that double after he lined out to left fielder Eddie Rosario in the third inning. He hit a 110.6-mph line out that had an .860 xBA.
Hardest hit: Franmil Reyes had the hardest-hit ball, an uneventful ground out to a perfectly-shifted Madrigal that left Reyes’ bat at 113.5 mph.
Mercedes’ line out was the White Sox’s hardest-hit ball. Anderson’s leadoff single in the first had a 108.2 mph exit velocity to represent the hardest-hit base hit.
Weakest contact: Not counting bunts, Yoán Moncada had a 68.5 mph ground out in the fifth inning.
Longest hit: Ramírez was the only player to leave the yard, hitting a 392-foot home run.
Adam Eaton’s fly out to end the game traveled 357 feet for the White Sox’s longest hit. Robert’s triple went 330 feet, as well.
LI measures pressure per play
pLI measures total pressure faced in game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Who was the White Sox’s MVP in Thursday’s loss to Cleveland?
This poll is closed
Lance Lynn: 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 10 SO, HRA
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, ROE, R, SO
Luis Robert: 2-for-3, 3B, BB, R
Jose Ruiz: IP, 2 SO
Who was the White Sox’s Cold Cat in Thursday’s loss to Cleveland?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, 2 SO
Jose Abreu: 0-for-3, BB, 3 SO
Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-4
Garrett Crochet: 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H
AnoHito proves unbeatable, on a 181-comment day:
Meanwhile mattcoz gets on the board as most-rec’d: