Did the glare of the “City Connect” jerseys make it a challenge for White Sox hitters? No. White Sox pitchers? Maybe.
“Mr. 14 Outs,” Dylan Cease, got the South Siders off to an inefficient start, although the game was tight until the eighth, when Codi Heuer and José Ruiz were touched for four runs, turning a glaring-yellow nail-biter into a runaway
Dylan Cease again failed to make it through five innings. Early on, he was getting some plaudits for lower velocity, perhaps as a plan to make all of his pitches more efficient and deadly. Well, no, at least not in terms of translation the the game score (50) or box score (six hits, two earned, three walks, six Ks). A bad game? No. Reason for hope going forward? Not really.
Here’s a breakdown of Dylan’s 85 pitches:
4-seam fastball: 56% | 8 called strikes + 7 whiffs (31%) | 95.1 mph avg.
Slider: 27% | 3 called strikes + 3 whiff (26%) | 85.4 mph avg.
Knuckle-Curve: 9% | 2 called strikes + 0 whiffs (25%) | 76.7 mph avg.
Changeup: 7% | 0 called strikes + 1 whiff (17%) | 80.0 mph avg.
Cease’s velocity on all four pitches were down from his average this season, including -1.7 mph on his four-seam.
Boston finished with just four hard-hit balls, with Rafael Devers 109.5 mph sacrifice fly in the second inning the hardest of all, and second-hardest of the game.
Nick Pivetta had a lesser game than Cease, with just a 43 game score after four hits, two earned, four walks and three strikeouts in 3 2⁄3 innings. But then, Pivetta is not supposed to be in Cease’s class to begin with.
Here’s a look at his 83 pitches:
4-seam fastball: 64% | 4 called strikes + 8 whiffs (23%) | 94.2 mph avg.
Knuckle-Curve: 19% | 1 called strike + 0 whiffs (6%) | 79.1 mph avg.
Slider: 17% | 2 called strikes + 1 whiff (21%) | 85.7 mph avg.
Pivetta gave up six hard-hit balls in his short outing, but though hittable (7.2% hard-hit) it was not enough to really hurt him. Yoán Moncada’s second-inning fly out went for 106.5 mph, the hardest hit off of Pivetta and third-hardest of the game.
Fastest pitch: Dylan Ceast barely edged out José Ruiz for the fastest pitch of this game, 97.3 mph to 97.1. The White Sox threw 21 of the 26 fastest pitches in this game, if only that translated into something more than speed-gun gawking.
Most swing-and-misses: Codi Heuer and Dylan Cease both had 11 swing-and-misses in the game, with Heuer boasting a 50% whiff rate on his 22 swings.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning, Red Sox down 2-0, Dylan Cease had loaded the bases with two outs, creating 3.06 LI pressure. Kevin Plawecki slapped an 0-1, four-seam fastball high in the zone out to right field, which Adam Eaton caught to extinguish the threat.
Matt Andriese felt the most individual pressure, recording a 1.54 pLI over three innings of work (fifth-seventh). He let in just one unearned run on three hits, so he excelled under pressure today.
Yoán Moncada (1.49 pLI) faced the most pressure on the White Sox, and also performed well, going 0-for-3 but with two of Chicago’s 11 hard-hit balls, as well as an RBI and walk.
Marwin Gonzalez waited for a key time to clock his first home run of the season, leading off the eighth inning with a tie-breaking clout worth .245 WPA; the homer, on a 1-1 sinker from Codi Heuer, went out 410 feet to center field, increasing Boston’s chances of winning to 86%.
Enrique Hernández racked up .295 WPA today, going 4-for-5 with two runs, a double, RBI and a K. 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.
José Abreu, with .112 WPA, was the top White Sox player on the day, with three of 11 hard-hit balls by the team as part of a 2-for-4 day with a double, RBI and K.
Luckiest hit: Enrique Hernández had a 72.4 mph single in the first inning, with a .060 xBA.
Toughest out: Tim Anderson smoked a Nick Pivetti pitch in the fourth at 94.2 mph, and it went for a very loud line out to short. The ball screamed hit, at a .960 xBA.
Hardest hit: Perhaps also the scariest, as José Abreu crushed a 110.3 mph comebacker at Matt Andreise in the fifth inning, but it was just a .570 xBA out.
Weakest contact: Alex Verdugo dinked a 50.5 mph tapper in front of the plate against Evan Marshall in the sixth, but that was a batter interference-automatic out to end the inning. So let’s instead go with Franchy Cordero, who led off the sixth against Marshall with a 50.7 mph comebacker to the mound for another weak-ass out.
In fact, let’s just say it; Boston had a damn lucky game today. It struggled to make solid contact, with the six softest contacts of the game, and seven of nine — and five of those contacts went for hits, including Xander Bogaerts’ RBI double in the eighth (71.2 mph!).
Longest hit: It was Marwin González, with his 410-foot homer to center. Go figure, Yoán Moncada hit a ball 407 feet ... for an out.
Magic Number: 48
A day after the Soxes saw a game cancelled due to snow/slush/wintry mix/mid-April nastiness, game time temp was 48 degrees, with winds blowing in from center 13 mph.
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 MVP of Saturday’s 7-4 loss to Boston?
This poll is closed
José Abreu: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K, 1.07 pLI, .112 WPA
Tim Anderson: 1-for-5, SB, R, 3 K, 3 LOB, 1.32 pLI, .054 WPA
Dylan Cease: 4 2⁄3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1.25 pLI, .050 WPA
Adam Eaton: 1-for-3, RBI, 2B, R, 2 BB, K, LOB, HR robbery of Rafael Devers, 0.93 pLI, -.048 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat of Saturday’s 7-4 loss to Boston?
This poll is closed
Codi Heuer: 1 2⁄3 IP, 3 H, HR, 3 ER, 4 K, 1.02 pLI, -.145 WPA, game-losing hit
José Ruiz: 1⁄3 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, 0.80 pLI, -.130 WPA
Zack Collins: 0-for-4, 2 K, 2 LOB, PB, 1.20 pLI, -.127 WPA
Yermín Mercedes: 1-for-4, RBI, K, 2 LOB, thrown out at second base, 1.21 pLI, -.091 WPA
steely3000 upends the champ, on a 222-comment day:
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