After coming off a win in Cleveland and two excruciatingly long days off for fans (and thankfully well-deserved for the bullpen), the White Sox start a nine-game home stand and attempt to stay above .500 for the first time this season. While the pitching was less than stellar at some points, the White Sox never trailed, thanks to a handful of insurance runs throughout the game.
A struggling Dylan Cease faced Dane Dunning. This is the first time Dunning has been back to Chicago since the Lance Lynn trade. I’m sure the gamethread and Twitter have been nothing but positive. Cease has struggled with throwing strikes and making it to the fifth inning, lasting only 3 ⅓ tonight. Dunning has seen moderate success and seemed to start off hot, until a series of hits bringing in five runs iced him out of the game after 2 ⅔ innings.
Here’s the breakdown of Cease’s 80-pitch outing:
4-seam fastball: 65% | 3 called strikes + 7 whiffs (%) | 96.2 mph avg.
Slider: 23% | 3 called strikes + 3 whiffs (%) | 85.7 mph avg.
Curveball: 5% | 0 called strike + 1 whiff (%) | 78.3 mph avg.
Changeup: 8% | 1 called strike + 2 whiffs (%) | 83.3 mph avg.
While Cease might be a little frustrating to watch now, he outlasted Dunning. So there’s that. Stating the obvious here, but he must work on his command, pitch count and ability to throw strikes if he wants to make it to the fifth inning. Cease seems to lack the confidence needed for starting pitchers. Here’s to a little more time with Ethan Katz, and hopefully working through these growing pains.
Here’s the breakdown of Dunning’s 62-pitch outing:
Sinker: 60% | 11 called strikes + 15 whiffs (%) | 90.0 mph avg.
Slider: 26% | 1 called strike + 2 whiffs (%) | 79.7 mph avg.
Curveball: 6% | 1 called strike + 1 whiff (%) | 78.2 mph avg.
Changeup: 5% | 1 called strike + 1 whiff (%) | 85.1 mph avg.
Cutter: 3% | 1 called strike + whiff (%) | 86.3 mph avg.
I honestly worried that Dunning would come in and throw a gem. My qualms were quickly silenced as the bats started to wake up for the White Sox. Maybe it was just nerves because he was facing his old team, but this didn’t look like the same ace-like Dunning we saw last week against the Orioles. I wish him the best against teams that do not start with White and end in Sox.
Fastest pitch: Liam Hendriks had 16 of the 18 fastest pitches tonight, topping out at 98.6 mph; his 32nd and final pitch was his second-fastest tonight, at 98.4 mph.
Most swing-and-misses: Cease led all pitchers with 12 swings-and-misses.
Liam Hendriks made his way in after Codi Heuer to save the White Sox lead in the eighth inning. With only a two-run margin and two Rangers on base, Hendriks worked to get the last two outs. The most stressful moment for Hendriks was facing Isiah Kiner-Falefa to get the last out in the eighth. That tipped the LI scale at 3.46 for the highest pressure play.
The White Sox bullpen struggled, pouring gas on various fires it was sent in to put out. Codi Heuer logged 2.10 pLI for the game, barely edging out teammate Aaron Bummer at 2.08 pLI. Heuer did well in his outing, but failed to survive the eighth, setting up a long save for Liam Hendriks.
Adolis Garcia homered (.196 WPA) in Willie Calhoun and Isiah Kiner-Falefa with two outs in the top of the fifth, narrowing the White Sox lead to 6-5. As for the White Sox, Yermín Mercedes doubled to center allowing Luis Robert to score and put the White Sox back on top in the seventh inning. His WPA was .185 for that double.
Sensing a trend yet? As a surprise to no one at all, Yermín Mercedes finished his second game with four-plus hits in his 16 career MLB starts. He ended his stellar evening with a .328 WPA.
Luckiest hit: Nick Madrigal’s infield hit to pitcher Kolby Allred was tapped at a soft 71.5 mph, registering just a .190 xBA.
Toughest out: Nick Solak screamed a 105.3 mph liner to second base, which Madrigal gloved and shot to first base to complete a double play and allow Codi Heuer to escape the seventh. Solak’s smash had a .690 xBA.
Hardest hit: Andrew Vaughn’s bat has taken longer to warm up this season, but tonight he grounded into a double play off of Dane Dunning in the second inning, at a game-high 109.8 mph.
Weakest contact: With runners on first and second and Texas rallying in the sixth, Joey Gallo took a 1-1 sinker from Aaron Bummer and wormburned it to Tim Anderson to end the inning. The ground out was hit at just 55.0 mph.
Longest hit: Yoán Moncada’s insurance home run in the eighth inning traveled 407 feet.
Magic Number: 1
The White Sox have now remained at .500 or above for one whole game now! After seven soul-crushing defeats as soon as .500 is reached, the team is looking alive at .526.
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 is your MVP of Friday’s 9-7 White Sox win?
This poll is closed
Yoán Moncada: 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, R, .121 WPA
Yermín Mercedes: 4-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R, .328 WPA
Adam Eaton: 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, K, LOB, .033 WPA
Liam Hendriks: 1 2⁄3 IP, H, ER, HR, 5 K, Sv, .183 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat of Friday’s 9-7 win over Texas?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 3 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR, WP, .045 WPA
Matt Foster: 2⁄3 IP, ER, BB, 2 K, Hold, .042 WPA
Evan Marshall: 1 2⁄3 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB, K, HR, -.141 WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1⁄3 IP, 2 H, -.189 WPA
South Side Sox Reader Stats
The 215-comment gamethread ended in a squeaka, with AnoHito prevailing by a hair:
Top rec, at 4, was 2ndHalfAdjustments bringing a bit of historical sass to the proceedings: