Finally, the Chicago White Sox break through Shane Bieber’s mastery of pitches — but they do not win the series opener against Cleveland.
Dallas Keuchel’s third inning ruined what would have been a masterful outing for the southpaw. He pitched six complete innings, yet he gave up four runs in the third, which is a big no-no when a former Cy Young Award winner is sharing a mound with you. Keuchel gave up four hits and four walks, but did strike out four (does Dallas need a number change from 60 to four? The NFL did just allow single digits ... wait ... wrong league).
Dallas’s 85-pitch outing breaks down like so:
As alluded to, Shane Bieber finally had a “bad” outing in 2021. Of course, he still notched a quality start, but he would have liked to be better by his standards. Like Keuchel, Bieber also went six full innings, where he gave up three runs across the second and third innings. He gave up seven hits, but struck out 11. He also hung quite a few pitches, but many were either taken or fouled off.
Not Justin’s 100-pitch quality start breaks down like this:
Fastest pitch: Cleveland’s closer, Emmanuel Clase, pumped a 100.8 mph fastball to Andrew Vau- I mean, Leury García, that was called a ball during the ninth inning.
Though, of the starters, Bieber did reach a max velocity of 93.5 mph in comparison to Dallas’s 89.1 mph.
Most swings-and-misses: Shane Bieber blew all of tonight’s pitchers out of the water with 19 whiffs. The next closest pitcher was Dallas, with seven.
With one out in the third inning, Keuchel walked the bases loaded, so José Ramírez did what he usually does against our Sox. Facing 3.21 LI, he grounded a single past a diving Tim Anderson, scoring two runs and giving Cleveland a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish.
Leury García pinch-hit for Andrew Vaughn after Luis Robert singled to open the bottom of the ninth inning. Leury, under a 3.40 pLI, almost grounded into a double play, but he did beat out the throw at first to keep it to one out, but the damage* was done when he was brought in for Andrew.
How is Andrew going to learn to hit in high-leverage situations when he constantly gets pulled from them? (Asking for a friend)
*When Tony La Russa made that decision (nothing against Leury Legend)
At a .201 WPA, J-Ram’s bases-loaded single earns tonight’s top play honors.
Call it a hat trick, Ramírez (not Alexei) earned a .289 WPA for tonight’s game. (Who has the three pucks for it ... dang it ... wrong league again.)
Luckiest hit: At .280 xBA, J-Ram’s late-inning solo shot fell second to Nick Madrigal’s .230 xBA against Bieber in the third.
Toughest out: He only made two outs, but once again, J-Ram steals another stat category as both of his outs ranked No. 1 and 2 in lacking luck. His .670 xBA line out in the first and .800 xBA line out in the fifth (both off of Keuchel) stopped J-Ram from going 4-for-4.
Hardest hit: Do I even need to say? Of his two safeties that did land for hits, J-Ram’s single in the third left his bat at 107.2 mph.
Weakest contact: Finally! A new name! Cleveland’s Yu Chang recorded the softest ball put in play with his 62.1 mph ground out in the fourth.
Longest hit: ... You already know ... Ramírez’s fly out in the first traveled 400 feet, but Luis Robert is too fast to let that fall for a hit.
Magic Number: 8
The White Sox did outhit Cleveland, eight to five. The offense and bats showed up against some of the best pitchers in the AL Central, but strikeouts kept them for pushing home more runs from those eight hits.
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
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 tonight’s White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Aaron Bummer: 1 IP, 0 R
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, 2 SB, 1 R, 1 RBI
Luis Robert: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 stellar catches
Who is ready for tomorrow’s late afternoon game?
This poll is closed
Adam Eaton: 0-for-4, 3 SO
José Abreu: 0-for-4, 1 SO, 3 LOB
Dallas Keuchel: 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 BB, 4 SO
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-3, 2 SO, 2 LOB
South Side Sox Gamethread Stats
What a ridiculously close race tonight among readers, with just four comments separating the top spot (Ano and steely, 18) from seventh. There were 146 comments in total.
The blank commenter, Year of the Hamster, has lost her name in a bizarre author bio accident.
For most recs, seven made it an easy win for AnoHito: