As if Anaheim wasn’t enough of a house of horrors for the White Sox, there’s a new gremlin on the wing, one that hops on somewhere around the eighth inning. Twice now in three games, and in both White Sox losses, the game has slipped away in the eighth inning — and against a vaunted member of the pen, no less.
This game was not won or lost with the starters, who both were adequate.
Lance Lynn pitched scoreless ball, and ended up with the slightly better game score, at 58. But using getting bounced from the game before getting through five innings, while expending 99 pitches, won’t get it done — I don’t care how great this South Side pen is.
Here was the 99-pitch breakdown for Lynn:
4-seam fastball: 58%/7 called strikes + 14 whiffs (37%)/94.6 mph avg.
Cutter: 21%/4 called strike + 3 whiffs (33%)/89 mph avg.
Sinker: 19%/0 called strikes + 0 whiffs (0%)/91.7 mph avg.
Changeup: 1%/0 called strikes + 0 whiffs (0%)/88.4 mph avg.
Curveball: 1%/1 called strikes + 0 whiffs (100%)/81.3 mph avg.
Lynn gave up six hard-hit balls (exit velocity 95 mph+).
Alex Cobb gave the Angels six innings, but not terribly great ones, for a 56 game score.
Here was the 97-pitch breakdown for Cobb:
Splitter: 37%/2 called strikes + 12 whiffs (39%)/87.4 mph avg.
Sinker: 36%/9 called strikes + 1 whiff (29%)/92.7 mph avg.
Knuckle Curve: 27%/2 called strikes + 6 whiffs (31%)/82.9 mph avg.
Cobb surrendered nine hard-hit balls.
Evan Marshall came on for a second straight game, in the eighth. Last night, he faced three batters and survived immaculate pressure. Tonight, he wasn’t so lucky. A game-trying triple against Jared Walsh logged a top-LI of 3.35. Unfortunately, the next batter was Justin Upton, and with the lead run at third. Upton took 3.34 LI pressure deep to left for the eventual game-winner.
Jared Walsh hit the hell out of the ball tonight, as even his outs were loud — perhaps a natural response to facing the most accumulated pressure in the contest, at 2.22 pLI.
Jared Walsh’s triple to tie the game was worth .419 WPA, pushing the Angels win expectancy from a woeful 32% to a buoyant 73.9%.
The rest of Jared Walsh’s at-bats, including an RBI single in three more at-bats, actually lowered his game value from the .419 WPA RBI triple in the eighth. No worry, though, he still earns the top performer accolade tonight.
The top WPA from a White Sox player was miracle man Yermín Mercedes, whose three-hit performance logged .308 WPA, second-best in the game. Garrett Crochet’s .257 WPA was second-best on the Sox and third-best in the game.
Luis Robert had two hits tonight, but for the first time this season didn’t record the hardest-hit ball of the game. That honor goes to Jared Walsh, who lined out to left-center in the first inning with a 110.1 mph screamer.
But it was José Abreu who had the two hardest-hit balls in the game — both force out grounders, at 107.6 mph in the ninth and 106.4 mph in the third. Those were two of the hardest-hit five in the game. The two hardest hits went to Yermín Mercedes, whose double in the sixth (104.6 mph) and homer in the second (104.5 mph) were the sixth- and seventh hardest-hit balls of the game.
Who was the White Sox MVP of Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Angels?
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Yermín Mercedes: 3-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 2 RBI, MLB-record eight straight hits to start the season, 1.30 pLI, .308 WPA
Garrett Crochet: 2 1⁄3 IP, 3 K, WP, 26 pitches, 1.57 pLI, .257 WPA
Zack Collins: 1-for-3, BB, K, R, 2nd and 10th hardest-hit balls of the game, 1.13 pLI, .068 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat of Saturday’s 5-3 loss to the Angels?
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Evan Marshall: IP, 3 H, 3 ER, HR, 2 K, loss, blown save, 19 pitches, 1.90 pLI, -.608 WPA
Leury García: 0-for-4, 2 K, 1.60 pLI, -.175 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-3, 2 K, 1.61 pLI, -.162 WPA
José Abreu: 0-for-4, BB, K, two of the three loudest outs of the game, 1.05 pLI, -.138 WPA