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Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 6, Royals 0

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A complete game shutout and longball that has yet to land create a successful home opener for the South Siders

Home Opener Success: With brilliant pitching, timely hitting, and solid defense, the White Sox captured their home debut win.
FanGraphs

Who doesn’t love a good White Sox home opener blowout? The Chicago White Sox did just that against the Kansas City Royals. And who doesn’t love a complete-game shutout, because Lance Lynn did just that for the South Siders! AND who doesn’t love home run baseballs that are up in orbit? Yermín Mercedes helped with that!

For the first time in more than a year, the White Sox played in front of their fans at Guaranteed Rate Field, and they put on a show! With this victory, they improve to .500 with a 4-4 record, and they look to be a game over .500 once Saturday’s game is all said and done.


The Starters

A major tip of the cap to Lance Lynn, who pitched the first complete game and shutout for the White Sox during the 2021 season! Five of his pitches were hit for base knocks, but Lynn evened out the damage with 11 strikeouts and no walks. It was an all-around fantastic performance for Lynn!

This is how his 111-pitch outing breaks down:

4-seam fastball: 34% | 9 called strikes + 6 whiffs (26%) | 93.4 mpg avg.
Sinker: 31% | 4 called strikes + 5 whiffs (28%) | 91.8 mph avg.
Cutter: 27% | 5 called strikes + 4 whiffs (27%) | 88.2 mph avg.
Curveball: 7% | 1 called strike + 2 whiffs (50%) | 84.6 mph avg.
Changeup: 1% | 0 called strikes + 0 whiifs (0%) | 86.7 mph avg.

Lynn surrendered just six hard-hit balls over nine innings, and an average exit velocity of 89.1 mph.

As for the opposition, Brad Keller had a rather short outing, as he was Bad Keller. In 3 13 innings, Keller gave up six hits and three walks leading to four runs. He did strike out three, but he gave up two longballs.

Here’s how Keller’s 69-pitch outing took shape:

Sinker: 45% | 8 called strikes + 2 whiffs (18%) | 92.8 mpg avg.
Slider: 28% | 1 called strike + 4 whiffs (40%) | 85.7 mph avg.
4-seam fastball: 22% | 1 called strike + 0 whiffs (0%) | 93.5 mph avg.
Changeup: 6% | 1 called strike + 0 whiffs | 87.8 mph. avg.

Keller gave up five hard-hit balls in 3 13 innings, and an average max exit velocity of 85.2 mph. Keller’s max exit velocity was 113.3, thanks to this guy:

Pressure Play

Luis Robert, a six-tool player, went up to bat in the bottom of the second with the bases load. He smoked a baseball to left field, but it resulted as a line out...of the sacrificial variety (1.59 LI). Nick Madrigal tagged and scored from third, which gave the South Siders a 4-0 lead at the time!

Pressure Cooker

To contrary belief, Keller did not cook up the most pressure; instead, rookie Kyle Isbel accumulated a 0.82 pLI. Isbel went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and left two runners on base.

Top Play

With the smoothest swing since Ken Griffey Jr., Yoán Moncada’s two-run blast during the bottom of the first inning provided a .173 WPA and was all the Sox needed to win, plus an extra run.

Top Performer

Without any hesitation, Lance Lynn (.252 WPA) was the no-doubt top performer of tonight’s ballgame!

Smackdown

Yermín Mercedes was nothing short of amazing in his White Sox home opener debut. His 2-for-4 night produced the hardest-hit ball of the evening at 113.3 mph (solo blast) and Moncada secured the second hardest-hit ball at 106.6 mph for his two-run home run. Talk about EZ power!

Luckiest hit: Known for his sneakiness, Salvador Pérez recorded an infield single (72.8 mph), .060 xBA
Toughest out: Adam Eaton (106.5 mph double-play grounder), .850 xBA
Hardest hit: Yermín Mercedes (113.3 mph home run), 1.000 xBA
Weakest contact: Yermín Mercedes’ (for the irony) 68.9 mph fly out, .380 xBA
Longest hit: Yermín Mercedes (485-foot home run), 113.3 mph, 1.000 xBA


Glossary

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

Poll

In an exciting 6-0 shutout victory, which White Sox player deserves tonight’s MVP honors?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Lance Lynn: 9 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 11 SO
    (91 votes)
  • 2%
    Yermín Mercedes: 2-for-4, 1 HR that has yet to land, 1 RBI
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Yoán Moncada: 1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Danny Mendick: 3-for-3, 1 BB
    (1 vote)
94 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which Cold Cat hopes to contribute more in the next White Sox win?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Luis Robert: 0-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO
    (23 votes)
  • 7%
    Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SO
    (6 votes)
  • 37%
    Nick Williams: 0-for-3, 1 SO, 3 LOB
    (29 votes)
  • 24%
    José Abreu: 1-for-4, 5 LOB
    (19 votes)
77 votes total Vote Now