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Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 4, Twins 2

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The South Siders never trailed in this low-scoring, sixth straight win

The White Sox struck first and held off the Twins.
FanGraphs

Oh yeah, the White Sox still have a solid pitching staff. Even as their bats cooled off, they relied on their pitching to extinguish multiple Twins rallies in a 4-2 win on Thursday. The White Sox earned a series sweep. During their six-game win streak, the White Sox have held the Royals and Twins to three or fewer runs in five games.


The Starters

Lance Lynn lasted five innings for a third straight start. The Twins fouled off plenty of pitches to work deep into counts and raise Lynn’s pitch count to 111, as he exited after allowing an unearned run on two hits, three walks and striking out nine batters. His biggest strikeout came on his final pitch when he threw a 94.2 mph 4-seam fastball past Mitch Garver to get out of a bases-loaded jam for the second straight inning. The Twins recorded four of their six hard-hit balls against Lynn in the fourth and fifth innings, but only managed one run.

Lynn throws his 4-seamer often (48.4% season usage rate), and he relied on it even more against Minnesota. He threw it 53% of the time, and with a little more spin and velocity, it accounted for 12 of his 18 whiffs. Lynn allowed two-hard hit balls on his 4-seamer.

The veteran certainly could have benefited from better fielding, though Billy Hamilton’s leaping catch at the wall kept Lynn’s 1.30 ERA intact. He pitched around errors, hard-hit balls and walks in the later innings to keep the White Sox ahead when he exited the game. He earned a game score of 66.

Here’s a breakdown from his 111-pitch outing:

Baseball Savant

Michael Pineda has been prone to giving up home runs this season, and luckily, Chicago’s power bats have been on display this series. Tim Anderson and Jake Lamb each homered against Pineda, who has now given up eight bombs this season. Other than Anderson, who had three of the five hard-hit balls against Pineda, the White Sox didn’t have the same success as earlier this series. Pineda issued a pair of walks to start the sixth inning that led to his departure, allowing three earned runs on four hits, three walks and seven strikeouts over 5 13 frames. Other than two solo shots, he didn’t give the White Sox scoring chances until his final inning.

Pineda’s pitch mix lined up with his season averages. His 4-seamer had less spin than usual, and the White Sox also whiffed on it six times (21%). Pineda entered the game with an 11.8% whiff rate on his 4-seamer. He had 12 whiffs overall. He finished with a game score of 44.

Here’s a breakdown from Pineda’s 96-pitch start:

Baseball Savant

Pressure Play

Luis Arráez stepped to the plate in the eighth inning with a chance to give the Twins a lead. There were runners on first and second with one out in a 3-2 game, but facing Liam Hendriks, Arráez flew out to Billy Hamilton for the second out. His at-bat clocked in at 4.70 LI. Hendriks proceeded to retire the next four batters to end the game.


Pressure Cooker

No one faced as much pressure as Hendriks. He entered the game with two runners on and one out in a one-run game. Hendriks notched a five-out save, which included a perfect ninth inning. He faced 2.33 pLI.


Top Play

The top play ended up being Max Kepler reaching on Lance Lynn’s error in the fourth inning, which cut the White Sox’s lead to 2-1. It swayed the win probability toward the Twins by 10.8% (.108 WPA).

Jake Lamb (.107 WPA) and Tim Anderson (.101 WPA) both homered for the White Sox’s top plays.


Top Performer

Hendriks struck out two batters over 1 23 scoreless innings. He earned a .282 WPA, for the game’s top mark.


Smackdown

Luckiest hit: Yoán Moncada’s single in the third inning had a .040 xBA off the bat. He hit it at just 77.9 mph.

Toughest out: Adam Eaton hit a line drive to left field to lead off the fourth inning. It had a .790 xBA, but Trevor Larnach caught it for the out.

Hardest hit: Kepler’s home run off of José Ruiz was hit at 110.2 mph.

Tim Anderson had three of the eight hardest-hit balls in the game, including a 109-mph single in the fifth inning for the White Sox’s hardest hit.

Weakest contact: Luis Arráez hit a soft, 56.7 mph ground out to Leury García to open the fifth inning.

Longest hit: Lamb’s home run was the farthest hit at 395 feet. Interestingly, Kyle Garlick’s fly out in the fourth inning traveled farther (390 feet) than Kepler’s (378) and Anderson’s (377) home runs.


Magic Number: 10

The White Sox lead the Twins by 10 games in the AL Central.

Also, Anderson started the scoring right away by homering on Pineda’s first pitch. It was his 10th career leadoff home run, and his second this year. Anderson’s first came in a 3-2 win over the Red Sox on April 18.


Glossary

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


Poll

Who was the White Sox MVP in their 4-2 win over the Twins?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Tim Anderson: 2-for-4, HR, RBI, K, .091 WPA
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB, .083 WPA
    (6 votes)
  • 25%
    Lance Lynn: 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K, .176 WPA
    (30 votes)
  • 53%
    Liam Hendriks: 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, .282 WPA
    (63 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the White Sox Cold Cat during their 4-2 win over the Twns?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    Leury Garcia: 0-for-4, 3 K, -.083 WPA
    (38 votes)
  • 21%
    Zack Collins: 0-for-3, 2 K, catcher’s interference, -.073 WPA
    (23 votes)
  • 4%
    Adam Eaton: 0-for-3, 2 K, -.054 WPA
    (5 votes)
  • 37%
    Jose Ruiz: 1/3 IP, ER, 3 H, HR, -.210 WPA
    (39 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now

South Side Sox Roll Call

In a 370-comment thread, you’re gonna have to bring it to win it. AnoHito topped the magical 50 mark, with 54 total comments.


It was a rec fiesta today, but GrinnellSteve (welcome to the honors circle, Steve!) got the win, going green seven times for a relatively matter-of-fact observation during some clown-car D at first base. Sometimes it’s not spice or sass, but a well-timed jab that earns the belt.