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Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 2, Twins 1

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In which Lucas Giolito continues his gorgeous changeup and slider revival

Leverage Index image from Fangraphs.com
Line go down means good for White Sox!
FanGraphs

Can we please keep baseball fun? In case you missed it, be sure to read these two excellent articles about That Nepotism Hire being upset over unwritten rules, from Anders and Colleen; points were made, bullseyes hit, nails were hit on heads.

But enough about Game Respecters, let’s talk about Wednesday afternoon’s getaway day matchup, a rubber game with Minnesota.

Like me, the White Sox aren’t morning people. They’ve got a 7-8 record in brunch games coming into today. However, not counting today’s matchup, they’re also 4-1 vs. Minnesota this season, the team slashing .322/.415/.609 with 11 homers, along with a collective 4.03 over ERA 44 23 innings pitched; they’ve also outscored the Twins, 46-22.


The Starters

Lucas Giolito has had some problems to begin the year, leaving questions on whether something may be off with our ace, mechanically. He’s 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA over 24 innings, including seven homers allowed and 24 strikeouts in his last five starts. Mornings don’t do Gio any favors, either; this was his fourth straight start during the day, and has gone 1-3 with a 7.27 ERA over 17 13 innings pitched in that time.

Today we saw some 2019-20 Giolito, as he was able to lure some Twins hitters into strikeouts on high changeups, a pitch he’s nicely re-established in this start, and his last. He’s also increased usage of his slider, a pitch he’s been working on between starts, in bullpen sessions. He avoided hard contact, until Nelson Cruz hit a fastball right down the middle for a solo shot in the third inning — thankfully all the runs charged on Giolito’s tab. We shouldn’t be too surprised, as Cruz historically hits Giolito very well: 7-for-20 (.350) with one double, three home runs and five RBIs.

baseballsavant.mlb.com

Matt Shoemaker, like Giolito avoided hard contact for the most part. Coming into today, Shoemaker had gone 3-0, 2.66 ERA (20 13 IP, 6 ER) with two walks and 26 strikeouts in his last three games against the Good Guys. Like Giolito, Shoemaker isn’t a morning guy either: he’s gone 1-3, 7.83 ERA (23 IP, 20 ER) in his previous five day starts.

baseballsavant.mlb.com

Pressure Play

With a LI of 2.78, it’s the sixth inning, one-out Leury García single, which scored Jake Lamb; this was also the go-ahead run for the White Sox, giving us our final score of 2-1.


Pressure Cooker

Like mentioned in the play above, it’s Leury in the Instant Pot today: His final line for the day, 2-for-4, included that fateful sixth inning single, driving in what would be the winning run. García also scored the tying run in the fifth, but we’ll get into that in a bit.


Top Play

With a WPA of .122, we’ve got a tie! The first top play was Adam Eaton’s fifth inning single scoring García (see, we don’t break promises here at SouthSideSox dot com) to tie the game at 1-1. The other top play at .122 was Nelson Cruz’s homer off Giolito in the third.


Top Performer

It’s the man on the mound himself with a WPA of .486, Lucas Giolito! And what a bounce-back start. His final line? Eight innings pitched, yielding just one run off of two hits, three walks and *chef’s kiss* striking out 11. When he’s chugging red bulls and getting those swings-and-misses (there were 17), that’s when we know it’s the Gio we love.


Smackdown

Nelson Cruz’s home run off Giolito was absolutely scalded, at 110.3 mph. Not too far behind was known powerhouse Leury García with his fifth inning double, at 105.4 mph.


Magic Number: 8

Yoán Moncada went 1-for-3 today, including two walks drawn. Coming into today, Moncada has hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games at Target Field, going 18-for-50 (.360) with 10 doubles and five RBIs. Keep an eye on him, and not just for the floral rompers: Yoyo carries forth a .284/.407/.411 line, and a 136 wRC+. Also a fun fact via NBC Sports Chicago: He’s got a hit and a walk in eight straight games now!


Poll

Who is today’s Getaway Day MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Lucas Giolito (8 IP, 2H, 1R, 3BB, 11K)
    (56 votes)
  • 1%
    Leury García (2-for-4, double, single, RBI)
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Adam Eaton (1-for-4, single, RBI)
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Yoán Moncada (1-for-2, single, 2 BB)
    (1 vote)
58 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who’s got to step it up?

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    Tim Anderson (0-for-5)
    (41 votes)
  • 8%
    Zack Collins (0-for-2)
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    Yermín Mercedes (0-for-4)
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    Danny Mendick (0-for-3)
    (1 vote)
56 votes total Vote Now

South Side Sox Roll Call

Listen, SSS, pilotsheng is bringing it. Now with back-to-back BIG wins, he carried the day with 67 of 213 comments, more than double his immediate trailers.

KP bridesmaided the hell out of today’s green competition, getting place, show, and whatever comes after that. But the winner, at five recs, was shumway: