The Chicago White Sox started a brief, yet crucial three-day, four-game road trip this afternoon against Cleveland. With the former team holding the division lead and the latter team in second place (three-and-a-half games back entering today), the South Siders planned to further their first-place lead, and they have been successful thus far.
Cleveland is now four-and-a-half games back after suffering a loss in game one of today’s doubleheader.
Carlos Rodón had his worst start of the season, blowing 4-2 and 5-4 leads this afternoon. Going six innings, Los gave up nine hits (three of which were home runs), only walked one (to his eight strikeouts), but surrendered five runs.
Rodón’s 85-pitch afternoon transpired like so:
Triston McKenzie, struggling with control issues, redeemed himself quite a bit this afternoon. Coming in with a 35 walks to 59 strikeouts ratio, McKenzie struck out 10 to his two walks. However, in five-and-a-third innings, Triston did give up five runs on four hits.
His 86-pitch performance can be broken down like this:
Bradley Zimmer’s slow-hitting baseball (5.12 LI) to Tim Anderson in the sixth had tied the game at five, as the runner scored from third on the play.
Bryan Shaw, though standing strong under the pressure and not directly contributing to Cleveland’s loss, felt the most pressure at 2.74 pLI. In two-thirds of an inning, he walked two, but he also struck out two. Though his defense committed their third error of the game to give the Sox a 5-4 lead at the time in the sixth.
With the one-hopped throw to first base and Zimmer’s wheels, Bradley notched a game-tying RBI single in the sixth (.277 WPA), but the South Siders quickly ended their momentum and took home the win, even though José Abreu’s sac fly and Adam Eaton’s two-run homer in the eighth (an extra inning for a seven-inning doubleheader game), attributed .132 and .148 WPAs, respectively.
Codi Heuer was such a nice surprise last year who is continuing his success into 2021. Trying to force extra innings, Heuer gave up a hit to begin the bottom of the seventh, but he quickly erased it with a double play (off the bat of José Ramírez) and ended the ending by inducing a strikeout. A .313 WPA makes him the top performer.
Hardest hit: To make it back-to-back home runs to start the game for Cleveland, Amed Rosario’s 108.0 mph solo blast started a hard-hitting precedent that no other batted ball matched throughout the afternoon.
Weakest contact: In the same inning as the hardest hit, Harold Ramirez notched a 65.0 mph ground out.
Luckiest hit: Bradley Zimmer’s trickler to Tim Anderson tied the game at five in the sixth, but had a 12% chance of doing so.
Toughest out: René Rivera’s 106.5 mph, .650 xBA ground out in the second was indeed the toughest out this afternoon.
Longest hit: The hardest hit of the game traveled 423 feet to also be the longest hit of the game.
Magic Number: 8
The White Sox improve to 8-1 in doubleheader games this season; they’ll look to improve to 9-1 after this evening’s game.
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
Which White Sox player really wanted that 4.5-game lead over Cleveland?
This poll is closed
Codi Heuer: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO
Aaron Bummer: 1.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 S
Adam Eaton: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 SO 2 LOB
Zack Collins: 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 SO, 4 LOB
José Abreu: Gold Glove-worthy double play in the seventh, go-ahead sac fly in the eighth
Which White Sox player is ready to help contribute to the 5.5-game lead over Cleveland?
This poll is closed
Carlos Rodón: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 3 HR
Jake Lamb: 0-for-3, 2 SO
Nick Madrigal: 0-for-3, 1 SO, 1 LOB
Yoán Moncada: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 SO, 1 LOB
South Side Sox Roll Call
steely3000 took the challenge of a bigger, weekday, 251-comment thread and still thrashed the competition.
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The fight for top rec was a lot closer-fought, with wissoxfan83 edging out baines03 by just one rec, and for a solemn reason: