The two-game series against the Cincinnati Reds is a microcosm of the White Sox’s inconsistent offense. A day after scoring nine runs, the White Sox were held scoreless in a 1-0 loss to the Reds in extras. Jesse Winker hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning. It’s the third time the White Sox have been shut out this season, including the second time it’s happened in a 10-inning game.
Dallas Keuchel threw 16 pitches to Cincinnati’s first two batters, who both reached base. The rest of the game, Keuchel relied on 14 groundouts to throw an efficient seven shutout innings. He allowed two hits and three walks, but used a pair of double plays and Nick Senzel being gunned down at the plate by Jose Abreu in the first inning to keep the Reds off the scoreboard. Keuchel recorded his only strikeout in the seventh inning, as well.
Vintage Dallas Keuchel. pic.twitter.com/WZQF7xW3oc— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 5, 2021
It was a typical Keuchel start, from forcing soft groundouts (three hard-hit balls allowed) to his pitch mix lining up with his season averages. He did have more spin on his pitches, though. He finished with a game score of 73.
Here’s the breakdown of Keuchel’s 95-pitch start:
The White Sox didn’t get many scoring chances against Sonny Gray. Cincinnati’s starter forced 10 groundouts and struck out eight batters to pitch seven scoreless innings. The White Sox recorded two hits, two walks and five hard-hit balls, but rarely strung together base runners to present a scoring threat.
Gray had easily his best start of the season. Similar to Keuchel, he had significantly more spin on his pitches. Entering Wednesday, Gray had thrown his slider 17% of the time, but against the White Sox, he focused on his curveball, sinker and 4-seam fastball. Gray finished with a game score of 82.
Here’s a look at his 90-pitch outing:
Fastest pitch: Michael Kopech threw three of the five fastest pitches, including a 98.3-mph 4-seamer for a ball to Jonathan India.
Most swing-and-misses: Gray finished with nine whiffs, but his 24% whiff rate was still lower than his 34.3% whiff rate on the season.
Liam Hendriks entered the game with bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. He forced Tucker Barnhart to ground into a force out at third base to keep the game scoreless and force extra innings. That at-bat clocked in at 6.39 LI.
Cincinnati reliever Lucas Sims faced the most individual pressure (3.95 pLI) as he worked around a leadoff walk to strand Hendriks at third base to keep the game tied. Barnhart also owned a 3.90 pLI.
For the White Sox, Hendriks faced the most individual pressure (3.71 LI). He got the final out of the ninth inning to force the Reds to strand the bases loaded, and then had to try to keep the Reds from scoring in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Winker’s game-winning hit wasn’t the top play, rather Nick Senzel’s leadoff single in the 10th inning that moved Barnhart to third base. It put runners on the corners with no outs, swaying the win probability by 12.4 percentage points (.124 WPA) toward the Reds.
Sims’ effort to keep the White Sox from crossing home plate earned him .484 WPA. Both Keuchel and Gray each had .451 WPA from their seven-inning starts.
Hardest hit: Yoan Moncada sharply hit a grounder that jumped up on India in the second inning. India was able to make the play to prevent Tim Anderson from scoring the game’s first run. He hit the ball at 108.1 mph. Moncada and Anderson each hit the ball hard.
Weakest contact: Billy Hamilton’s groundout in the fifth inning had an exit velocity of 45.3 mph.
Luckiest hit: Nick Madrigal hit a single into right field in the sixth inning. His base hit had a .250 xBA.
Toughest out: Moncada’s hard-hit grounder in the second inning also represented the toughest out, sporting a .690 xBA.
Longest hit: Moncada flew out to Nick Senzel to leadoff the ninth inning. It traveled 351 feet. There were only three balls hit at least 300 feet, as Mike Moustakas (348 feet) and Eugenio Suarez (301) each recorded outs.
Magic Number: 1
The White Sox held the Reds to one run in their two-game series. Dylan Cease and Keuchel each pitched gems, and if not for the new extra-inning rule, Hendriks might’ve had a chance at keeping the game scoreless.
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
Who was the White Sox MVP of today’s 10-inning loss to the Reds?
This poll is closed
Dallas Keuchel: 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 K, .451 WPA
Michael Kopech: 1 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 4 K, .090 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-1, K, 3 BB, .093 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat from today’s 10-inning loss to the Reds?
This poll is closed
Billy Hamilton: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.423 WPA
Leury Garcia: 0-for-4, 2 K, caught stealing in 10th inning, fielding error, -.324 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-3, K, -.175 WPA
South Side Sox Gamethread Stats
steely3000 crushed it for an easy win in a 272-comment thread.
And apparently KP wielded considerable green sway today, helping possibly provide the winning margin for GrinnellSteve (5) over Schoolly_D (4):