Dylan Cease faced Jose Urquidy in what should have been a fairly even match, slightly favoring Cease when you look at the ERAs.
Cease really struggled in his four innings, with the 4-seam fastball only working on occasion against a tough Houston offense. There was little to no improvement the second time through the order. Perhaps the three runs to start the game left Cease frazzled, or maybe he just didn’t have it tonight.
Cease’s 74-pitch outing looked like this:
Jose Urquidy had a much better night, nearly dismantling the White Sox with only three types of pitches. In just 93 pitches over seven innings, 30% of his pitches were called strikes + whiffs.
Urquidy’s outing looked like this:
Tonight’s pressure play goes to Michael Brantley, the guy I was hoping for before the White Sox announced Adam Eaton’s return. His first inning home run brought Jose Altuve and Chas McCormick home and tipped the LI scales at 1.89.
In a blowout, you’re not going to see a lot of pressure (note the pressure play being a first-inning clout, above). Brantley sweeps this category, clocking in at 0.54 pLI for the game.
The Brantley three-run home run tilted the game toward the Astros early on, causing Cease to briefly revert back to 2020 form. The .178 WPA homer pushed the Astros win probability to 81.5%.
Pitching was key in this game, and the Astros took advantage. I won’t make a joke about wires, trash cans, sunscreen, Spider Tack or what have you. The Astros, but mostly Jose Urquidy, outperformed the White Sox in every way this evening. Urquidy’s WPA was .179 and Brantley was not far behind him with .172. Only one White Sox player had a positive WPA, Yasmani Grandal at ... .004.
Hardest hit: Yordan Alvarez’s single in the fifth inning off Zack Burdi exited the bat at a very unnecessary 112.5 mph.
Weakest contact: I’m happy to report that Chas McCormick had the weakest contact tonight. Take that, Astros. His ground out off of Matt Foster in the sixth inning only left the bat at 53.3 mph.
Luckiest hit: The Baseball Savant Gods didn’t feel as though Abraham Toro should’ve had a hit, let alone a home run in the fourth inning. (I agree with the sentiment.) The round-tripper’s xBA was only .050 but with a broken-down Cease, Toro was able to find some luck with his home run.
Toughest out: Yermín Mercedes is already slumping now that pitchers have found his weakness. His sixth inning line out showed signs of hope at first, but ultimately went nowhere. The xBA was .840.
Longest hit: Jose Altuve’s home run in the sixth inning traveled 396 feet, probably hitting a trash can in the concourse somewhere.
Magic Number: 2
At least it wasn’t a shutout. The White Sox scored two runs. This is what I will repeat as needed until tomorrow.
Here are some good guys that helped put the White Sox on the board. Just don’t look at the score.
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 the 10-2 drubbing handed them by Houston on Thursday?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-3, .004 WPA
Zack Burdi: 1 2⁄3 IP, H, 2 BB, .000 WPA
José Ruiz: IP, BB, 2 K, .000 WPA
Chrystal O’Keefe, for starting her South Side Sox Six Pack of Stats career on a nine-game winning streak, snapped tonight
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat in the 10-2 drubbing handed them by Houston on Thursday?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 3 1⁄3 IP, 4 H, 7 R/6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR, WP, HB, LOSS, -.306 WPA
Tim Anderson: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.035 WPA
Yermín Mercedes: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.035 WPA
Chrystal O’Keefe, for starting her South Side Sox Six Pack of Stats career on a nine-game winning streak but choosing tonight to snap it
South Side Sox Roll Call
The relatively tame, 162-comment blowout gamethread awarded honors to Schoolly_D!
|5||South Side Expat||12|
|11||Right Size Wrong Shape||5|
|20||Kongming, Sleeping Dragon||1|
As for recs, they were flying all over the place. Top green, with seven recs, goes to old friend SSE: