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Six Pack of Stats: Astros 7, White Sox 3

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The South Siders couldn’t recover from Houston’s four-run third inning

Houston has been in control for the majority of this series so far.
FanGraphs

One more game, and the White Sox (43-28) can leave Houston. A 7-3 loss to the Astros on Saturday adds to arguably the most frustrating three-game stretch of the season, but there’s still a chance to salvage a win on Sunday.


The Starters

Lance Lynn gave up five earned runs in his previous five starts, spanning 31 innings. The Astros tagged him for six runs (five earned) on seven hits, a walk and six strikeouts in a four-inning start tonight, which easily goes as Lynn’s worst start donning the White Sox uniform. It’s the first time this season Lynn gave up more than three earned runs, while doubling as his shortest outing during a laborious 84-pitch start.

Lynn didn’t alter his fastball approach, as he still relied mostly on his 4-seamer, followed by his cutter and sinker. He had a 34% whiff rate, including eight swings-and-misses with his 4-seamer, but the Astros still made solid contact against all three of his fastballs. They averaged hard-hit contact against his cutter (96.6 mph) and were less than a mph away from doing the same against his sinker (94.1 mph). He gave up a double using his 4-seamer, cutter and sinker, while the Astros recorded three hits off of his cutter and sinker. His spin rates were significantly down on Saturday.

Lynn finished with three strikeouts using his sinker, along with two punch outs on his 4-seamer. But it didn’t stop Houston from getting timely hits and constant traffic on the base paths. Lynn finished with a game score of 36.

Baseball Savant

Framber Valdez’s ground ball rate is no joke; he makes Dallas Keuchel look like a fly ball pitcher. Using his two-pitch mix of sinker and curveball, Valdez forced 12 ground outs during an efficient, seven-inning start. The White Sox were the first team this season to score more than one earned run against Valdez, who allowed three runs (two earned), six hits, two walks and five strikeouts.

Along with forcing ground outs, all five of Valdez’s strikeouts came via his curveball. The White Sox did have two hits off of the pitch, including Yoán Moncada’s RBI double, but they largely didn’t find success. They also had two singles against his sinker, while Andrew Vaughn homered against his changeup. The White Sox recorded 10 hard-hit balls (57.1% hard-hit rate), but had just three hits in those at-bats.

A seventh-inning rally pushed Valdez’s pitch count to 108 pitches, as he earned a game score of 56.

Baseball Savant

Pressure Play

The game was still in reach for the White Sox in the third inning when Robel Garcia came to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Lynn threw a 3-2 fastball that caught too much of the plate, which Garcia drove to the right-field wall for a three-run double to give the Astros a 5-1 lead. Garcia’s at-bat clocked in at 2.58 LI.


Pressure Cooker

No one faced more pressure than José Abreu (1.16 pLI). He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, personally leaving three runners on base.


Top Play

Garcia’s three-run double had a .204 WPA.


Top Performer

Even in a loss, Moncada (.179 WPA) made the biggest impact. He finished 2-for-3 with a double, walk and RBI, though did have a throwing error in the first inning.


Smackdown

Luckiest hit: Myles Straw singled off of Lynn in the fourth inning on a hit that had a .070 xBA.

Toughest out: Yuli Gurriel hit a sinking liner into center field, but Adam Engel was quick enough to catch it for the second out of the third inning. It came off of Gurriel’s bat at 103.9 mph, translating to a .930 xBA. It was tied for the highest xBA of the game.

Hardest hit: Vaughn’s first-inning single traveled two feet and had a -43 degree launch angle, but it was hit 115 mph. He was helped by Valdez’s poor throw, which allowed him to advance to second base.

Weakest contact: Leury García hit a soft grounder back to Valdez in the seventh inning. It came off of his bat at 57.3 mph.

Longest hit: In Brian Goodwin’s only at-bat, he flew out to deep center field, on a ball that traveled 398 feet.


Magic Number: 1,500

I’m sure Lynn won’t care about reaching 1,500 career strikeouts because it came in a loss, but it’s still quite the accomplishment. He has 86 strikeouts in 75 23 innings this year.


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 after a third straight loss to the Astros?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Ryan Burr: 2 IP, H, BB, K, .011 WPA
    (3 votes)
  • 47%
    Yoán Moncada: 2-for-3, RBI, 2B, BB, throwing error, .179 WPA
    (17 votes)
  • 5%
    Yasmani Grandal: 2-for-4, .014 WPA
    (2 votes)
  • 38%
    Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-3, HR, RBI, BB, .035 WPA
    (14 votes)
36 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the White Sox Cold Cat after a third straight loss to the Astros?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Lance Lynn: 4 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 7 H, BB, 6 K, -.378 WPA
    (16 votes)
  • 8%
    Tim Anderson: 0-for-5, -.062 WPA
    (3 votes)
  • 29%
    José Abreu: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.114 WPA
    (10 votes)
  • 8%
    Yermín Mercedes: 0-for-4, K, -.069 WPA
    (3 votes)
  • 5%
    Leury García: 0-for-3, K, -.092 WPA
    (2 votes)
34 votes total Vote Now

South Side Sox Roll Call

With losses mounting and a Saturday night game, we drew a modest 139 comments to the gamethread. The battle for top commenter was quite fierce:

# Commenter # Comments
1 Pointerbabe 21
2 horror1967 19
3 AnoHito 18
4 WIN05 16
5 baines03 14
6 steely3000 13
7 Schoolly_D 12
8 FootlongComiskeyDog 9
9 obnoxious american 5
10 Gutteridge70 3
11 CanuckStro2 3
12 mrridgman 2
13 NothinbutNets7 2
14 steeplechased 2


Unsurprisingly on a short comment night, we stumbled into no green. However, horror1967’s clever take on Leury was the only two-rec of the night: