After losing five straight, the White Sox made in back into the win column today against the Pirates. It was at times ugly and stressful, but the good guys came out on top thanks to some late-inning heroics and a Yasmani Grandal double that sealed the win.
Dylan Cease looked to bounce back after having a problem in Houston last week. Cease also got a chance to bat today, but ended his day 0-for-3. Cease faced Chase De Jong, who was called up recently after a brief time with the Indianapolis Indians.
Cease started to fall apart earlier than his usual fourth inning meltdown, struggling to maintain composure after two runs. I’d share the botched double-play video, but it already lives rent-free in his mind. Another thing worth noting, his spin rate was down on nearly every pitch: 287 rpm on his 4-seam, 193 on his slider, 178 on the knuckle curve and 117 on his changeup.
Cease’s 99-pitch outing looked like this:
De Jong’s outing was not spectacular, especially as Leury García took him deep for a second inning home run. De Jong would face even more pressure in the fifth inning after Yasmani Grandal blasted a line-drive double, bringing birthday boy Tim Anderson and Jake Lamb home. De Jong was pulled from the mound right after.
De Jong’s 95-pitch outing looked like this:
With one out and Bryan Reynolds on first and Ke’Bryan Hayes on second, Aaron Bummer replaced Codi Heuer to preserve the lead in the seventh inning. Bummer faced Colin Moran, who then had a fly out to center. The pressure was certainly on for both Bummer and Moran, pushing the LI to 4.18.
Special shout-out to antacids for helping me through the seventh inning.
Aaron Bummer faced Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco, two critical at-bats that could have very easily tied the game or potentially put the Pirates in the lead. Defense helped keep the White Sox lead intact, but Bummer’s pLI was the highest of the game at 2.68.
Why do we love Yasmani Grandal? Because he gets on base. He also drives in runs, with two today. Those runs happened to be the game-winning runs, and put the top White Sox WPA at .249 with his double.
Aaron Bummer’s seventh-inning replacement of Codi Heuer in the aforementioned Pressure Play and Pressure Cooker landed him a spot as the top performer. Keeping the White Sox ahead brought his WPA to .325.
Hardest hit: Tim Anderson’s second inning double had an exit velocity of 106.4 mph, giving new meaning to the term holy smokes.
Weakest contact: Chase De Jong’s third inning bunt left the bat at 26.5 mph.
Luckiest hit: Yoán Moncada started the game with a single that only had an xBA of .120.
Toughest out: Gregory Polanco’s ground out in the seventh inning off Aaron Bummer had an xBA of .530. The Pirates were hoping to keep the game and inning alive, but failed to do so.
Longest hit: Leury García’s second inning home run traveled 402 feet.
Magic Number: 1
Congrats to Luis González on his first career hit!
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 is your June 23 MVP?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, .177 WPA
Tim Anderson (aka Birthday Boy): 2-for-5, 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, .107 WPA
Brian Goodwin: 2-for-3, 2B, 1 BB, .075 WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1 2⁄3 IP, 2 Ks, .325 WPA
Liam Hendriks: IP, K, SAVE, .193 WPA
Who is your June 23 Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Codi Heuer: 1⁄3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, K, HOLD, -.226 WPA
José Abreu: 0-for-4, BB, 3 K, 2 LOB, -.046 WPA
Dylan Cease: 5 2⁄3 IP, 7 H, 2 R/1 ER, BB, 7 K, WIN, 0-for-3, GIDP, 2 E, -.036 WPA
Yoán Moncada: 1-for-4, BB, K, 2 LOB, -.052 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
A healthy, 223-comment day saw honors taken by AnoHito.
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The game almost went no green, until KP offered this bit of game commentary at gamethread’s end: