Avast, ye, matey. (Oh wait, that was the White Sox’ last opponent.) The South Siders weathered the storm and got three innings in on Saturday versus the Mariners in yet another seafaring matchup with plenty of waves, and not the kind that fell in their favor. (Maybe there are good waves? Are they morally ambiguous?) Before you could gather two of every animal, the umpires suspended Saturday’s game, postponing it to Sunday, resuming things in the third inning on a more even-tempered Chicago afternoon.
Like any other White Sox game lately, it seems, the first of this doubleheader gave fans a scare as José Abreu took a 96 mph J.T. Chargois fastball to the knee. You may let out a collective sigh of relief (for now), as the X-rays returned negative, “just” a bone bruise, and Abreu is considered day-to-day. There was also a moment of (historical? unnecessary?) drama, as old friend Hector Santiago became the first pitcher to be ejected from a game due to MLB’s enforcement of the foreign substance ban — apparently, rosin on his hand, in his glove? — right after surrendering a game-tying single to Leury García.
The rest of game one is a tale as old as time — the White Sox had chances in the fifth and sixth innings to leap ahead on the scoreboard, but stranded runners in those innings. Liam Hendriks surrendered a home run to pain-in-the-behind Taylor Trammell in the ninth, solidifying the fate of our beloved Pale Hose.
This suspended game broke FanGraphs, which provided WPA and pressure stats on only yesterday’s three innings, nothing today, so this is a bit of a mix-and-match Six Pack. But if you insist we break game one of this de facto doubleheader down by the numbers, I’ll oblige.
Lance Lynn was technically the “starter” for this game, with Dallas Keuchel coming in relief; we’ll take a close look at Keuchel instead. Keuchel went five innings, giving up two runs off of six hits, issuing two free passes and striking out four. The long ball seemed to be Keuchel’s downfall, as both Ty France and Taylor Trammell took the southpaw deep for each, with solo shots. That being said, those were Keuchel’s only mistakes, albeit costly ones. Hard contact tends to be a problem for him, but in this “relief appearance,” he only surrendered four hard-hit balls.
Yesterday’s Mariners starter Logan Gilbert was cruising through the innings he pitched, until God or whomever decided that they’d like to wait for an entire span of a doubleheader to prolong the pain of White Sox fans. Hector Santiago threw the longest at 2 1⁄3 innings, and also the most pitches at 52, so we’ll analyze him. Santiago was being removed for J.T. Chargois after yielding an RBI single to Leury García, and subsequently ejected from the game after failing a foreign substance check.
The average spin rate on Hector Santiago’s fastball, before he was ejected from the game after umpires found *something* or whatever, in his glove. Santiago’s glove was confiscated and placed in a hermetically sealed bag to be probably inspected by a fancy pants MLB lab, by old Rob Manfred himself cackling maniacally in a white lab coat. To give some perspective, Santiago’s fastball garners a yearly average of 2072 — that’s right, that’s a whole difference of 19; any spin rate increase would have to be in the hundreds to be a true advantage. These players are messing up the game with these sticky substances! Like, rosin! Thankfully, we have MLB crackdowns to further slow down the pace of play, because you know, cheating with chalk is like, bad and stuff!
With a WPA of 68%, Baseball Savant marks the fifth inning walk to Luis Gonzalez — yes, a walk — by Hector Santiago (whom, if you remember earlier, was ejected for a foreign substance in his glove) to move Leury García to second and Yermín Mercedes to third as the top table-setting play in the game. Without too many spoilers, yes, I can’t spoil it for you cleverest readers, all three runners were stranded.
With a WPA of .134, Yasmani Grandal was this game’s top performer; Yaz went 1-for-2 on the afternoon, including plating half of Chicago’s two runs with a sixth inning sacrifice fly.
Yasmani Grandal’s dramatic ninth inning single off Kendall Graveman had an exit velocity of 111.1 mph, and an xBA of .870.
While we’re on the subject, we’ll have you know that’s Yasmani Grandal’s walk rate, one of the highest in all of baseball. He’s currently second in base on balls in the entire league, with 55. He also has an .807 OPS, highly amusing when you consider he’s got a .179 batting average. “All” Yaz does is walk and hit bombs.
Magic Number: 13
Strangely enough, 13 runners were left on base for both ball clubs, which could spell out problems regarding hitting with runners in scoring position. What was the difference then, and why did the White Sox get the short end of the stick? The long ball, for starters. The Mariners homered three times in this contest, while the White Sox did not go deep at all. It’s no secret that the White Sox tend to win games when at least one home run is hit. On the homestand, the White Sox are .125 (1-for-8) with runners in scoring position.
Who Was Game One’s MVP?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal (1-for-2, RBI, BB)
Leury García (1-for-3, RBI)
Dallas Keuchel (5 IP, 6H, 2 ER, 4K)
Yoán Moncada (1-for-3, BB)
And Game One’s Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Liam Hendriks (1 IP, 1 HR, 1K)
Tim Anderson (0-for-4)
Jake Lamb (0-for-4)
Yermín Mercedes (1-for-4)
South Side Sox Roll Call
Between yesterday’s and today’s gamethread, we had a whopping 339 comments from 25 commenters. steely3000 faced down all comers.
|9||David John Craven||11|
|18||Oscar Lamar and Lemon||2|
|23||Mark P. Liptak||1|
|25||South Side Expat||1|
Surprisingly little green, given all the comments, but steely nearly pulled off a rare sweep; instead he shared one of only two recs on the day(s):