The White Sox seemed to be on the verge of another comeback win, but couldn’t find the go-ahead hit in a 4-3 loss to the Tigers on Saturday. Eric Haase homered twice and Miguel Cabrera went deep against Lucas Giolito, who is now 0-2 against the Tigers this year.
It was an up-and-down Saturday start for Lucas Giolito. He struck out the side to end his seven innings, but giving up three home runs — two to Eric Haase — and six hard-hit balls forced the White Sox to play from behind for most of the afternoon. He worked out of jams with one out in each the second and fifth innings, which kept his pitching line respectable. Giolito gave up four earned runs and seven hits to go with nine strikeouts.
His pitch mix lined up with his season averages, while his 39% whiff rate exceeded his season mark. He had 17 whiffs between his 4-seamer (four strikeouts) and changeup (three), but allowed five hits between those two pitches. The Tigers homered on his 4-seamer, changeup and slider. It’s Giolito’s second straight seven-inning start, but he didn’t dazzle as often as when he shut down the Orioles.
Giolito finished with a game score of 47, after throwing 102 pitches.
Tarik Skubal surrendered back-to-back hits to begin his start, and then shut down the White Sox for the next five innings. He effectively used his wide arsenal of pitches, throwing each of his 4-seam fastball (41%), slider (21%), sinker (17%) and changeup (15%) at least 15% of the time. He significantly relied more on his changeup (8.7% season usage) and sinker (2.3% season usage) on Saturday. It resulted in a career-high 11 strikeouts during his five-inning start, along with an earned run on four hits and three walks.
Between the second and fourth innings, Skubal recorded eight consecutive outs via the strikeout. He had a 37% whiff rate, which is his third-highest mark of the season and much better than his 28.6% whiff rate on the year. It came from all of his pitches, as he had five strikeouts using his 4-seamer, along with two each with his changeup, slider and sinker. The White Sox’s only extra-base hit against the Detroit starter came on his changeup, in Tim Anderson’s first at-bat.
Skubal finished his 102-pitch start with a game score of 64.
Anderson stepped to the plate against Kyle Funkhouser in the sixth inning, with runners on first and second base and one out. Anderson hit into a fielder’s choice. His at-bat clocked in at 3.47 LI.
No one faced more individual pressure than Detroit closer José Cisnero (3.02 pLI), who retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning.
For the White Sox, Danny Mendick had 2.25 pLI. He finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a failed sacrifice bunt.
Haase’s two-run homer in the second inning swayed the win probability toward Detroit by 17.4% (.174 WPA). It gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, one they wouldn’t relinquish.
Funkhouser was the game’s top performer, owning a .261 WPA. He struck out two batters and gave up a hit during 1 2⁄3 shutout innings, including getting out of a sixth-inning jam.
Jake Lamb entered in-game for an injured Billy Hamilton, but still was the White Sox’s top player. He finished 1-for-2 with a two-run double. Lamb owned a .119 WPA.
Luckiest hit: Willi Castro hit a double into shallow right field in the second inning, as Danny Mendick dove short of the ball. The 73-mph fly ball had a .170 xBA.
Toughest out: In the second inning, Harold Castro hit a ground ball up the middle, but Nick Madrigal made a beautiful play to record the first out. He had an .800 xBA.
Hardest hit: Anderson’s grounder in the sixth inning came off his bat at 108.2 mph. He reached on a fielder’s choice.
Weakest contact: Harold Castro hit a tapper in front of the plate at 44.2 mph. Zack Collins threw him out at first base.
I’m not going to include Mendick’s bunt because I’m trying to forget that ever happened.
Longest hit: Haase’s two-run blast in the second inning traveled 427 feet, beating out his second homer (369 feet) and Cabrera’s bomb (410).
Magic Number: 3
Giolito gave up three home runs on Saturday. His 13 home runs given up are the fourth-most among major league pitchers this season. It’s the fourth time Giolito has given up multiple home runs in a game this season, but the first time he’s given up three home runs since the Twins hit four homers on July 25, 2019, a game I sadly witnessed in person.
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 during their loss to the Tigers?
This poll is closed
Nick Madrigal: 2-for-4, RBI, BB, .063 WPA
Jake Lamb: 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, .119 WPA
Codi Heuer/Jose Ruiz: 2 IP, 2 K, .050/.037 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-3, BB, K, .032 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat during their loss to the Tigers?
This poll is closed
Lucas Giolito: 7 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 3 HR, 9 K, HBP, -.112 WPA
José Abreu: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.214 WPA
Danny Mendick: 0-for-3, 2 K, failed sac bunt, -.237 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-4, 2B, 3 K, .001 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
In a 188-comment gamethread, steely3000 brought the head, almost doubling up his nearest commenter:
|11||David John Craven||7|
|12||South Side Expat||6|
|20||Mark P. Liptak||1|
Make it a sweep for steely, has his universal bunting question went green and then some: