After a fantastic trade deadline, the Chicago White Sox take the opening series win against the future Cleveland Guardians! And, oh my, was it interesting!
Lance Lynn labored this evening, as he faced very early trouble in the first inning. He uncharacteristically loaded the bases with nobody out to begin the game, but he got out of the jam after he gave up two runs.
The next four innings he pitched still saw some lengthy at-bats, so it was work for Lynn, but he tackled it as well as he could. Only giving up one more run, Lynn also made two outs at his mound; Andrew Vaughn is not the only future 2021 Gold Glover!
In total, Lynn went five innings and gave up three runs. Additionally, he gave up seven hits and one walk while striking out seven.
His 104 pitches are tabled like so:
J.C. Mejía did not really struggle until the very end of his outing. Giving up two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, Mejía left the game with the bases loaded. Through 4 1⁄3 innings, J.C. gave up four hits, four runs, and four walks. He only struck out two and did allow an entertaining homer to Yoán Moncada.
His 87 pitches can be summarized like so:
In a tied game in the eighth, elite reliever José Ruíz faced two runners on with zero outs after Ryan Tepera’s White Sox debut did not go well. Ruíz forced a 3.20 LI sac bunt, 3.14 LI strikeout, and a 4.04 LI fly out to give the Sox a chance to go up and win the game. Spoiler alert: They did, and Ruíz earned tonight’s win.
Facing the most pressure of the night, Ruíz did not let the 3.47 pLI he faced stop him from doing what he needed to do to help the Sox win tonight’s game.
Franmil Reyes’ game-tying bomb to left field in the eighth was an astounding .246 WPA play, but his team would go on to lose.
With great pressure comes great reward if harnessed and used to one’s strength, and José Ruíz did just that! His .275 WPA paved way for a crazy bottom of the eighth that would not have meant much if the top of the eighth did not get handled properly. As someone who has had no faith in No. 66, I am very glad he convinced me to give him a little going forward.
Hardest hit: Yoán Moncada, almost robbed of an extra-base hit, smoked a 108.2 mph, .720 xBA baseball to right-center field that ricocheted off of Bradley Zimmer’s glove, as Daniel Johnson collided into him.
Yoán Moncada wins on the pinball machine!@ymoncada19 | @NBCSChicago pic.twitter.com/bIcuQF8dnb— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 31, 2021
Unfortunately, during Ryan Tepera’s White Sox debut in the eighth, Harold Ramirez topped Moncada, just smoking a 114.8 mph single.
Weakest contact: Franmil Reyes, obvious softly-hit ball batter, recorded an un-smoked line out in the third at 68.0 mph. Luckily, Robert Pérez notched a 12.1 (!!!) mph sac bunt in the eighth so that Reyes can keep his hard-hitting slugger title.
Luckiest hit: Just like that, Reyes takes the soft-hitting slugger title right back. His 79.4 mph, .060 xBA single was unlike his launched home runs.
Toughest out: Roberto Pérez’s 105.8 mph, .530 xBA ground out in the second preceded YoYo’s home run in the second. If YoYo’s baseball would have been caught, he would have slighted Roberto right here, but luckily, he got his hit.
Longest hit: To end our fun little series with Reyes, his game-tying home run in the eighth traveled 393 feet at a 103.0 mph exit velocity.
Magic Number: Unknown Speed (mph)
Memes aside, I have never seen Tony La Russa hustle any faster this inning to defend his players. This was pleasant to see.
TLR found his WHEELS to go defend Abreu (I have never seen him run faster. Good to see it here in defense of Abreu) https://t.co/e58YCPUDSA— Ashley Sanders (@Ashley22Sanders) July 31, 2021
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
Which White Sox was pumped and ready to win this game following the trade deadline?
This poll is closed
José Ruíz: 1.0 IP, 1 SO, escaped two on and no one out in the eighth in a tied game, earned the W
Yoán Moncada: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, game-winning RBI
Garrett Crochet, Aaron Bummer, Liam Hendriks: 3.0 IP, 0 R, 4 SO
Tony La Russa, for his wheels in defense of José Abreu
Which White Sox player does not have to fear the trade deadline after tonight’s game?
This poll is closed
Ryan Tepera: 0.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HR
Brian Goodwin: 1-for-3, 1 SO, 5 LOB, missed a grand slam by a couple of inches
Seby Zavala: 0-for-3, 3 SO
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-4, 1 BB, 1 SO, 4 LOB
South Side Sox Roll Call
It was a 338-comment gamethread, with a lot of big comment numbers. Still AnoHito kept his streak going, eking out another win.
|8||Right Size Wrong Shape||18|
|14||South Side Expat||5|
|25||Grinder in Training||1|
A healthy amount of green tonight, but SSE takes the prize, with a wry, five-rec comment: