The White Sox (49-35) entered tonight with a +39 run differential and an 8-1 record against the Twins (35-48). Unfortunately, despite a seventh-inning rally, today was a different story, as the South Siders came up short. Let’s take a look at some of the key numbers from a rare Twins victory over the White Sox.
Dylan Cease got off to a strong start in the first inning, retiring all three he faced. The second inning, however, was a struggle. Alex Kirilloff led off with a double that went 391 feet, and Max Kepler followed with a two-run homer that went 396 feet.
In the third, a leadoff walk came back to bite Cease, as a pair of singles drove in that run to make it 3-0. The bright side is that the game could have gotten out of hand, but Cease struck out three in a row to avoid further damage.
Cease recovered with strong fourth and fifth innings, but Tony La Russa may have left him in the game a tad too long. With two on and one out in the sixth, lefty Nick Gordon came up to bat, and Cease was at 101 pitches. Cease hung a breaking ball, and Gordon lined a triple to put a pair more on the board. Cease’s final line was the following: 5 1⁄3 innings, six runs (all earned), two walks, and eight strikeouts.
Here is a closer look at Cease’s 107-pitch performance:
Bailey Ober entered tonight’s game with an 11.05 ERA in two starts against the White Sox. However, he did not have trouble tonight, as he held the South Siders in check during his five innings of work. Ober was difficult to solve, as he pitched five shutout innings in which he allowed only three hard-hit balls in play.
Ober may have been running out of gas during the fifth, as two of the three hard-hit balls he allowed came during that inning. After a walk, Tim Anderson hit a sharp single to put runners on the corners with two outs. Yoán Moncada launched a deep fly ball toward the right field corner, but it did not quite have enough to get out of the park.
Here is how Ober’s 93-pitch outing shaped up:
When Adam Eaton batted in the eighth, the tying run was on first base with one out. Eaton struck out against lefty Taylor Rogers, and this play had an LI of 2.89.
On average, Billy Hamilton faced the most high-pressure situations out of any player in this game, with a pLI of 2.26. Hamilton entered the game late, so he only batted twice, and unfortunately, he went 0-for-2. One of those was a double play that ended the game.
Yoán Moncada’s two-run triple in the seventh improved the White Sox’s odds of winning the game by 25.9% (.259 WPA). Though the White Sox failed to drive him in to tie the game, his triple was the play with the biggest WPA swing.
In terms of WPA, Ober is today’s top performer, as his .252 WPA was highest among all players. His five shutout innings went a long way for the Twins in this game.
Hardest hit: Miguel Sanó’s eighth inning double left the bat at 110.6 mph, which was just enough to take the crown away from José Abreu’s home run (109.3 mph).
Weakest contact: The successful sacrifice bunt by Andrelton Simmons in the eighth left the bat at only 44.7 mph. If we exclude bunts, this distinction goes to Luis Arráez, who had a 53.6 line out.
Luckiest hit: The luckiest hit was Adam Eaton’s double in the seventh inning. This was a high fly ball down the right-field line that Kepler nearly caught. This had an xBA of .090.
Toughest out: There was not much competition for this award, as hitters were pretty lucky across the board. But, Jorge Polanco takes the cake, as his first inning ground out had an xBA of .460.
Longest hit: Abreu’s 213th career home run traveled 411 feet.
Magic Number: 134
Yasmani Grandal, who left the game due to an injury, has an excellent wRC+ of 134. Grandal probably should have made the All-Star team, and his production would be very difficult to recreate if he is out for an extended period of time.
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?
This poll is closed
Yoán Moncada: 1-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI, .135 WPA
José Abreu: 2-for-5, HR, -.063 WPA
Tim Anderson: 1-for-3, 2 BB, .104 WPA
Garrett Crochet: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, .046 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 5 1⁄3 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K, -.224 WPA
Ryan Burr: 1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 2 K, -.100 WPA
Billy Hamilton: 0-for-2, -.141 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
Trooper Galactus was most active tonight, while baines03, dwjm3, and WIN05’s comments tied in the battle for the most recs.