The Athletics avoided a series sweep against the White Sox with a 5-4 win in the fourth game of a Guaranteed Rate Field series. The Athletics (69-53) hold a half-game lead in the second AL Wild Card spot, while the White Sox (71-51) are 11.5 games ahead in the AL Central.
Cole Irvin made his 24th start of the season for the Athletics. Irvin threw 87 pitches in a six-inning start, giving up three earned runs on seven hits and four walks while recording one strikeout. Irvin had a 4.50 ERA, a 7.01 FIP, and a 7.50 xFIP on the game.
Irvin used five different pitches in his 87 pitch outing. He generated the highest whiff rate and CSW% on his sinker, using the pitch 19 times today. Irvin lost both velocity and spin on four of his five pitches. His curveball was the only pitch that saw an improvement in velocity and his slider was the only pitch that saw an improvement in spin rate. Irvin’s curveball was his only pitch to lose vertical break, while his changeup was the only pitch that gained horizontal break. Irvin’s CSW% of 18 was 8.3% lower than his season CSW rate of 26.3%.
Dylan Cease made his 25th start of the season for the White Sox. Cease threw 102 pitches in a six-inning performance, giving up three earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five. Cease had a 4.50 ERA, a 7.84 FIP, and a 6.17 xFIP on the game.
Cease used four different pitches in today’s start. Like Irvin, Cease saw the highest whiff rate and highest CSW% from his second-most used pitch. He generated seven whiffs and eight called strikes with his slider. Cease lost velocity on three of his four pitches while neither gaining nor losing velocity on his knuckle curve. His 4-seamer saw a six rpm increase in spin rate, but his other three pitches saw a loss in spin. Cease lost both vertical and horizontal break on his slider and knuckle curve. He saw the same break on his 4-seamer, while gaining vertical and horizontal break on the one changeup he threw. Cease’s 28% CSW rate was 3.1% lower than his season CSW rate of 31.3%.
The game’s final out saw the most pressure of any plate appearance. With the White Sox trailing 5-4 with two outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth, leftfielder Eloy Jimenez lined out to center field. The plate appearance had an LI of 5.06.
Oakland reliever Lou Trivino saw the most pressure faced during today’s game. His 2.92 pLI during his work in the bottom of the ninth was the highest of any player.
Matt Olson flipped the win probability in favor of the Athletics with a seventh-inning home run off of White Sox reliever Michael Kopech. Olson’s two-run homer with the game tied at 3-3 added .316 WPA for the Athletics.
OLSON GIVES THE A'S THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/cdyokQZeOw— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) August 19, 2021
White Sox first baseman Andrew Vaughn led the way with a .354 WPA on the game. Vaughn went 1-for-2 from the plate with a pair of walks. His two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth accounted for .298 WPA.
Going... Going... VAUGHN!— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) August 19, 2021
Andrew Vaughn gives the White Sox the lead! pic.twitter.com/5eyqi4LPtr
Luckiest hit: Leading off the top of the seventh inning, shortstop Elvis Andrus hit a ground ball single to first base. The single had a .070 xBA, the lowest of any base hit during the game.
Toughest out: With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the fourth, White Sox second baseman Cesar Hernandez lined out to left field. The out had an xBA of .820 and was one of two Cesar Hernandez outs that had an xBA of .610 or greater.
Hardest hit: Eloy Jimenez had the game’s last batted ball, barreling a 111.6 mph into the glove of Athletics center fielder Starling Marte. The last out of the game, Jimenez’s line drive was the hardest-hit ball of the game.
Weakest contact: With a runner on first and one out in the top of the fourth in a 1-1 tie ballgame, Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman hit a 50 mph single to White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease. Chapman’s hit was the softest hit ball of the game.
Longest hit: Chapman also had the game’s furthest hit ball. Leading off the top of the sixth, Chapman sent a solo shot 406 feet to left center field, tying the game 3-3. There were four home runs hit between the Athletics and the White Sox, and Chapman’s was the only one to travel at least 400 feet.
Magic Number: 146
The White Sox begin the first of back-to-back road series with a three-game trip to Tropicano Field against the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays. The White Sox and Rays have 146 combined wins in the 2021 season.
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 in the loss to the Athletics?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-2, R, 2 RBI, HR, 2 BB, .354 WPA
Zack Collins: 2-for-3, R, BB, .154 WPA
Ryan Burr: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 0.29 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cool Cat in the loss to the Athletics?
This poll is closed
Cesar Hernandez: 0-for-5, K, -.285 WPA
Michael Kopech: 1.0 IP, 2 ER, HR, 2 H, K, -.282 WPA
Brian Goodwin: 0-for-4, -.178 WPA