The White Sox (72-54) looked to reverse their recent mini-slump, as they had lost three of their last four games entering tonight. Things appeared to be turning around, as the South Siders used a high-quality effort from Lynn and some BABIP luck to score the first run of the game. However, the Blue Jays (65-58) came back to take the series opener. Let’s take a look at how it happened.
Lance Lynn, who is having an outstanding season, pitched another masterpiece. The Blue Jays did very little against him in the first five innings. Even when they managed to put a runner on base, Lynn did a great job of shutting down the threat.
The only hiccup came in the sixth inning, when Toronto made much more solid contact than in any other inning against Lynn. Reese McGuire led off with a double, but the White Sox caught a break when McGuire tried to advance to third on a ground ball. César Hernández made an aggressive but great play to nail McGuire for out No. 1. After a ground out that advanced Bo Bichette to second, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. came through with a clutch single to drive in the tying run.
Lynn finished with seven innings, one run, four hits, no walks, four strikeouts. Here is a closer look at his 86-pitch performance:
Rookie righthander Alek Manoah, who made his second career appearance against the White Sox, also had a very successful outing.
Like Lynn, Manoah got through the first five innings unscathed before running into some trouble in the sixth. During that inning, the White Sox used three consecutive singles to get on the board. Even those batted balls were unlikely to get through for hits (xBAs of .430, .230, and .180), but the White Sox were due for some good luck.
Manoah’s final line was six innings, one run, five hits, three walks, and five strikeouts. Here is how the 108-pitch (#108ing?) outing from Manoah shaped up:
The wild pitch by Craig Kimbrel with runners on first and third and two outs in the top of the eighth registered a LI of 3.83. This pitch, which catcher Seby Zavala could not handle, allowed the decisive run to cross the plate.
On average, Blue Jays pinch-runner Breyvic Valera faced the most high-pressure situations out of any player in this game, with a pLI of 3.11. Valera was only in the game during high-leverage at-bats, and he ended up scoring the winning run.
It’s that wild pitch again. It improved Toronto’s odds of winning the game by 24.6% (.246 WPA). By the time pinch-runner Breyvic Valera scored and Guerrero Jr. advanced to third, the Blue Jays chances stood at 85.5%.
In terms of WPA, we have a tie for tonight’s top performer. Both Lynn and Valera registered a WPA for the game of .289.
Hardest hit: Bo Bichette’s third inning ground out left the bat at 110.7 mph, but he did not have anything to show for it except for this award.
Weakest contact: Danny Mendick’s pop out in the sixth was hit at only 37.2 mph.
Luckiest hit: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a double in the seventh that fell right between Andrew Vaughn and Luis Robert. While Gurriel’s fly ball had plenty of hang time, Robert was set up in right-center, so he had a very long way to go.
Toughest out: A fifth inning line out by César Hernández had an xBA of .820.
Longest hit: If you love long homers, this was not the game for you. Nobody hit a home run in this game, and the longest batted ball was a fourth inning line out by Corey Dickerson (379 feet).
Magic Number: .138
After a strong start with the White Sox, César Hernández has gotten cold at the plate. His most recent extra-base hit was a home run on August 7 against the Cubs. Since that day on the North Side, Hernández is 8-for-58 (.138 batting average, .138 slugging percentage). The White Sox would greatly benefit from more production from him, especially when he is leading off, as he was tonight.
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
Lance Lynn: 7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 K, .289 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-4, RBI
Yoán Moncada: 2-for-4, R
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Craig Kimbrel: 1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, -.215 WPA
Seby Zavala: 0-for-3, 2 K, -.099 WPA
Danny Mendick: 0-for-3, -.127 WPA
José Abreu: 0-for-3, K, -.162 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
It was an active night on the gamethread, which we love to see. 1969Vikings takes the cake for number of comments, with 48.
Right Size Wrong Shape takes the gold medal for the comment with the most recs (six). The thread, and even many White Sox fans off the thread, did go crazy tonight.