The White Sox (77-56) looked to keep the good vibes going from their series against the Cubs (58-75). During that series, the South Siders scored 30 runs. While the offense was not quite as lively today, it was good enough for a low-scoring victory against the Pirates (48-84). Let’s take a look at how it happened.
Lucas Giolito’s last performance against the Pirates was an impossible act to follow, so it is not disappointing that he could not replicate it. While Giolito’s threw a no-hitter against the Pirates last season on only 101 pitches (while somehow striking out 13), the Pirates made him work tonight.
Despite a lot of long at-bats from Pittsburgh, Giolito got through the first four innings unscathed. In those innings, the only hits Giolito allowed were two harmless singles in the third. However, the tall righthander ran into trouble in the fifth. After a leadoff walk and a wild pitch, a swinging bunt created problems. Giolito could not make the play, and he experienced hamstring tightness after slipping while trying to field it. Giolito had to leave the game after a few pitches to the following hitter, but hopefully, the injury is not a serious one.
Giolito finished with 4 1⁄3 innings, two runs, three hits, four walks, and five strikeouts. Here is a closer look at his performance:
Righthander Bryse Wilson struggled to keep the ball in the park against the White Sox. Yasmani Grandal and José Abreu continued their flaming-hot ways at the plate, as both of them hit a solo home run to propel the White Sox to an early, 2-0 lead.
There was also a fair amount of traffic on the basepaths in the sixth inning, just before Wilson was removed from the game. Abreu and Eloy Jiménez hit back-to-back singles against Wilson to open the inning, and that prompted a pitching change. Reliever Chase Shreve allowed both runners he inherited from Wilson to score.
While those were the only times the White Sox scored, it was far from an impressive line for Wilson. Wilson’s final line was five-plus innings, four runs, six hits, one walk, and one strikeout. Here is how the 69-pitch outing from Wilson shaped up:
When Bryan Reynolds flew out with runners on first and second with one out in the top of the fifth, there was a LI of 2.81.
On average, White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera faced the most high-pressure situations out of any player in this game, with a pLI of 2.53. Tepera took over on the mound after Giolito departed due to a hamstring injury, and he inherited a high-leverage situation.
The RBI single by Colin Moran increased the Pirates’ odds of winning the game by 14.8% (.148 WPA). Fortunately, Moran and the Pirates did not have the last laugh.
In terms of WPA, Yasmani Grandal was tonight’s top performer, finishing with at .133.
Hardest hit: Yoán Moncada’s fifth inning ground out left the bat at 109.2 mph, but unfortunately, he did not have a hit to show for it.
Weakest contact: Ben Gamel’s swinging bunt that went for a single was hit at only 44.1 mph.
Luckiest hit: Abreu’s sixth inning single had an xBA of only .100, the lowest of all hits in the game.
Toughest out: Goodwin lined out in the second inning, and this liner was crushed (102.0 mph exit velocity, 16-degree launch angle). This had an xBA of .590, but it was caught by left fielder Ben Gamel.
Longest hit: Grandal’s home run traveled 406 feet, which was enough to take the award for longest hit of the game.
Magic Number: .991
José Abreu entered tonight’s game with a .991 career OPS in the month of August, and the sample size is no longer small (214 games). He boosted his August statistics yet again with another strong performance. While August is ending, White Sox fans do not need to be sad that Abreu’s best month is coming to a close: September happens to be Abreu’s second-best month (.884 career OPS in 165 games).
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
José Abreu: 2-for-4, HR, .120 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB, .133 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 1-for-4, .079 WPA
Leury García: 1-for-1, 2B, BB, RBI, .083 WPA
Craig Kimbrel: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, .075 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert: 0-for-4, K, incredible diving catch in the 8th, -.091 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.084 WPA
César Hernández: 0-for-3, K, -.099 WPA
Ryan Tepera: 2⁄3 IP, 0 R (allowed only inherited runner to score), 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, -.017 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
It was an active night on the gamethread, with 358 comments. 1969Vikings takes the cake for total number of comments, with 57.
Ozziesox and Trooper Galactus tied for first place in the race for the comment with the most recs (two).