Chicago went into the battle of the Sox over the weekend, looking for some home cooking and to take the season series, which was tied at two after splitting four games in Boston back mid-April. After tonight’s loss in extras, the season series is deadlocked again. The quick turnaround for Sunday afternoon’s rubber match will, therefore, decide the season series with the Red Sox.
Dylan Cease went into Saturday evening's game for the White Sox looking to continue riding on his career-best season so far. He would get into a first-inning jam before pitching out of it with three strikeouts, to give him 200 on the season and keep the game scoreless. Cease would strike out five through the first two innings, and looked like he could possibly go several innings before completely falling apart in the third inning, giving up seven runs. His outing broke down like this.
On the Boston side, Connor Seabold made his major league debut, going a pretty solid three innings and giving up just two runs on just three hits with two walks. He got a bit of luck, too, by getting balls hit by Luis Robert and José Abreu at 102 and 104 mph, respectively, turning into outs in the first inning. The only runs Seabold gave up were a two-run homer to Leury García in the bottom of the second.
With the White Sox down, 9-8, and a chance to tie or win it in the bottom of the 10th, Brian Goodwin hit a hard grounder to second that unfortunately ended the game for Chicago in a tough, hard-fought loss. The grounder had a leverage index of 7.25, the highest of the game.
Nobody faced as much pressure in tonight’s game as Danny Mendick, who struck out pinch-hitting in the bottom of the 10th with the White Sox down 9-8, totaling a pLI of 7.25.
Luis Robert’s two-out, bases-clearing, three-run triple cut the White Sox deficit to one in a five-run fourth had the game’s highest WPA, at .235 Unfortunately for the White Sox, it wouldn't be enough for victory.
Josh Taylor, who went one scoreless inning for his first career save, was the top performer with a .447 WPA to help Boston stay atop of the first wild-card spot in the American League.
Hardest hit: Hunter Renfroe scorched a line-drive single in the ninth off of Liam Hendriks that was the biggest rocket of the day, reaching 109.8 mph with a .690 xBA.
Weakest contact: Kevin Plawecki’s sharp ground out, for the second out in the top of the 10th, came in at just a measly 34.2 mph.
Luckiest hit: Yoán Moncada’s two-out, opposite-field RBI double in the fourth that tied the game at 7-7 was actually the luckiest hit of the night, with an xBA of only .120.
Toughest out: Hunter Renfroe didn’t get much luck with a fourth inning ground out he hit sharply to Leury García at short, for the second out of that inning. Renfroe drove the ball 108.3 mph, with an xBA of .250.
Longest hit: Leury García's two-run homer in the bottom of the second to give the White Sox an early 2-0 lead was a 427-foot, no-doubter to right.
Magic number: 11
Despite the hard-fought loss, Cleveland lost again, bringing the White Sox magic number to clinch the division and playoffs to just 11.
Who was the MVP in tonight’s loss?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert (4-for-5, three doubles, three RBIs and a run)
Yasman Grandal (3-for-5, home run, RBI and three runs)
Michael Kopech (2 1/3 scoreless innings with five strikeouts and no hits with a walk)
Who was the Cold Cat of tonight’s loss?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease (2 2/3 innings, allowing seven earned runs on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts)
Craig Kimbrel (one inning, one earned run on one hit with a wild pitch and strikeout)
José Abreu (0-for-4 with a walk and strikeout, as well as hitting into two double plays with RISP)
South Side Roll Call
A playoff-like atmosphere both in the stands at the game and for those watching and/or following along from home led to a second straight active night on the gamethread, with tonight running up 367 comments. It was AnoHito who was back with 49 comments, and the win.
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No telling if it was due to another very competitive game, but there was plenty of green tonight, with Pointerbabe’s comment about her sister treating her to the Guaranteed Rate Club as a belated birthday gift well outpacing everyone, with nine recs: