Sunday’s rubber match pitted two teams with playoffs aspirations, so it should be no surprise that all three games over the weekend had a playoff atmosphere — with each decided by one run.
Exactly a month after Tim Anderson walked off the Yankees in dramatic fashion for the Field of Dreams game, his replacement at short, Leury “Legend” García, brought some dramatics of his own by hitting his own walk-off home run with two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the White Sox their ninth walk-off this season.
Lance Lynn, in his first start back from the injured list on Sunday afternoon, was looking to get back on track and improve his AL Cy Young chances again. Lynn completely dominated over five scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out nine, with 13 swing-and-misses. It was a mostly fastball- and cutter-driven start from Lynn, where he topped out at 96.8 mph.
On the Boston side, it was originally supposed to be former one-time White Sox ace, Chris Sale, going against his former team. But due to getting Covid, the start ended up going to Nick Pivetta instead. Pivetta, surprisingly, fared pretty well. Pitching 5 1⁄3 innings, allowing an unearned on three hits with five walks.
A sacrifice fly by Alex Verdugo tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the ninth. Was the biggest pressure play, coming in at a leverage index of 7.55.
Nobody faced as much pressure in this afternoon’s game as Verdugo, totaling a pLI of 2.93. He went 0-for-3, but accounted for Boston’s only run, with a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
It should be no surprise that Leury García's walk-off with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth to win the game had the game’s highest WPA, at .464.
Leury García only had one hit in the game, but it was the biggest by far. So it should be no surprise he’s also the game’s top performer, with a .338 WPA.
Hardest hit: Yasmani Grandal's sharp leadoff single in the bottom of the second that extended his current on-base streak to 28 games was the hardest-hit ball of the afternoon, coming in at 108.4 mph and a xBA of .530.
Weakest contact: Seby Zavala's sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the sixth set up the first White Sox run and had the weakest contact, coming in at just a measly 23.6 mph.
Luckiest hit: José Iglesias got one of the two hits off of Lance Lynn, with a dribble single in front of the plate that White Sox catcher Seby Zavala should have just let roll foul in the top of the third. It was the luckiest hit of the game, with an xBA of only .160.
Toughest out: César Hernández hit a sharp ground ball to short that turned into a force out to end the bottom of the seventh. It was hit at 110 mph, with an xBA of .170.
Longest hit: The lone home run, from García, was the longest hit, at 430 feet.
Magic Number: 9
With the win and a Cleveland loss the White Sox magic number to clinch was whittled down to just nine.
Who was the "MVP" in this afternoon’s victory?
This poll is closed
Leury García (1-for-4 with walk-off home run, a run and RBI)
Lance Lynn (5 scoreless innings with two hits and nine strikeouts)
Luis Robert (1-for-3 with a walk and RBI, plus great defensive play for double play)
Who was the Cold Cat of today’s victory?
This poll is closed
Eloy Jiménez (0-for-4 with three strikeouts and three LOB)
José Abreu (0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts, as well as two LOB)
Craig Kimbrel (An inning with one earned run, a hit, two walks and two strikeouts, plus a blown save)
South Side Roll Call
With every game of the series decided by a run, it should be no surprise we had another big comment thread, with 291 comments, despite the quick turnaround afternoon start after a late night game, and football Sunday. With 59 comments, baines03 ran away with the top prize.
|13||David John Craven||7|
|22||Right Size Wrong Shape||2|
|26||Oscar Lamar and Lemon||1|
There was a smattering of green today, none more green than WIN05, who got five recs as part of a thread on Kimbrel: