The White Sox (85-65) started their three-game series against the Tigers (73-78) on Monday, and the Good Guys could not come out on top. After scoring three in the top of the third, the South Siders struggled the rest of the way. Let’s observe the details behind the close loss in Detroit.
Things did not go as planned for White Sox starter Carlos Rodón. Rodón got through the first two innings without much trouble. However, his velocity was lower than usual, and he finally ran into trouble in the third. The first four opposing hitters reached base that inning, though the last one did so via error. Regardless, shortly after the White Sox took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, Rodón and the White Sox quickly lost that lead, and the score remained 3-3 until long after the starters were out of the game.
The worst news is that Rodón was removed from the game after the rough third inning despite having thrown only 69 pitches. Normally, Rodón would have come out for at least another inning, but Rodón experienced enough pain for him to be removed from the game. After the game, Tony La Russa that that he is “doubtful” that Rodón will be pitching again by next week. Let’s hope the soreness that Rodón described turns out not to be a long-term issue. The lefthander has dealt with more than his share of arm injuries already.
Rookie Matt Manning also got through the first two innings unscathed before struggling in the third. After a seven-pitch leadoff walk to Brian Goodwin, a single by Tim Anderson, and a hit by pitch to Luis Robert, the White Sox had the bases loaded with no outs. After an RBI force out by Yoán Moncada, a sacrifice fly by Yasmani Grandal, it was a 2-0 ballgame. Then, with two outs, Eloy Jiménez crushed an RBI double to right-center that nearly got out.
Outside of that three-run third inning, though, Manning was relatively difficult to solve. Manning lasted five innings, and he only allowed those three runs on four hits.
Here is a closer look at Manning’s 90-pitch outing:
When Gavin Sheets led off the top of the ninth, the White Sox trailed by a score of 4-3. A walk or a hit would have been quite helpful for the team’s win probability, but Sheets was unable to reach base, as he grounded out. This plate appearance had a LI of 2.93, which was the highest of the game.
On average, Tigers shortstop Harold Castro faced the most high-pressure situations out of any player in this game, with a pLI of 2.82. Castro entered the game in the seventh inning, and he only had one plate appearance, but he made it count.
The go-ahead RBI single by Harold Castro increased the Tigers’ odds of winning the game by 26.3% (.263 WPA). The fact that there were two outs also worked in favor of this hit’s impact on the game.
In terms of WPA, Castro was tonight’s top performer, finishing with .263.
Hardest hit: Yasmani Grandal’s sacrifice fly in the third left the bat at 105.7 mph.
Weakest contact: By contrast, Jonathan Schoop’s ground ball in the third inning that resulted in an error was hit at only 53.2 mph.
Luckiest hit: The fifth inning double by Schoop only had an xBA of .080. The runner-up for this award goes to the big RBI single by Castro (.140 xBA).
Toughest out: Grandal’s sacrifice fly (105.7 mph exit velocity, 12-degree launch angle) had an xBA of .860.
Longest hit: The RBI double by Eloy traveled 380 feet, which was more than any other batted ball in this game.
Magic Number: .113
Detroit won tonight’s game despite having an xBA of only .113. This was significantly lower than the South Siders’ xBA of .250. However, luck was on Detroit’s side, and they managed to get hits when it was most important.
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 Ruiz: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K, .131 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-2, BB, RBI, .031 WPA
Luis Robert: 1-for-3, HBP, .015 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, -.024 WPA
Ryan Burr: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K, .091 WPA
Garrett Crochet: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, .078 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
César Hernández: 0-for-4, fielding error, -.166 WPA
Craig Kimbrel: 1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K, -.216 WPA
Carlos Rodón: 3 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K, -.152 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
There were 286 comments on tonight’s gamethread, and 1969Vikings claims the gold medal for total number of comments, with 44.
BillyK0chFanClub collected two recs on one of his comments, which was the most from Monday night’s game. Indeed, Kimbrel played a big role in this game, and luck was not on his side. The .140 xBA single against him proved to be the play of the game.