After dropping a three-game series in Kansas City against the Royals (62-76), the White Sox (80-58) looked to right the ship in Oakland against the Athletics (74-64). Fortunately, starter Jimmy Lambert exceeded expectations, and the bullpen was reliable Tuesday night. Liam Hendriks pitched very well in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his 33rd save of the season. Let’s observe how it all unfolded.
Jimmy Lambert, who only had 10 major league innings under his belt entering tonight, came in with low expectations. While Lambert ran into trouble early, he did not run into trouble often during his five-inning outing.
Lambert allowed a leadoff double to Josh Harrison in the first, and Harrison came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Matt Olson. The second inning was also a bit of a struggle for Lambert, as he allowed the first two Athletics to reach base safely. However, Lambert worked his way out of trouble, and nobody else reached scoring position against him.
Lambert finished with five innings, one runs, three hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Here is a closer look at his 70-pitch performance:
The White Sox made righthander James Kaprielian work hard, as Kaprielian threw 92 pitches before being removed after four innings. Despite the many long plate appearances, Kaprielian only allowed one run in his four innings on the mound.
Like Lambert, Kaprielian struggled in the first inning but did not allow any runs after that. The first three White Sox to face him reached base, and a nine-pitch walk to Yasmani Grandal forced in the first run of the game. Kaprielian loaded the bases in the third, but Andrew Vaughn popped out in foul territory to end the threat. Kaprielian got a no-decision, as he left when the game was tied at one.
Here is how the 92-pitch outing from Kaprielian shaped up:
That foul pop fly by Andrew Vaughn with the bases loaded and two outs in the third had a LI of 3.27, the highest of the game.
On average, Athletics reliever A.J. Puk faced the most high-pressure situations out of any player in this game, with a pLI of 1.99. Fortunately, most of these high-leverage interactions went the South Siders’ way, as Puk ended with -.383 WPA.
The two-run single by César Hernández increased the South Siders’ odds of winning the game by 13.8% (.138 WPA). That single gave the White Sox a pair of insurance runs and made the score 4-1.
In terms of WPA, Yasmani Grandal was tonight’s top performer, finishing with at .165.
Hardest hit: Matt Olson’s sixth inning ground out left the bat at 113.2 mph, but he had nothing to show for it.
Weakest contact: By contrast, Yoán Moncada’s sixth inning ground out had an exit velocity of only 48.9 mph.
Luckiest hit: The eighth inning single by Yan Gomes had an xBA of only .060, but luck was on his side.
Toughest out: Starling Marte lined out in the first inning (109.4 mph exit velocity, 17-degree launch angle). This had an xBA of .690, but Luis Robert tracked it down in center field.
Longest hit: Nobody homered in this game, but Matt Olson hit a 381-foot fly out in the third inning to claim this award.
Magic Number: 15
Including tonight, Jimmy Lambert has pitched 15 innings in the majors. Given his limited experience, he exceeded expectations by allowing only one run in five innings against a team that had been averaging 4.53 runs per game. With this strong performance, Lambert got his first career major league victory. The pitcher win can be a highly misleading metric, but in this case, Lambert deserved it and got it.
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
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-3, 2 BB, .165 WPA
Yoán Moncada: 3-for-5, 2 2B, .096 WPA
Leury García: 3-for-4, 2B, HBP, .049 WPA
Jimmy Lambert: 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, .155 WPA
César Hernández: 2-for-5, 2 RBI, .090 WPA
Brian Goodwin: 1-for-2, 2 RBI, .041 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-5, -.186 WPA
Ryan Burr: 1⁄3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K, -.027 WPA
South Side Sox Roll Call
There were 283 comments on tonight’s gamethread, which is pretty many considering the late start time. Nello Rubio claims the gold medal for total number of comments, with 37.
Pointerbabe and Right Size Wrong Shape tied for first place in the race for the comment with the most recs (four).