Welcome back home, White Sox! The White Sox faced the Mariners, a team I tend to worry about now, in a truly electric ballpark.
The long-awaited homecoming brought familiar faces and White Sox legends. Hall-of-Famer Harold Baines, who underwent a heart and kidney transplant late last year, even threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
And like every sweet story ends, the White Sox eked out a win thanks to an RBI force out.
Much to the chagrin of White Sox fans everywhere, Vince Velásquez got the start for the first home game of the season. The trust was low, but Velásquez performed fairly well, only allowing one run in the four innings pitched. His pitch count was low, and he set up a tie game for Bennett Sousa.
Velásquez’s 62-pitch outing looked like this:
In his Mariners debut, Matt Brash was truly impressive, continuing to outwit even the best of the White Sox hitters. Brash recorded six strikeouts in just over five innings, but tacked on two earned runs.
Brash’s 85-pitch outing looked like this:
Jesse Winker had a chance to at the very least tie up the game facing Aaron Bummer, but he struck out swinging instead. His LI was 3.29.
Kendall Graveman only pitched one inning, but faced the most pressure. With runners in scoring position, he managed to keep the Mariners off of the board — but not without a few split hairs from fans. Graveman’s pLI was 2.41.
Luis Robert’s hard-hit solo home run helped secure the win, with a WPA of .186.
Reynaldo López gets the nod today. In just a little more than inning pitched, López recorded two strikeouts and a WPA of 0.17. Luis Robert was close, with a WPA of 0.14.
Hardest hit: While it might have led to an out, Eloy Jiménez’s ground out in the second inning came off of the bat at 112.5 mph.
Weakest contact: Yasmani Grandal’s bat didn’t seem to harness much power today. With the ball only leaving the bat at 49.3 mph on a pop-out in the second inning he, possibly for the first time ever, had the weakest contact.
Luckiest hit: Abraham Toro’s eight-inning double only had an xBA of .020. It looked foul, and Jiménez couldn’t make it in time. Thank goodness Eloy legged the ball into the stands; it getting past him would have turned this flare into a triple or home run.
Toughest out: Jesse Winker had a very hard-hit fly out in the third inning. While the ball looked to be carrying out, Luis Robert made a very impressive catch to rob him. Winker’s xBA was .860.
Longest hit: Luis Robert’s solo homer traveled deep into right field, going 408 feet.
Magic Number: 11
Crank it up to 11.
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 your White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert: 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB, 0.14 WPA, did you see that catch???
Reynaldo López: 2 Ks, 0.17 WPA
Kendall Graveman: 1 K, 0.12 WPA
Vince Velasquez: 2 Ks, 4 IP, 0.09 WPA
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal: 1 K, -0.05 WPA
Leury García: 0-for-3, -0.08 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 0-for-4, 2 Ks, -0.06 WPA
Whoever thought players jumping out of trucks before the game would be a good idea.