Happy Jackie Robinson Day! April 15 will always be my favorite regular season day. I love the celebration that Jackie Robinson deserves, and every player wearing 42 on their backs.
The White Sox faced the American League East champion Rays. The night was cold and windy, and most of the balls that typically would be summer home runs were caught at the warning track.
Dylan Cease stunned the Rays in the first three innings, and labored ever so slightly in the fourth. His fifth inning was clean, and he was looking great in the sixth. Cease hit 91 pitches and was pulled during the sixth inning, with eight strikeouts and only three hits. Unfortunately, Cease was charged with a run from Aaron Bummer’s abysmal performance.
Cease’s 91-pitch outing looked like this:
Drew Rasmussen had the weather and Kevin Kiermaier on his side tonight. The Rays starter had five hits, three earned runs, and only two strikeouts.
Rasmussen’s 68-pitch outing looked like this:
With a chance to tie up the game, Kevin Kiermaier struck out swinging with a runner on base and zero outs. Kiermaier’s LI was 2.87.
With the game on the line and the collective stress of players and fans on his back, Liam Hendriks faced a lot of pressure to close out the game. His pLI was 2.84.
Yandy Diaz gave the White Sox a little scare when he knocked in Ji-Man Choi to trim the Chicago lead to 3-2. Despite a batted ball that is an out 84% of the time, Diaz’s safety gave the Rays a WPA of .120.
Dealin’ Dylan Cease gave the White Sox the best chance to win tonight, with consistent lights-out innings against the Rays. Cease’s WPA was 0.29.
Hardest hit: Manual Margot’s seventh-inning single off Aaron Bummer came off the bat at 110.4 mph. Gavin Sheets’ second-inning double left the bat at 109.7 mph in a close second.
Weakest contact: Wander Franco’s fourth-inning single off Dylan Cease left the bat at only 70.0 mph.
Luckiest hit: Andrew Vaughn had a lucky hit in the seventh inning, singling with an xBA of .140.
Toughest out: It seemed like Ji-Man Choi might get on base in the second inning, but hit a line out instead. His xBA was .890.
Longest hit: Jake Burger’s solo home run traveled 430 feet. That is why we call them Burger bombs.
Magic Number: 42
Perhaps serendipity is to blame, but Gavin Sheets had his 42nd career hit during tonight’s game. Here’s to you, Jackie!
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
Dylan Cease: 5.2 IP, 8 Ks, 0.29 WPA
Jake Burger: 2 Hits, 1 R, 2 RBIs, 0.11 WPA
Kendall Graveman: 1 IP, 2 Ks, 0.11 WPA
Gavin Sheets: 1 R, 1 Hit, 0.11 WPA
Who was you White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert: 0-4, 1 K, -0.07 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 0-3, -0.06 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 0-3, 1 K, -0.04 WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, -0.06 WPA