In one of the season's most important series, the White Sox looked to turn 2022 around against their biggest division rival. The bats were still warm from the previous game, and made up for a few defensive nightmares.
But not all of the defense was bad: Notably, former basketball turned baseball player Tim Anderson showed off his Air Jordan moves by robbing Max Kepler of a hit.
Michael Kopech had a rough start, without any real command. His pitch velocity was great, hitting the high 90s. However, a high pitch count in the first, and two White Sox defensive blunders, made Kopech’s night a lot harder than it needed to be. Kopech still provided what the Sox needed, five innings and only two runs allowed.
Kopech’s 79-pitch outing looked like this:
Devin Smeltzer also struggled a bit, loading the bases and giving up two runs in the first. It didn’t help that he’s a left-handed pitcher, and the White Sox usually hit pretty well against lefties. Smeltzer hit 67 pitches by the end of the third, and was replaced after the inning.
Smeltzer’s outing looked like this:
The Twins loaded up the bases with two outs in the first inning in an attempt to answer the two runs the White Sox scored first. And answer they did, as Alex Kirilloff doubled to right on a liner, bringing Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton home. The White Sox defense struggled, and had an LI of 3.07.
Alex Kirilloff not only brought the two runs in, but faced the most pressure this evening, with a pLI of 2.09.
Adam Engel saved the day by adding three more runs, securing another win for the White Sox. His three-run home run had a WPA of .203.
Andrew Vaughn made a run at the crown (.151 WPA), but Adam Engel prevailed, with a WPA of .155. Engel only had one hit — but it happened to be a three-run home run. Vaughn had two hits and two RBIs.
Hardest hit: There were plenty of hard-hit balls this evening, but Adam Engel’s fifth-inning ground out left the bat at 109.3 mph.
Weakest contact: José Abreu’s single in the third inning was lightly hit, at just 59.1 mph.
Luckiest hit: Andrew Vaughn’s first-inning single, which brought in two, only had an xBA of .140.
Toughest out: Luis Arráez is known for being a great hitter, but didn’t have any luck tonight against the White Sox. His seventh-inning fly out had an xBA of .750.
Longest hit: Tim Anderson’s solo home run in the fourth inning traveled 411 feet.
Magic Number: 15
Perhaps it was Adam Engel’s night, and he was certainly due for a home run. Prior to tonight, July 15, Engel, No. 15 had his last home run ... on May 15.
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
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
Adam Engel: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0.15 WPA
Tim Anderson: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0.11 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 0.15 WPA
Michael Kopech: 5 IP, 2 K, 0.08 WPA
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
AJ Pollock: 0-for-4, 1 K, -0.10 WPA
Leury García: 0-for-4, 1 K, -0.10 WPA
Josh Harrison: 0-for-4, 3 Ks, -0.06 WPA