The White Sox managed to take three of the four games in Minnesota, winning an important series against the Twins before the All-Star break. The defense was hot and the bats were hotter. Everyone contributed to getting the win and shutting the Twins out. Among Dylan Cease, Joe Kelly, and José Ruiz, the Twins were held to just one hit.
Tim Anderson gets a lot of love down below, but I want to quickly highlight a few key plays because, well, this team kicked ass today.
Let's start off with Adam Engel, who had an incredible day in the outfield and at the plate.
Another great moment was Yoán Moncada’s two-run blast.
Finally, I wanted to give credit to Josh Harrison. This wasn’t his best series, but this three-run homer provided some serious insurance. Sure, it turned out not to be needed, but isn’t it fun to pile it on when you’re playing the Twins?
OK! Let’s break these numbers down.
Dylan Cease pitched a gem today. Did he get snubbed as an All-Star? Perhaps. Will it even matter when he is a Cy Young winner this season? Absolutely not. Cease dominated the Twins ,and ended the day at seven innings pitched, with just one hit, two walks, and eight strikeouts. His slider and fastball stunned Twins hitters, and in the 94 pitches, he tossed 58 strikes, of them 21 swinging strikes. Cease’s ERA now sits at just 2.15.
Cease’s 94-pitch outing looked like this:
Chris Archer looked great after coming back from injury. Through four, he was pristine alongside Cease. But the fifth inning would be challenging, as the Sox started piling on runs as Archer ran out of gas. Despite his economical pitch count, not playing for quite some time ended up being the one thing that ruined his good afternoon on the mound. Well, that and lack of run support by the Twins. Archer completed 4 2⁄3 innings, allowing five hits, one walk, five strikeouts, and four earned runs.
Archer’s 68-pitch outing looked like this:
Chris Archer faced a lot of pressure in the fifth inning, but the most came during Tim Anderson’s at-bat. Anderson singled, bringing Seby Zavala and Adam Engel home with two outs. The White Sox were finally on the board, and the play garnered an LI of 2.70.
Blowouts tend to be pretty chill games when it comes to pressure, so Tim Anderson’s 1.08 pLI was tops on Sunday.
The pressure play was also the top play for the White Sox. The Twins were unable to score, so Tim Anderson’s two-run single ended up assuring the Sox the win mid-game. The WPA for the play was .229.
Dylan Cease takes home the title today as we head to the All-Star break. Cease’s masterclass against the Twins was exactly what the White Sox needed for this series win in Minnesota. Cease carried a WPA of .282.
Hardest hit: José Abreu’s seventh-inning single was smoked at 107.9 mph.
Weakest contact: Seby Zavala’s ninth-inning single left the bat at just 74.5 mph.
Luckiest hit: OK, Abreu. The hardest hit single of his, in the seventh inning, was also the luckiest hit, with an xBA of just .320.
Toughest out: With runners on the corners and two outs in the eighth, Gavin Sheets had a chance to extend the lead, but lined out instead. Sheets’ xBA was .730 for the at-bat.
Longest hit: Yoán Moncada’s two-run home run blast in the seventh inning traveled 437 feet.
Magic Number: 500
Dylan Cease became the fastest pitcher in White Sox history to collect 500 career strikeouts. He surpassed Chris Sale (472 1⁄3 IP) today by completing the accomplishment in 394 2⁄3 IP.
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: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 8 Ks, 0.28 WPA
Tim Anderson: 1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI, 0.19 WPA
Adam Engel: 3 H, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0.04 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 3 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0.13 WPA
Josh Harrison: 2 H, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Leury García: 1-for-5, 2 K, -0.04 WPA
José Abreu (DH): 2-for-5, -0.02 WPA
Seby Zavala: 1-for-5, 1 K, -0.01 WPA
Are you serious, Chrystal? It was an 11-0 win: No one.