It’s been almost two months (May 25) since the White Sox have been even one game better than .500. And if that backwards-masked answer to how the game went tonight wasn’t clear, well, the White Sox lost, 8-2, in a game that didn’t even seem that close. Cleveland outhit the White Sox, 15-7, and played errorless defense (the White Sox fumbled twice). In short, it was a typical 2022 White Sox game. The only difference was the hope White Sox fans brought into the contest, what with a hot streak to head into the break and with second place (and even, first) on the horizon.
Things have cooled, considerably.
Lucas Giolito had a splendid start last time out, taming these Guardians to the tune of one unearned run in 6 1⁄3 innings, on just five hits and a walk.
He fell somewhat short of that tonight.
Giolito needed 64 pitches to get through three frames, giving up nine hits and six earned runs and a homer, with two Ks. His ERA ballooned from 4.69 to 5.12, and his game score thudded at 12. That’s the worst he’s had all season (his average coming into tonight was 48). His velocity was down tonight, as was his east-to-west movement. While this really seemed to be a bit of a bad-luck start, given some very light exit velocities from Cleveland, exit velo doesn’t factor into the final score.
This was Giolito’s shortest outing of the season by a full inning, really the exact opposite of what the White Sox needed out of the gate. Here’s a snapshot:
Cal Quantrill earned the win tonight, with a solid, five-inning outing, giving up two earned on six hits. The righty was more about velo (up) than movement (down) tonight, but it didn’t seem to matter, as it still led to a game-high seven swing-and-misses.
Did the White Sox help? Well, here are four lackadaisical at-bats that ended in Ks, you tell me:
Quantrill’s game score was a solid 54, an improvement on his average of 50 on the year. But there was a fair amount of luck in Quantrill’s favor, given he surrendered seven hard-hit balls, compared to Giolito’s three.
Here’s how Quantrill’s 97-pitch outing looked:
You know it’s a crappy game when the top pressure comes in the fifth at-bat. Owen Miller hit a sacrifice fly to drive in José Ramírez with Cleveland’s second run of the first inning. Way back then, the White Sox still had a chance, resulting in a 1.70 LI at-bat for Miller.
When the game is flat, pressure does not exist. On the sheer merit of pitching for five innings of this game, Cal Quantrill felt the most tension, at 0.71 LI.
Yasmani Grandal just trailed him, at 0.70 LI, and you will be relieved to know that after a terrible start and extended injury/rehab stint, Grandal came back tonight with an 0-for-4, two-K effort. He did have a ground out to shortstop that cashed in his 16th RBI of the year.
Andres Gimenez clubbed a two-out dong to double Cleveland’s pleasure to 4-0, providing enough to win the game, just six batters in. Gimenez collected .147 WPA for the clout.
Just 12 pitches into the game, the boo-birds were out.
Andres Gimenez socked that homer, plus a single, for a 2-for-5 and .133 WPA night.
On the White Sox side, no one came close, but José Abreu got the honors, at .066 WPA.
Luckiest hit: In a refrain the apologists will surely sound in breaking down this game, Cleveland killed Lucas Giolito with a thousand tiny cuts, none more invisible than José Ramírez’s double in the third at-bat of the game, an .050 xBA duck fart over third base.
Toughest out: José Abreu hit a 96.4 mph screamer to right-center in the fifth, gloved despite falling for a hit 81% (.801 xBA) of the time.
Hardest hit: Andrew Vaughn murdered a single in the first inning off of Cal Quantrill, blazing off of the bat at 110.7 mph. The White Sox had three hits total in excess of 104 mph off of Quantrill.
Weakest contact: Yoán Moncada daydreamed a 60.3 mph swinging bunt in the first.
Longest hit: Andres Gimenez didn’t get “all of it,” but his 375-foot homer was enough to disturb the former goose islanders before they could even sit down to enjoy their helmet nachos in the first.
Magic Number: 6
Six years after being drafted by the Chicago White Sox, and six games into his major league career, Alex Call had his first MLB hit.
Hard-hit is any ball off the bat at 95 mph or more
LI measures pressure per play
pLId measures total pressure faced in-game
Whiff a swing-and-miss
WPA win probability added measures contributions to the win
xBA expected batting average
Could tonight’s game have gone worse? Yes, well, we’ve seen the world since 2015, so yeah, it could have. But realistically, nah. So, gimme an MVP of this slop.
This poll is closed
José Abreu: 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, .066 WPA
Jimmy Lambert: 2 IP, BB, .033 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 1-for-3, HBP and didn’t smash into a million pieces, .023 WPA
You can only pick one Cold Cat. Good luck, suckers.
This poll is closed
Lucas Giolito: 3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, HR, 2 K, -.383 WPA, 12 game score, LOSS
Josh Harrison: 1-for-3, BB, GIDP, -.070 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-4, 2 K, RBI ground out, escaped unharmed and is theoretically able to play tomorrow
White Sox Fans: For Believing