For the first time since April 20th, when a loss to Cleveland brought them to 6-4, the White Sox are two games over .500 after taking their second straight against the Royals this afternoon. Lance Lynn was excellent over six innings, and while the offense made just four runs out of 11 hits, it was enough, as the intriguing Diekman-Graveman-Hendriks triumvirate kept Kansas City off the board for the final third of the game. With Cleveland and Minnesota also adding to the win column, the Sox remain one back of the former and two back of the latter in the AL Central.
Lance back? Lance back! 95 mph high fastball K-twirl? Yes please!
Lance Lynn vs Spencer Strider, K-rouettes. pic.twitter.com/5MRKlwyWZg— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 3, 2022
Despite an hour-long rain delay that could’ve disrupted even the best pitcher’s rhythm, Lance Lynn made it through six innings without giving up a homer (or three) for the second time in three starts. He ultimately made it through those six innings allowing just four hits, walking none, and striking out eight. A sixth-inning solo home run from Bobby Witt Jr. was the only blemish on his stat line.
For perhaps the first time all season, Lynn’s stuff was truly popping out of the gate tonight, reaching 96 mph twice in the fourth inning — again, after an hour of rain! — and averaging a season-high 93.5 mph on his four-seamer. Unfortunately, the average 19 inches of vertical movement and three horizontal movements are still a sharp drop-off from last season — that is to say, his fastball is straighter and flatter.
It didn’t matter against the Royals’ young lineup, though. Lynn finished with a season-high 17 swings-and-misses, and (fingers crossed) looks to finally be building up steam as we enter the all-too-familiar territory of stumbling into August while battling the Twins in an obnoxiously mediocre division race.
In any case, Lynn’s 89-pitch outing looked like this:
A white whale has been conquered! Brady Singer entered the afternoon having struck out 22 batters over his previous two starts (13 innings), not to mention a 17 2⁄3 inning scoreless streak against the White Sox, including two consecutive starts of seven shutout innings.
This time, the command of his sinker/slider combo just wasn’t there, and the Sox peppered him for 11 hits over six innings, and while they were only able to punish him once, José Abreu made sure it was enough. At the very least, Singer didn’t get away with oodles of hittable pitches that so many other mid-tier right-handers have this season. The Menechino Singles Offense (which sounds like a failed dating app) didn’t do much to make use of those 11 hits, but at least they were there?
Singer’s 94-pitch outing looked like this:
José Abreu’s highest-pressure play probably isn’t the one you think it is — it was his first-inning fly out with two on and one out, coming with a game-high LI of 1.95.
Checking in with a 1.15 pLI, Kyle Isbel’s 0-for-3 day is one of the more unremarkable Six Pack leaders of my time here.
Now, this is the one you think it is, registering .189 WPA in favor of the White Sox.
Just edging out Abreu with a .210 overall WPA, Lance Lynn carried the greatest weight on the South Side today.
Hardest hit: A routine third-inning ground out off the bat of M.J. Melendez clipped Abreu’s even 108 by .7 mph.
Weakest contact: At 59 mph, Seby Zavala’s fourth-inning pop out was the softest contact of the afternoon.
Luckiest hit: Bobby Witt Jr. got his money’s worth with his home run, but his fourth-inning single was... less deserved, so says Statcast’s .110 expected batting average.
Toughest out: José Abreu’s high-leverage fly out in the first inning had an xBA of .650, but just happened to be smoked straight at Michael A. Taylor.
Longest hit: Leading for the second straight day at 410 feet — one more time, for good measure:
Magic Number: 28
It’s been 28 days since the Sox outright lost a series. Since dropping two of three to Minnesota on July 4-6, they’ve taken a series from Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota, and now Kansas City, while splitting with Colorado and Detroit.
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 the White Sox MVP today?
This poll is closed
Lance Lynn (6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 SO)
José Abreu (3-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI)
Eloy Jiménez (3-for-4
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat today?
This poll is closed
Seby Zavala (0-for-3, SO)
AJ Pollock (0-for-3, BB)
The Weatherman (No chance of rain, huh?)