The White Sox at the very least kept it close in the series opener with the Royals. Eloy Jiménez and Gavin Sheets had great nights, but it wasn’t enough to match the offensive power the Royals brought to the South Side.
Let’s break this game down.
Lucas Giolito had a rough start, giving up five runs on six hits and walking two. He was pulled in the top of the sixth after one out, as known White Sox killer Nick Pratto was up to bat. With three home runs and just seven strikeouts, it wasn’t Giolito’s worst outing — so there’s that? Giolito’s downfall this year has been so tough to watch.
Giolito’s 89-pitch outing looked like this:
Brady Singer started strong, keeping the White Sox scoreless through four. But then the White Sox started hitting the ball in the fifth, with five hits and four runs. Gavin Sheets brought the power with two outs and two on, and after an Elvis Andrus hit, Singer was out of the game.
Singer’s 95-pitch outing looked like this:
The once-close game seemed to again be out of reach for the White Sox after Michael A. Taylor’s single in the sixth. The bases were loaded for Jimmy Lambert, and Taylor drove in Nick Pratto and Michael Massey with two outs. The LI for the play was 3.03.
Tanner Banks came in to replace Lucas Giolito, just in time to face Nick Pratto. Banks only faced four batters — one walked, two got hits, and Banks was charged with two runs. His pLI was 1.56.
Gavin Sheets kept it close with two home-run blasts this evening. In the fifth inning, Sheets homered for the first time, scoring both José Abreu and Eloy Jiménez to pull the White Sox within one. The WPA for the Sheets’ homer was .240.
I think we all know the answer to this one. It’s Nick Pratto. He was that good tonight, with four hits, two home runs, three RBIs, and just one strikeout. His WPA was .025.
Hardest hit: Eloy Jiménez’s seventh-inning home run was pulverized at 107.6 mph.
Weakest contact: Josh Harrison’s third-inning double was lightly tapped at 66.0 mph. Thankfully, the Royals lost control of the ball and Harrison hustled to second.
Luckiest hit: Ryan O’Hearn’s seventh-inning single only had an xBA of .190.
Toughest out: Nicky Lopez, well-known for growing up in Naperville, lined out in the sixth inning. His xBA was .870.
Longest hit: Unfortunately, Nick Pratto eked out a win against Eloy Jiménez by just three feet. Pratto’s second-inning home run traveled 437 feet.
Magic Number: 17
Until tonight, it had been 17 days since the White Sox scored at least six runs in a game.
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?
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Eloy Jiménez: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, .010 WPA
Gavin Sheets: 2-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .019 WPA
José Abreu: 2-for-5, 2 R
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
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Lucas Giolito: 6 H, 3 HR, 5 ER, 2 BB, -.022 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-5, 2 K, -.012 WPA
Jimmy Lambert: 3 H, 1 ER, -.017 WPA