For the second time in two months, the White Sox decided that they could do without an easily-sweepable two wins against the Rockies, settling for a split and a four-game deficit in the AL Central after this afternoon’s 3-0 shutout loss. Although Dylan Cease didn’t have Cy Young stuff, the ol’ potatoes-on-the-scoreboard offense made it moot. There’s little to say about this loss that hasn’t already been said about dozens of others this season, so let’s get right to the numbers, shall we?
Imagine being told in April or May 2019 that a five-inning, three-run, eight-strikeout start from Dylan Cease would register as disappointing. Cease didn’t have the command that’s allowed him to bolster his Cy Young campaign with efficient six- and seven-inning starts as of late, today taking 55 pitches to get through the first two innings and allowing an uncharacteristic six hits along with those three runs. His velocity was down a tick this afternoon, sitting in the 96-97 mph range without the usual pops of 98 and 99 mph when something extra was needed. More importantly, the control and bite on his slider simply wasn’t there today, as Colorado hitters were able to avoid swinging at it out of the zone nearly entirely. All in all, Cease’s 107 pitches looked like this:
Kyle Freeland opened the game by throwing 87 mph sinkers for his first inning or two or work, leading me to believe that his first inning or two wouldn’t be terribly far removed from his last inning or two. Clearly, my intuition was incorrect, as Freeland remained on the mound for another five innings after than first inning or two, getting Sox hitters to roll his high-80s fastball and slurvy slider onto the ground and high into the air over and over again, with little in the way of hard contact to show for it. On the whole, Freeland finished with 6 2⁄3 shutout innings, working around seven hits and three walks along the way. The numbers on his 97-pitch outing looked like this:
Noted Tim Anderson hater Randal Grichuk popped out to first to end the first inning with the bases loaded and a game-high LI of 2.87.
Yoán Moncada’s 1.34 pLI was the highest cumulative total of the game.
The Alan Trejo double that opened the scoring also doubled as the most critical play of the day, adding .124 to Colorado’s chances on the afternoon.
Kyle Freeland’s .320 cumulative WPA on the afternoon was easily tops on both sides of the baselines.
Hardest hit: AJ Pollock led the day with an eighth inning ground out that was unremarkable — except for the fact that it flew off the bat at 110 mph.
Weakest contact: CJ Cron’s tap-out to conclude the second inning left the bat at a game-low 50 mph.
Luckiest hit: The Ryan McMahon single that led off the game had a minuscule .010 xBA, easily the lowest of any hit today.
Toughest out: What goes around, comes around: McMahon’s second at-bat resulted in a line out with a .670 xBA.
Longest hit: Are you sick of Ryan McMahon yet? He followed up that line out with a double that traveled 377 feet, the longest shot of the game.
Magic Number: 17
Today, it’s the Tragic Number, as with today’s loss and Cleveland’s comeback win against the Angels, the White Sox are a combination of 17 losses and Guardians wins away from officially missing the playoffs in 2022. Ask me at the parade, though.
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
Andrew Vaughn (2-for-3, 2B, BB)
Elvis Andrus (2-for-4)
Miguel Cairo (Lost The Game But Still Isn’t Tony La Russa)
Who was the White Sox cold cat today?
This poll is closed
AJ Pollock (0-for-4, 2 SO,4 LOB)
Yoán Moncada (1-for-4, 2 SO)
José Abreu (0-for-3, BB)