With yesterday’s extra-inning loss against the Tigers, today was pretty much do-or-die after the Guardians picked up the first game against the Twins in their doubleheader. This game felt like deja vu, but this time the Good Guys game out alive, winning the game, 4-3, in 11 innings.
Michael Kopech went on the IL today, and Johnny Cueto was feeling sick, so tonight we turned to Davis Martin, who would have been taking Kopech’s turn tomorrow. The White Sox spot-starter extraordinaire sure did deliver! Over six innings, he relied on his fastball the majority of the time, though his curveball was quite active and had a 35% CSW (called strike plus whiff rate). He gave up just three hits while fanning five and walking one.
Martin’s 85-pitch outing looked like this:
On the other half of the rubber, Eduardo Rodríguez had his own success against a dumbfounded White Sox lineup. The offense was struggling hard against Rodríguez, who fooled the South Siders continuously on his sinker and changeup, which he threw the majority of the time. He ultimately struck out seven Sox hitters, while giving up two runs on his 87 pitches.
Rodríguez’s outing looked like this:
Eduardo Rodríguez worked himself into a jam in the top of the seventh, leaving Jason Foley to come in and attempt to clean up his mess. AJ Pollock singled to center to score Eloy Jiménez and Yasmani Grandal to take the lead, 2-1. The LI on the play was 5.07.
Liam Hendriks faced the most pressure in back-to-back nights, topping yesterday’s pLI with a 4.02. Things got dicey in the bottom of the 10th after a pair of fly balls, but the second didn’t have the distance, and Liam got himself out of the inning unscathed this time.
Elvis Andrus made a fantastic stop on a ground ball to Riley Greene in the bottom of the eighth; however, he seemed to be stunned that Akil Baddoo was actually running from second to home on an infield single, and made an off-mark throw home that allowed the Tigers to tie the game. The WPA was .302. Between Baddoo and Andrus, you can decide who the bigger airhead was on this play.
Liam Hendriks and Alex Lange were the top performers today, at .304 WPA. Lange got out of a super-tough spot in the 10th, striking Gavin Sheets out to get out of the inning. Liam technically faced the most pressure and successfully got out of it, though, and his team won the game, so Hendriks is the winner in my book. ;)
Hardest Hit: José Abreu had the hardest hit back-to-back nights, this time on a ground out in the seventh that left the bat at 111.3 mph.
Weakest Contact: Elvis Andrus’ bunt in the third was the softest contact today, leaving the bat at just 41.6 mph. He also had the third-weakest contact on a base hit in the 11th at just 45.9 mph. Sometimes, it works!
Luckiest Hit: Yoán Moncada’s go-ahead single in the 11th had an xBA of .210.
Toughest Out: Once again, that would be Yoán Moncada, who was robbed by Akil Baddoo in the sixth. This ball had an xBA of .900. And it was his dinky grounder that was a hit and an RBI (above) — go figure.
Longest Hit: Jonathan Schoop’s fly out in the second traveled 369 fit. Nice.
Magic Number: 4
The White Sox are still four games behind the Guardians (pending the outcome of the Cleveland-Minnesota nightcap), but do just enough to keep the AL Central lead within reach, stringing us all along.
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 tonight’s MVP in the win vs. the Tigers?
This poll is closed
Yoán Moncada: 2-for-5, 2 H, RBI, K, 0.68 WPA
Davis Martin: 6 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 5 K, .138 WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1 IP, H, K, .185 K
Elvis Andrus: 1-for-5, H, K, .173 WPA
Liam Hendriks: 1 IP, 0 H, K, .304 WPA, redemption from last night
Who was the Cold Cat in tonight’s win?
This poll is closed
José Abreu: 0-for-5, 2 K, 3 LOB, -.178 WPA
Kendall Graveman: 1 IP, H, ER, BB, K, -.212 WPA
Luis Robert: 0-for-4, K, 4 LOB, -.163 WPA
Gavin Sheets: 0-for-1, PH K in 10th, -.106 WPA, third lowest WPA with only 1 AB