For the first time in three seasons of covering this team, I’m at a loss for words. After climbing up from an early 4-0 lead for the Rays, an inning of SIX WALKS, and the lead for more than half of the game, the White Sox still lost. The Rays are still undefeated at home and the White Sox stay undefeated when it comes to finding the dumbest ways to lose.
Michael Kopech did that thing where he started off hot, gave up four runs, and rebounded from that stress. Very hot and cold, but when he was hot — I’m talking flirting with a fastball velocity of 100 mph — he was hot. Both the fastball and the slider were a thing of beauty tonight and caused plenty of strikeouts, nine to be exact. He was charged with five earned runs on six hits in the five innings he pitched. Not great. But if he can average 97 mph, I’ll feel better about his chance of improving over the course of the season.
Kopech’s 104-pitch outing looked like this:
Ahead of the start time, it was announced that this would be a bullpen game for the Rays. They started Calvin Faucher, known for throwing a good slider, but hasn’t been a starter since 2014 in junior college. He was expected to pitch four innings. He barely made it through two before being replaced by an equally bad, if not worse, Jalen Beeks.
How did that work out for Jalen and the rest of the pen?
Faucher’s 46-pitch outing looked like this:
Brandon Lowe’s two-run home off Reynaldo López put the nail in the coffin for the White Sox. The LI for the play was 5.41.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise — Reynaldo López had a terrible ninth inning, giving up two runs that allowed the Rays to take the game at the last minute, under 3.44 pLI.
This is all going to be about Brandon Lowe’s home run. The WPA for the home run was .692.
Brandon Lowe kept the Rays on top with a walk, a hit, two runs, two RBIs, and a home run. His WPA was .595.
Hardest hit: Oscar Colás singled in the second with the ball coming off the bat at 111.1 mph.
Weakest contact: Another second-inning single, this time from Elvis Andrus, left the bat at 80.9 mph.
Luckiest hit: Yasmani Grandal’s second-inning single had a measly .160 xBA.
Toughest out: Wander Franco’s first-inning line out had an xBA of .590.
Longest hit: Harold Ramirez’s home run traveled 415 feet.
Magic Number: 6
The White Sox managed to walk six times in the third inning, And it was not a fever dream. Even Jason and Gordon were questioning everything in the booth.
This was also the most walks drawn in an inning by the White Sox since at least 1969.
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?
This poll is closed
Oscar Colás: 1 H, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 0.12 WPA
Elvis Andrus: 1 H, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 0.17 WPA
Andrew Benintendi: 2 H, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 0.08 WPA
Lambert/Graveman/Bummer: 1 H, 5 Ks, 0 ER, 0 BB
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Reynaldo López: 3 H, 2 HR, 3 ER, -0.92 WPA
Luis Robert Jr.: 0-for-6, 2 Ks
Michael Kopech: 6 H, 1 HR, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9Ks