At least it wasn’t a walk-off, because as you can see in that chart right there, they never really had a chance; the White Sox were swept by the Rays and are now 7-15 on the season, their worst start since the 6-16 mark that started the 2018 campaign. Here are all the numbers. Read them, or don’t.
Oh, that 2018 White Sox team lost 100 games and by winning percentage was the seventh-worst in 122 seasons of MLB play. Still want to read all the numbers? Cool, let’s do it.
Following up his six no-hit innings last week, this afternoon was, for better or worse, what we’ve come to expect from Lucas Giolito over the last year or so: Battling without the stuff we know he’s capable of, making it work without being to keep the fastball in the yard, and ultimately, keeping the White Sox in the game through seven innings despite a suboptimal four earned runs. It’s not a quality start, but it might as well have been, given that it was the first time this season a Sox starter has recorded an out in the seventh inning, much less finished it.
Giolito’s fastball velocity was noticeably down early, and none of his stuff was primed for missing bats today, but he commanded all three pitches well enough to limit the damage to a pair of home runs from Luke Raley and Harold Ramírez. He still needs to avoid the heart of the plate more, but while more velocity will still be a difference-maker, this isn’t too far off from where you want him to be:
Overall, Giolito’s 102-pitch outing looked like this:
Making his third start for Tampa Bay since signing the biggest free-agent contract they’ve ever given to a pitcher, Zach Eflin did exactly what they’re paying him for: Induce soft contact, punch out a few guys with low-velo trickery, and hold down the fort for five innings until the Rays’ ever-nasty bullpen can finish things off. Elfin only allowed three hits today, with even the successful Sox hitters having difficulty picking up the divergent movement on his cutter and sinker, which he threw nearly 80% of the time. Despite only being at 67 pitches, Tampa Bay declined to let the offense see him a third time, leaving Elfin’s stat line at that five-inning, one-run benchmark.
Eflin’s 67-pitch outing looked like this:
It was a boring enough game that the game’s highest-pressure moment occurred before the home team even recorded an out at the plate, peaking at 2.00 LI during Brandon Lowe’s first-inning appearance against Giolito with runners on first and second and none out.
Eloy Jiménez was today’s Atlas, carrying a game-high pLI of 1.02 that he went 1-for-3 with, including a double to drive home Chicago’s only run.
He is our Father: Luke Raley’s second-inning bomb to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead also gave them .178 WPA, most valuable of any play today.
That dinger was enough to give the cake to Raley today, whose .166 WPA was enough to edge out Eflin (.155) by just a hair.
Hardest hit: Yandy Díaz graces the top of this column for the second straight day, topping the list with barrels of 112.3 mph and 108.9 mph.
Weakest contact: Seby Zavala’s 50 mph tapper in the third inning was the game’s softest ball in play.
Luckiest hit: Everyone mostly got what they deserved today: Christian Bethancourt’s second-inning double still had a .370 xBA.
Toughest out: Brandon Lowe’s eighth-inning fly out against Tanner Banks brought Luis Robert Jr. to the wall, but still only had a .520 xBA.
Longest hit: Raley’s home run was blasted 442 feet, a true no-doubter.
Magic Number: 24-46
Today was Chicago’s 70th game without a home run since the start of 2022. They are now 24-46 in such contests.
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 today’s MVP?
This poll is closed
Eloy Jiménez (1-for-3, 2B, RBI)
Lucas Giolito (7 IP, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO)
Andrew Benintendi (1-for-3, 2B, R)
Pitch Clock (2:02 Game Time)
Who was today’s Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn (0-for-4, 2 SO)
Elvis Andrus (0-for-3, 2 SO)
The Chip On Their Shoulder They Talked About For A Second There Last Month