It’s just been an ugly, ugly season, and we’re only 25 games into it. The White Sox have not scored a run in 24 innings and its the worst 25-game start since 1986, the one and only year of Ken Harrelson’s GM tenure. At this point, I’m longing for the days of .500 baseball. At least mediocre was competitive and occasionally fun. THIS, whatever we’re watching, is just hopeless and, honestly, pretty depressing.
Today was Michael Kopech’s fifth outing of 2023. Coming off of an underwhelming 2022 season in which he went 5-9 with a 3.54 ERA, 105 strikeouts, 85 hits, and 1.19 WHIP in 119 1⁄3 innings — Kopech came out of the chute attacking batters, but it wasn’t enough. The Blue Jays chipped away and wore him down. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks and struck out four. Despite a biting velocity on his fastball which was good to see, Kopech gets tagged with the team’s seventh straight loss. Go ahead — you can open your eyes — there will be no stripping by Ozzie Guillén today.
Here are Kopech’s pitch visuals from Baseball Theater:
Kopech’s 90-pitch, five-inning outing looked like this:
The 31-year-old veteran southpaw Yusei Kikuchi made his fifth start of the season today for the Toronto Blue Jays. The hard-throwing lefty has had a solid start to the season so far this year with a now 4-0 record and a 3.00 ERA. He struggled last year in his first season north of the border, going 6-7 with a 5.19 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 124 strikeouts in 100 2⁄3 innings over 32 appearances. The Blue Jays are hopeful for a bounce-back season from Kikuchi. Today, he had a sharp, 5 2⁄3 -inning outing and completely shut down the South Siders; Kikuchi only allowed four hits, no earned runs, one walk, and eight strikeouts.
Here are Kikuchi’s pitch visuals from Baseball Theater:
Kikuchi’s 89-pitch, 5 2⁄3 -inning outing looked like this:
The Blue Jays’ first run of the game had the most squeeze. In the bottom of the third, Bo Bichette singled on a line drive to right fielder Romy González scoring Santiago Espinal. The play had an LI of 1.88.
There wasn’t a whole lot of pressure throughout this blowout game. However, George Springer felt it most, even literally on a HBP. He had the highest pLI, at 0.89.
With a double to right in the bottom of the third, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was clutch, surprising no one, scoring Springer and Bichette. The play had a .167 WPA.
Kikuchi’s pitching performance was golden today. He had a .239 WPA.
Hardest hit: Guerrero tattooed a double off of Jimmy Lambert in the bottom of the seventh at 116.7 mph.
Weakest contact: Cavin Biggio’s seventh-inning ground out was the wimpiest attempt of the day at 60.1 mph.
Luckiest hit: Bichette’s seventh-inning round-tripper was a fortuitous one, with a .180 xBA.
Toughest out: Hey, a White Sox player shows up in the stats! Jake Burger takes this one with the line out that he smoked at 97.3 mph to Bichette in the top of the second inning. It had an .950 xBA.
Longest hit: Matt Chapman’s fly out in the bottom of the third went the farthest today. Luis Robert Jr. snagged it 392 feet away, in center field.
Magic Number: 11
The South Siders put up 11 hits in three games against Toronto. The bats have been officially declared dead. RIP.
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? I know, but I have to ask.
This poll is closed
Seby Zavala: 0-for-2, 1 BB, .001 WPA
Keynan Middleton: 1⁄3 IP, 1 K, .001 WPA
Gregory Santos: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 Ks, .000 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Michael Kopech: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, -.201 WPA
Elvis Andrus: 0-for-4, 2 Ks, -.063 WPA
All of them. They stink! -.500 WPA