The White Sox are 8-21, winners of one straight game after Andrew Vaughn’s towering walk-off blast capped off a wild seven-run ninth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays and put a formal end to one of the worst stretches of baseball this team has seen in decades.
Drew Rasmussen was effective for Tampa Bay despite not looking his sharpest, throwing an even five innings and allowing just three runs, all earned, despite equaling a season-high with nine hits allowed. He filled up the zone with a cutter-fastball combo that were fairly effective from a swing-and-miss standpoint, but he couldn’t find the zone with his breaking balls at all, and got burned when he was forced to come over the plate with those fastballs in hitters’ counts. His ERA on the season is a respectable 3.66, and he’s quietly posted a remarkable 2.80 ERA in 237 innings (54 appearances, 44 starts) since being acquired from Milwaukee in exchange for Willy Adames in 2008.
Rasmussen’s 97-pitch outing looked this this, on the whole:
You’d think it’d be the game’s final at-bat, but the one that preceded it, Adam Haseley’s two-out, two-strike RBI single to keep the game alive, packed 6.60 LI.
Tasked with putting out the fire and getting the last out of the game with the tying and winning runs on base, Garrett Cleavinger’s 5.77 pLI was easily the most total pressure faced by any player today.
That aforementioned Haseley single gave the Sox a whopping .467 WPA, just topping Luke Raley’s go-ahead Tampa homer for the highest of the game.
Haseley’s four-hit-and-a-walk day gave him a whopping .629 cumulative WPA, the highest number I can remember on these pages for quite some time.
Hardest hit: Oscar Colás flashed some of the pop that got him to the big leagues in such a hurry with a line drive single to right field that was smoked at 113.4 mph, his hardest-hit ball of the season.
Weakest contact: The second of Adam Haseley’s four hits left the bat at just 58 mph.
Luckiest hit: Andrew Vaughn’s seeing-eye single in the first inning had just a .050 xBA, easily the lowest of the day.
Toughest out: Randy Arozarena’s third-inning fly out to the deep part of center field had a .650 xBA.
Longest hit: Luke Raley and Christian Bethancourt’s blasts to dead-center field traveled an identical 431 feet.
Magic Number: 3.3%
FanGraphs believes that if you played the rest of this season 100 times over, the White Sox would make the playoffs in three of them. That seems kind of high, actually?
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