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Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 2, Royals 0

Michael Kopech pitches the game of his life

This is how a WPA graph for a home game against the Kansas City Royals is supposed to look.
| FanGraphs

Just in a nick of time, Michael Kopech took the extra rest afforded him and spun the masterpiece of his life, anesthetizing Kansas City for eight innings of one-hit, shutout, 10-K ball. Especially notable (and, frankly, extraordinary): No walks. The White Sox did just enough on offense against the veteran Zack Greinke to win — and with Kopech firing no-hit stuff, it didn’t need to be much.

The Starters

Kopech was simply marvelous, taking a perfect game into the sixth inning, when this nonsense derailed history:

That is some serious, broken-bat bloop shenanigans. Goddammit.

This is the precision we have been dying to see from Michael Kopech. He located the hell out of the ball tonight:

Kopech’s remarkably-efficient, 98-pitch outing (12.25 pitches per frame) looked like this:

Baseball Savant

Kopech’s 4-seam was murder tonight, up 1 mph over his season average and garnering a remarkable 48% CSW — K.C. had no chance catching up with the righty. The fact that spin and movement didn’t really change much from the pitcher sporting a 5.74 ERA coming into this game indicates that before we throw a parade for our new Cy Young, a lot of Kopech’s success might have been aided by the ineptitude of the Royals offense. But still, this is the outing that White Sox fans have been hungering for.

Zack Greinke puts the cage in cagey veteran, for sure, and on any other night, his consummate vet effort would have been the game headline, or subhed. But Mikey kilt that possibility dead.

Greinke’s 86-pitch effort looked like this:

Baseball Savant

Note: Baseball Savant is an advanced tracker, but it has yet to develop metrics for in-pitch or post-pitch guttural grunts. The grid above might look a touch different, if so.

Pressure Play

Back before we knew of the masterpiece Michael was painting, Gavin Sheets singled in what would hold up as the GWRBI, in the bottom of the second. The tapper packed a 1.95 LI.

Pressure Cooker

Hunter Dozier, 0-for-3 with one of Kopey’s 10 Ks, wilted under a game-high 1.22 pLI.

Top Play

The offenses, safe to say, were not the heroes of this game. It should come as no surprise, then, that a rare sub-.100 mark for top play, a .092 WPA, was attached to Gavin Sheets’ second-inning safety.

Top Performer

I pity the fool who doesn’t recognize the only true top performer tonight was Michael Kopech, filling all the way up, with a .471 WPA.


Hardest hit Leading off the bottom of the second, Yoán Moncada yanked a single to right at 110.9 mph. He’d come around to score the first, and eventual winning, run.

Weakest contact K.C.’S Edward Olivares is going to have nightmares about Kopech’s fireball tonight, notching not just the worst, but the two worst exit velos, with a second-inning ground out the softest, at 62.2 mph.

Luckiest hit In a game consisting of six singles, all bets are off. There were no lucky hits at all tonight, but the closest we can brand as lucky was Andrew Benintendi’s sixth-inning rap, with a .410 xBA.

Toughest out We have a double (triple)-winner! Edward Olivares flared a weak-ass line out in the eighth, the second-softest contact of the game, at 63.8 mph. Why did it have a .730 xBA? Well, Olivares lined the ball right over second base for an easy, soft single — only Romy González was shading up the middle and gloved it.

Longest hit Another rarity in this crazy Kopech masterpiece: No balls were hit 400 feet. The closest didn’t even come off of Kopech, as Jackie Bradley Jr. ended the game with a 399-foot fly out to Luis Robert Jr., at the track.

Magic Number: 27

With the villainous and sole K.C. base-runner Michael Massey erased on a double play in the sixth, Michael Kopech (24 batters) and Kendall Graveman (three) combined to face the minimum 27 batters in the game.


CSW called strikes plus whiffs
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 MVP of tonight’s Michael Kopech masterpiece?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Michael Kopech: 1 hit allowed
    (1 vote)
  • 29%
    Michael Kopech: eight scoreless innings
    (7 votes)
  • 20%
    Michael Kopech: facing the minimum 24 batters
    (5 votes)
  • 8%
    Michael Kopech: 10 Ks
    (2 votes)
  • 16%
    Michael Kopech: 0 BB
    (4 votes)
  • 12%
    Michael Kopech: Pitching into the eighth for the first time in his career
    (3 votes)
  • 8%
    Michael Kopech: .471 WPA
    (2 votes)
24 votes total Vote Now


Who was the Cold Cat of tonight’s Kopech masterwork?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Michael Massey: Candy-ass, broken-bat hit to break up a perfect game
    (14 votes)
  • 16%
    The Royals, for sucking so bad we don’t know if we can trust this Kopech gem
    (4 votes)
  • 20%
    Papa Kopech, for immediately taking to Twitter to scold fans for losing any faith in his son, who brought a 0.2 WAR and 5.74 ERA into tonight’s action
    (5 votes)
  • 8%
    Zack Greinke, whose grunting was so weird and pitching so good it distracted and threatened to erase Kopech’s killer effort
    (2 votes)
25 votes total Vote Now


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