The Angels are in town, after being swept by the Marlins. The White Sox also just lost three of four to the Tigers. Both teams look a little defeated right now, but that didn’t stop fans from crowding the ballpark for the return of Liam Hendriks. Yeah, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are cool, but Liam was the star of the show.
Can a pitcher have a terrible start, yet throw a ton of strikes? Michael Kopech had everyone frustrated with his lack of command and terrible fastball. All this coming off two incredible starts that actually brought his ERA way down. As we all know, walks will always come back to bite, and when you’re facing off against two of the best hitters in the game, it will really bite you in the ass.
Kopech’s pitch count was high, at 102 through 4 1⁄3 innings. He walked two, but also struck out 10, including the two best hitters in the league.
Kopech’s 102-pitch outing looked like this:
Griffin Canning didn’t have a great night, either. However, his changeup was beautiful throughout the six innings pitched. He allowed six hits, two home runs, and three earned runs, but struck out nine without allowing a walk. Canning was economical with his pitches, at 87 through six; obviously not allowing batters to draw walks certainly helped.
Here’s the breakdown:
In an actual game on-the-line 4.66 LI situation in the ninth with two on, one out, and just down by two, Jake Burger couldn’t hit with his usual power, and flew out to shortstop.
It was his only at-bat of the game, so Jake Burger also walked away with a 4.66 pLI after failing to bring any players home in the ninth.
Brandon Drury’s homer brought Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani home in the first inning. With the White Sox struggling to make up the deficit throughout the game, Drury was able to claim a .238 WPA.
We were so close to this being Andrew Vaughn (.203), but Brandon Drury walked away with a .225 WPA as the best in the game.
Hardest hit: The White Sox were in the top three! Luis Robert Jr.’s ground out left the bat at 108.0 mph, followed by Romy González’s home run at 106.1 mph and Eloy Jiménez’s home run at 106.0 mph.
Weakest contact: Andrew Benintendi’s grounder in the eighth was lightly tapped at 52.6 mph.
Luckiest hit: Mickey Moniak’s double in the eighth was not only rude, but it also shouldn’t fallen fair in the first place (.150 xBA).
Toughest out: Tim Anderson wasn’t helping his team at all, especially when he hit a line out in the eighth with an .890 xBA.
Longest hit: That home run from Romy was not only tattooed off the bat, it traveled 423 feet.
Magic Number: 31
I knew this game would be emotional. As someone that absolutely hates to cry and show emotion, I shed quite a few tears from pregame to postgame. Liam Hendriks could’ve walked to the mound and given up five runs, and I wouldn’t care at all. The only thing I care about is that our closer is healthy, cancer-free, and back on that mound again. Cancer is something that takes so much from us. I doubt anyone reading this has never had to deal with cancer; it could be you, someone you love, someone you’ve lost, and our closer.
Everyone knows Hendriks is tough, and beating cancer after announcing his diagnosis at the beginning of the year further proves that. It also turned him into an inspiration for others battling that fight. And while fighting his own battle, he still put others' needs in front of him. From treating hospital workers and the entire staff and team (and the opposing team) during his rehab assignment to writing a large check to purchase wigs for cancer patients at the Mayo Clinic, he fought with grace.
Who cares about the score? Liam Hendriks is back, and Kristi Hendriks is in a suite cheering on her husband (and swearing after some terrible calls — I mean, that was strike three, ump). That’s what matters.
To those that have lost someone to this awful disease, my heart is with you always. I can’t imagine the emotions you felt as Queen started playing at the ballpark.
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 your White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Eloy Jiménez: 2 H, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0.06 WPA
Romy González: 1 H, 1 HR, 0.06 WPA
Andrew Vaughn: 2 H, 1 HR, 0.20 WPA
Santos & Middleton: 0 H, 3 Ks, 0.14 combined WPA
Liam Hendriks: Beating cancer
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert Jr.: 0-for-4, 3 Ks, -0.10 WPA
Yoán Moncada: 0-for-4, 3 Ks, -0.10 WPA
Michael Kopech: 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 10 Ks, -0.23 WPA
Tim Anderson: 1-for-4, 1 K, -0.04 WPA, bad defense
That home plate ump — that was clearly a strike!