The White Sox were riding high by winning five of their last seven prior to today’s game, and finally winning a first and second series of the year ... it only took a month! Unfortunately, when you’re the fourth-worst team in the league, it makes it a bit more difficult to beat the second-worst team, even if your ace is on the mound.
Dylan Cease was certainly not on his A-game today, and it doesn’t feel like he has been very often all year. His fastball velocity was just fine, averaging 96.4 mph, but he wasn’t hitting his spots, and many pitches were left to hang over the plate — a perfect recipe for a seven-run disaster. The slider was Cease’s most effective pitch (34% CSW), but with so many juicy pitches for the Royals, it wasn’t slidin’ much today. He left the bottom of the sixth inning very messy for Aaron Bummer (which went as well as you expected), and ultimately got tagged for seven runs on nine hits, including a home run. Cease still struck out six, and only walked one today. He now sits at a pretty rough 5.58 ERA.
Cease’s 97-pitch outing looked like this:
Cease’s pitch mix:
Zack Greinke was on the bump for the Royals, and historically, he has been decent against the White Sox, with a 10-10 record and 3.81 ERA. A struggling, 12-win South Side team was able to make contact and get runners on base, but Greinke was able to keep them at bay throughout his 5 2⁄3 innings, giving up just three earned runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out two. Greinke worked with his six-pitch arsenal, throwing everything frequently enough, with his sinker being the most effective pitch at a 35% CSW. He now has a 5.18 ERA on the year.
His 81-pitch outing looked like this:
Greinke’s pitch mix:
Super exciting one here: Maikel Garcia walked to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, and would be Cease’s last batter of the day. The LI on the play was 2.41, just barely topping Michael Massey’s single off Aaron Bummer in the next at-bat.
Dylan Cease struggled from the very first batter of the game, and walking his last to load the bases in the sixth, for a 1.23 pLI.
MJ Melendez hit a .203 WPA, two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to put the Royals up, 3-1.
Aided by his solo shot to put the White Sox back up one in the top of the sixth, Gavin Sheets was the top performer today, with a .237 WPA.
Hardest hit: Vinnie Pasquantino’s double in the fifth left the bat at 109.5 mph.
Weakest contact: While smoking a ball earlier in the game, Gavin Sheets also had the weakest contact today, with a 49.9 mph ground out in the eighth.
Luckiest hit: Hanser Alberto’s single in the second inning had an xBA of just .040.
Toughest out: Lenyn Sosa came in to make the second-to-last out of the game, and it sure was a tough one (.740 xBA).
Longest hit: MJ Melendez’s home run just beat out Gavin Sheets’, traveling 431 feet.
Magic Number: 1
Eight of the nine batters in the White Sox starting lineup got a hit, but no one was able to get more than one. It clearly didn’t get them far, either, losing the first of four games to one of the worst teams in the league.
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 the White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, .133 WPA
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-3, HR, RBI, R, .237 WPA
Hanser Alberto: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, -.028 WPA
Kendall Graveman & Gregory Santos: 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K, .000 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-3, BB, 4 LOB, -.122 WPA
Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, HR, BB, 6 K, -.444 WPA
Aaron Bummer: 2⁄3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, BB, -.182 WPA
Adam Haseley: 1-for-4, 5 LOB, -.057 WPA