Tonight was the rubber match between the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. LA took the opener, 5-1, and surprisingly Chicago won the middle game, 8-4, on the back of hero Jake Burger. Could the Good Guys steal another victory to take the series? Sure, they could, but they didn’t because a pitcher with a 8.28 ERA heading into tonight’s game was on the mound. Yes, they tagged him for four solo shots, but he still lowered his ERA and walked away with a no-decision.
Dylan Cease has been somewhere between the best and worst version of himself this season, but he’s been pretty good as of late. He’s won his last two starts and was terrific on June 8, surrendering one run on four hits with two walks in six innings which earned him his sixth quality start of 2023. Despite outstanding spin on his fastball that puts him in the 94th percentile and a good 25 K%, batters are annihilating him with a 48 HardHit%; that’s the worst of his career and ranks at the bottom 8% of the league. He’s also still struggling with walks, owning a 10.5 BB%, and his four-seam fastball is also down a bit to 95.6 mph from 96.8 mph last season. The ace dealt tonight, until he had to fold in the bottom of the sixth when a pair of singles drove him out. He earned a no-decision, surrendering two runs on four hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts.
Here are Cease’s pitch visuals:
Cease’s 102-pitch outing looked like this:
Opposite Cease, Michael Grove took the bump today for the Boys in Blue. The Dodgers took him with the 68th overall pick (second round) of the 2018 draft. The rookie debuted in May last season and appeared in seven games with the big-league club. The 26-year-old spent most of 2022 playing for the Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City Dodgers. This season, he broke camp with the Blue Crew and struggled through four starts before hitting the injured list with a right groin strain. Heading into tonight’s contest, Grove was 0-2 with a 8.28 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, and a .305 opponent batting average in 25 innings over six appearances. Even though he struggled with the long ball today, they were all solo shots, and he earned a no-decision after giving up four runs on seven hits and one walk in five innings.
Here are Grove’s pitch visuals:
Grove’s 92-pitch outing looked like this:
Luis Robert Jr. has been hitting the cover off the ball, but in the top of the 10th, with runners on first and third with one out, he caved to the pressure and struck out looking. The play had a 5.29 LI.
We’ve got an interesting one here, with 10th-inning pinch-runner Andrew Benintendi leading the way with a 4.92 pLI for his extra-inning stolen base.
No surprise, Chris Taylor’s .399 WPA grand slam in the bottom of the sixth changed the game.
The infielder the White Sox could have had, Chris Taylor, takes the blue ribbon with a .535 WPA.
Hardest hit: Andrew Vaughn lasered a solo blast to left field at 111.7 mph in the top of the fourth.
Weakest contact: AV had the hardest and softest hit tonight. When we needed another home run, he just dribbled an eighth-inning ground out at 53.7 mph.
Luckiest hit: Miguel Rojas hit a soft single with a .120 xBA in the ninth.
Toughest out: David Peralta smacked a .700 xBA line out off Joe Kelly in the bottom of the seventh.
Longest hit: Robert jump-started the offense with a solo shot that landed 418 feet away in dead center field in the top of the first.
Magic Number: 16
Both Chicago and L.A. pitching struck out 16 batters each.
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 today?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 5 1⁄3 IP, 4H, 2 R, .192 WPA
Aaron Bummer: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K, .133 WPA
Gavin Sheets: 0-for-3, 2 BB, .164 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Reynaldo López: 2/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, -.375 WPA
Garrett Crochet: 2 BB, 1 H, 1 R, -.375 WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 2-for-5, 1 K, -.149 WPA