The White Sox won their series against the Red Sox today in a game that, if it were a gas station pump, would have a big sticker with the words “I DID THAT!” plastered across it, but with a picture of Luis Robert Jr. after a home run swing that was placed there by me instead of a photo of Joe Biden that was attached by a wannabe-insurrectionist in a shiny F250 with an empty pickup bed. The White Sox are now 34-45, which is still at least six or seven games too far under .500 for me to come up with something better than that. So let’s get back to the stats.
The Tanner Banks/Jesse Scholtens tandem worked considerably better this afternoon than it did against Texas earlier in the week. Things looked dubious early on, when Banks put two on with no outs and then later loaded the bases, but struck out the side to work out of the jam. Now, Pedro Grifol did his best to set Banks up for further failure by leaving him in the game to face Masataka Yoshida after back-to-back walks and an Adam Duvall double. Fortunately, Banks retired Yoshida, and his day was complete with just a single run on his line over 2 2⁄3 IP.
Here’s the pitch breakdown:
To answer your question, yes, Boston starter Kutter Crawford does throw a cutter. It was a pretty solid one today, too, generating a 31% CSW that was only his third-highest on a pitch today. White Sox hitters weren’t able do much with Crawford’s breaking pitches, and they weren’t too much better against the tunnel created by his four-seam/cutter combination. He only made a few serious mistakes, and unfortunately for him, two of those mistakes were made to Luis Robert Jr., and neither of them stayed in the yard, running Crawford’s stat line to four earned runs over 5 1⁄3 IP. Here’s what his other 92 pitches looked like, on the whole:
It was a pretty low-leverage contest today, but things got hot in the second inning, when Tanner Banks put the first two men on base, and then loaded them up after striking out Bobby Dalbec and Christian Arroyo. Caleb Hamilton’s two-out AB in this scenario ran a game-high 3.04 LI. Fortunately for us, Banks channeled his inner Orlando Hernández and worked his way out of the jam with a strikeout.
As Dalbec was replaced by lefty-swinging Triston Casas after that one strikeout against Banks, his pLI froze at a game-high 2.00.
The first of Robert’s dinger duo was the real killer, chalking up .243 WPA for the White Sox chances today.
Jesse Scholtens (.233 WPA) nearly stole the show, but you know what the answer is: Robert’s big day left him with a whopping .299 WPA on the whole.
Hardest hit: The first was the most important, but the second was the hardest-hit ... 110.1 mph, to be exact:
Weakest contact: Noted speedster Yasmani Grandal reached base on a fourth inning tapper back to the pitcher that left the bat at just 52.1 mph.
Luckiest hit: Hilariously, Yaz’s wasn’t even the luckiest hit of the day. Enrique Hernández blooped one for a single against Banks that registered a tiny .080 xBA.
Toughest out: In the ninth, Christian Arroyo sent a soft flare up the middle that Statcast thinks should have had an .800 xBA. Instead, it found Elvis Andrus’s glove in shallow center field.
Longest hit: Robert’s first dinger of the day traveled a game-best 398 feet.
Magic Number: 3
The White Sox have played the third game of a 1-1 series 18 times now, and today marks their third win in those 18. DSNB!
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 today’s White Sox MVP?
This poll is closed
Luis Robert Jr. (3-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI)
Jesse Scholtens (4 IP, 0 ER, BB, 3 SO)
Southpaw (Absolutely killed it at Pride this afternoon)
Who was today’s White Sox cold cat?
This poll is closed
Andrew Vaughn (0-for-4, 2 SO)
Eloy Jiménez (0-for-4)
Jake Burger (0-for-3)