With the win yesterday and today regardless of the outcome tomorrow, the Sox have taken this series against Detroit. They’re still only 25-35, but you know, I’m just trying to find the positives where I can to keep some sanity through another arduous month of White Sox baseball. In a classic pitchers’ duel, the Sox generated just enough offense on a day when the starter and bullpen put them in a great position to win the ballgame. Both of their runs scored on a wild pitch, and it was a weird one, but a W is a W. I’ll take it.
I think the two words that perfectly define 2023 Dylan Cease are unpredictable and inconsistent. He’s pretty much been the opposite of the 2022 version of himself, pitching more faithfully to the rest of his major league career. He was capricious and ineffective in his last outing, surrendering four runs on four hits with four walks in only four innings. The only thing consistent about his inconsistency was his giving up everything in fours. Despite striking out eight (which is 4x2 — see what I did there) he couldn’t master his pitches, and his command was erratic.
Again, plagued with control issues, he had multiple full counts, two wild pitches, a high pitch total, and two walks, ultimately forcing him out after only 5 1⁄3 innings and earning a no-decision. While in the end Cease was able to pitch around his fractiousness, as he only gave up one run on two hits with six strikeouts, he didn’t have prime command and wasn’t highly efficient.
Here are Cease’s pitch visuals from Baseball Theater:
Cease’s 99-pitch outing looked like this:
Opposite Cease, Michael Lorenzen took the bump today for the Detroit Tigers. The veteran is now in his ninth professional season and owns a solid overall career. He started 2023 on the IL with a left groin strain. After a rough start in April, he had a much-improved May upon his return. Heading into today’s contest, he was 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and a .228 opponent batting average in 46 1⁄3 innings. His last outing was on May 27, when he dominated the South Siders by surrendering no earned runs and only two hits in 6 2⁄3 innings. The 31-year-old righty made his ninth start Saturday and was equally fantastic, in seven innings giving up one run, two hits, no walks, and six strikeouts on only 85 pitches.
Here are Lorenzen’s pitch visuals from Baseball Theater:
Lorenzen’s 85-pitch outing looked like this:
The winning run of the game provided the tension today. Yoán Moncada advanced on a wild pitch to score in the bottom of the 10th with the sacks packed with Sox and Tim Anderson at the plate. The play earned a sky-high 6.39 LI. There were no RBIs in the entire game.
José Cisnero couldn’t take the heat, with a 4.59 pLI. With the ghost runner on second, he intentionally walked Gavin Sheets and (unintentionally) hit Jake Burger with a pitch. Then, with the game on the line, Cisnero threw a wild pitch that hit the umpire and bounced away. Moncada crossed the plate for a walk-off win.
Of course, the first-rate play is the wild pitch with TA7 at the plate to end the game. The play had a .343 WPA.
Despite earning a no-decision, Michael Lorenzen was fabulous today, with a .276 WPA. He doesn’t walk away with a W, but hey, being South Side Sox’s Top Performer is worth something, isn’t it?
Hardest hit: Brief old friend Jake Marisnick scalded a single off of Gregory Santos in the top of the eighth at 105.2 mph.
Weakest contact: Eloy Jiménez had a first-inning pop out at 60.9 mph.
Luckiest hit: Andrew Vaughn’s single in the bottom of the eighth had a .240 xBA.
Toughest out: Moncada’s sharp line out to shortstop Zack Short in the bottom of the seventh had a .730 xBA.
Longest hit: Zach McKinstry launched a triple on a rocket shot that landed 381 feet away in right field.
Magic Number: 3
All three runs in the game were scored on wild pitches.
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
Romy González: 1 PA, sacrifice bunt, .236 WPA
Yoán Moncada: 0-for-4, 1 R, .226 WPA
Andrew Benintendi: 2-for-4, 1 R, .192 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Yasmani Grandal: 0-for-4, 1 K, -.290 WPA
Luis Robert Jr.: 0-for-4, 2 K, -.182 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 0-for-4, 3 K, -.154 WPA