Last night, MLB postponed the White Sox-Yankees game because of the horrific air quality due to the Canadian wildfires. However, today improved enough to play and squeeze in a straight doubleheader. The alternative was probably to make up these games in August when the Yankees come to Chicago, but I’ll take this Aaron Judge-free option instead. Let’s dive into the first game.
Lance Lynn has been erratic so far in 2023. He’ll put together a string of a few good games, but then he implodes. The Big Bastard was utterly ineffective in his last outing, surrendering eight runs on eight hits with two walks in only four innings. If the White Sox are going to make a run for the crappy AL Central crown, Lynn has to pitch better than a 6.55 ERA. Despite excellent spin on his fastball that puts him in the 89th percentile and a pretty decent 25.1 K%, batters are crushing him with a 40.6 HardHit%, which is the worst of his career. His four-seam fastball is down to 92.3 mph from 92.9 mph last season, and while it doesn’t seem like a huge difference, batters are slugging .564 off of it compared to .351 in 2022. That four-seamer is the key to his success, and if he can’t find what ails him, we can expect more bad outings from him going forward.
Surprise! He couldn’t figure it out today either, and he was lucky his teammates picked him up. He raised his ERA to 6.72 and walked away with a no-decision.
Here are Lynn’s pitch visuals from Baseball Theater:
Lynn’s 98-pitch outing looked like this:
Opposite Lynn, Luis Severino took the bump today for the New York Yankees. The former All-Star is now in his eighth professional season and owns a solid overall career. He started 2023 on the IL with a right lat strain, and today was only his fourth start of the season. Heading into this afternoon’s contest, he was 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and a .241 opponent batting average in 15 1⁄3 innings. His last outing, on June 2, was rough as he surrendered seven earned runs on nine hits in four innings. He struggled with the long ball today, giving up four runs, all on round-trippers, and earning a no-decision.
Here are Severino’s pitch visuals from Baseball Theater:
Severino’s 86-pitch outing looked like this:
Anthony Rizzo’s 7.13 LI double play to second to end the game was about as stressful as it gets. The challenge on the play was equally as exasperating, but thankfully the call on the field stuck.
Despite a 5.52 pLI, Kendall Graveman kept his cool in the ninth inning, locking down the ballgame and earning his sixth save of the season.
Eloy Jiménez’s .284 WPA two-run, seventh-inning blast gave the Sox their 6-5 lead and earned the blue ribbon today.
The Big Baby, who was 1-for-4 with a walk, barely edged out Luis Robert Jr. for the elite honors with a .235 WPA.
Hardest hit: Nope, it wasn’t one of the five home runs hit today; instead, it was the seventh-inning double that La Pantera smoked at 109.1 mph.
Weakest contact: Andrew Benintendi had a ninth-inning ground out at 63.3 mph.
Luckiest hit: Willie Calhoun’s .160 xBA single in the bottom of the second was a fortunate one for him.
Toughest out: Benny had an onerous day at the plate. His sharp line out to second in the top of the first had a .690 xBA.
Longest hit: Robert launched a rocket shot four-bagger that landed 424 feet away in center field.
Magic Number: 15
Kendall Graveman has been lights-out with 15 straight scoreless appearances.
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
Eloy Jiménez: 1-for-4, HR, .235 WPA
Luis Robert Jr.: 3-for-5, HR, .231 WPA
Kendall Graveman: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, .192 WPA
Who was the White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Lance Lynn: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 BB, -.375 WPA
Tim Anderson: 1-for-5, -.132 WPA
Seby Zavala: 0-for-4, 1 K, -.114 WPA