My expectations for the White Sox tonight were low. A dominant righty on the mound for Atlanta vs. a hot-and-cold veteran on the mound for the South Siders felt like a recipe for disaster.
Spoiler alert: It was not.
Both pitchers went six-up, six-down to start the game. Then, the third inning was not fun for either starter. Would you believe me if I told you it started with back-to-back hits by Zach Remillard and Óscar Colás? Andrew Benintendi singled in the first run, while a misplayed ball to left resulted in a Luis Robert Jr. double and two more runs to put the White Sox up, 3-0.
Now, you would believe me if I told you that a walk and two home runs tied the game at three in the bottom of the inning? Well, Eddie Rosario and Ronald Acuña Jr. brought the Braves even at three.
While Rosario showed off his offensive prowess, it was not his night defensively. He let a second ball get by him in left field for the fourth run of the game, and Chicago’s second lead of the night.
The lead earneth, and the lead taketh away. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Ozzie Albies bounced a ball off of the brick wall in right field for a triple, and Austin Riley fought off a 3-2 fastball for an RBI single to tie the game at four. The next full count Lynn faced would end with Matt Olson striking out to finish the inning.
Breaking news: Jake Burger has hit 20 home runs this season. A sixth-inning Burger Bomb put the Good Guys on top for the third time this evening.
But seeing how things have gone all game, I am not sure how long this lead will last.
Fun fact: Andrew Vaughn can play first base well, sometimes. He saved Seby Zavala with a nice pick to end the sixth with the lead intact.
Did you know the White Sox are capable of scoring six runs in a single game? If you watched last night, you probably think I’m lying. Follow-up question. Did you know the bottom of the order can produce hits and put traffic on the bases? Colás led off the seventh inning with a double, and two batters later Benintendi singled him home.
A lead is never safe, and a win is never easy. Kendall Graveman came in to close the game out and instead gave up an Acuña Jr. solo home run to bring Atlanta within one in the bottom of the ninth inning. I breathed a sigh of relief when Sean Murphy broke his bat and grounded into a double play to end the game.
The White Sox may not be winning a lot of games right now, but 39-55 is better than 38-56. A rubber match will be had tomorrow.
Who was the MVP of tonight’s game?
This poll is closed
Lance Lynn: W, 5 1⁄3 IP, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K
Andrew Benintendi: 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI, K
Jake Burger: 2-for-4, HR, K
Oscar Colás: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 K
Who was the Cold Cat tonight?
This poll is closed
Tim Anderson: 0-for-4, 2 K
Andrew Vaughn: 0-for-4, 2 K
Kendall Graveman: 1 IP, 3 H, ER, K
Six Pack of Stats
It is no shock that the final at-bat of the game takes the crown: Sean Murphy’s at-bat against Kendall Graveman had a 7.20 LI.
Graveman also gets tonight’s pressure cooker, with a 4.54 pLI.
Ronald Acuña Jr.’s game-tying home run in the bottom of the third had a 19.8% WPA.
In fact, Acuña Jr.’s two-home run night wins him game honors, with 33.0% WPA.
It was not one of Acuña Jr.’s home runs, but rather his 111.9 mph line out that went for hardest hit in the White Sox win tonight.
Austin Riley grounded out at just 58.1 mph vs. Gregory Santos in the seventh inning.
With a .210 xBA, Ozzie Albies should have been feeling lucky after his fifth-inning triple.
Sean Murphy’s line out in the bottom of the sixth had a .730 xBA.
Atlanta’s first run of the game was a 430-foot homer by Eddie Rosario.
Magic Number: 2
The maximum number of starts Lance Lynn has left on the South Side after tonight.