That the Chicago White Sox defeated the Atlanta Braves, 8-1, on their home field and stole a series from the best team in baseball makes for a surprising weekend, to say the least. This game was full of highlights and hits, so let’s get right into it.
Dylan Cease got the start against Kolby Allard in his hometown and impressed, as did the South Side offense against Allard.
After threatening in the top of the first inning, a GIDP by Eloy Jiménez ended the threat with runners on first and third.
The top of the second inning started with a single by Andrew Vaughn and a 461 foot Burger Bomb, as Jake Burger blasted one in back-to-back days, giving the White Sox an early 2-0 lead.
The team didn’t stop there, as Elvis Andrus singled and Andrew Benintendi reached base and vintage Tim Anderson appeared, hitting an RBI single to short right field to extend the lead to 3-0.
Luis Robert Jr. singled to left to extend the lead to 4-0. Allard didn’t last any longer, getting replaced by Collin McHugh after 1 2⁄3 innings with seven hits, four runs, one walk, and one strikeout. It was later reported that Allard exited with left shoulder tightness.
The Braves threatened in the bottom of the third inning after two walks by Cease and a Matt Olson single, to cut the lead to 4-1.
More runs came for Chicago in the top of the fourth inning, as Andrus led it off with a double, Seby Zavala had a sacrifice bunt to move him over, and Benintendi singled again for an RBI.
Anderson and Robert reached base and Gavin Sheets trickled a slow-rolling single to shortstop Orlando Arcia to score a run with the bases loaded, extending the lead to 6-1.
Robert had the last scoring opportunity of the game, continuing his hot streak from the Home Run Derby and hitting a two-run home run to center field to extend the lead to 8-1.
Cease pitched five innings of one-run ball with just three hits, three walks, and six strikeouts.
We saw appearances from Reynaldo López, Aaron Bummer, and Jesse Scholtens to end the game.
Well, we could say this was a surprising series to say the least, after that first game going Atlanta’s way, all the way. The Sox road trip continues as they visit New York City again, this time to play the Mets at Citi Field, starting on Tuesday. It will be Lucas Giolito against Carlos Carrasco.
This should be an interesting series to watch, as the Mets are another team that has failed to meet expectations. We will see if Chicago can steal a few games, as they still sit 8 1⁄2 games back of first place in the Central. Everyone enjoy the off-day tomorrow, and get ready to watch some baseball in the Big Apple!
Who was the MVP of today’s big win in Atlanta?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K, HB, WIN, 12.5% WPA
Luis Robert Jr.: 4-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI, 18.5% WPA
Jake Burger: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 13.2% WPA
Tim Anderson: 2-for-4, RBI, BB, K, 10.8% WPA
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach: Going to Friday’s game and cussing so much over the Sox they got scared straight over the weekend
Who was the Cold Cat of today’s winning effort?
This poll is closed
Eloy Jiménez: 0-for-1, GIDP, groin injury, -11.2% WPA
Yasmani Grandal: 1-for-4, 3 K, -1.6% WPA
Seby Zavala: 0-for-3, K, -4.1% WPA
Six Pack of Stats
It was a very tight race, as Dylan Cease punching out Travis d’Arnaud at the tying run, to end the third with runners on the corners, clocked in at 1.77 LI.
Cease barely edged out Eloy Jiménez, who grounded into a double play with runners on the corners in the top of the first inning. That 1.76 LI play held up — in a bad way— for Eloy, who left the game shortly thereafter with a groin strain and turned LI into pLI.
Just continuing on down the pressure ladder, the third-biggest pressure play today (1.51) was Jake Burger’s two-run homer to put the White Sox up, 2-0, in the second. The round-tripper carried 15.9% WPA.
Luis Robert Jr. had four hits, including a homer, for 18.5% WPA, edging out Burger and Cease.
That ball had a family, Mr. Burger; Jake’s second-inning home run was CRUSHED at 113.5 mph.
Elvis Andrus grounded out at just 59.6 mph in the seventh inning.
Charlie Culberson’s single in the seventh off of Jesse Scholtens carried a .050 xBA. Luckiest White Sox hit was a Gavin Sheets .170 xBA single in the fourth.
Gavin Sheets greeted Collin McHugh with a 105.7 mph screaming liner for a .620 xBA — gloved at first base for the out.
Jake Burger doubles up here, going 461 feet to center on his home run.
Magic Number: 7-11
Hat-tip to Chi to Virginia in the gamethread, providing the data. Before today, in 2023 the Braves were 7-0 in rubber games. And until today, the Braves had won 11 straight series.