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Chicago White Sox v Texas Rangers

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Rangers 11, White Sox 1: At least there’s a draft lottery

Cease crumbles as Dunning dominates, Sox drop to 23 under .500

It was not a banner night for the White Sox pitching staff.
| Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Dane Dunning absolutely dominated and Dylan Cease imploded, as the White Sox dropped their third straight on Wednesday, getting blown out 11-1 by the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

The White Sox scoreless streak came to an end, but not before adding seven more to a final total of 26 innings, their longest such streak since the 2016 season, per the TV broadcast. They fall to 43-66, not quite the 100-loss paces of the 2013 and 2018 nadirs, but far too close to care either way.

Things started promisingly enough, with the Sox loading the bases against Dunning in the top of the first inning. I’ll spare you the intimate details about how that happened, though, because they instantly did what the White Sox have done all year: Not score, then allow runs. It only took two pitches to flip the switch on Dylan Cease, as other old friend Marcus Semien singled to lead off the Texas lineup’s part of the game before Corey Seager, in his first game back from a thumb injury, launched a hanging curveball into the seats to make it 2-0.

Nathaniel Lowe singled before Cease finally recorded an out, whereupon he made things even more interesting by hitting Josh Jung with two strikes before working out of the inning.

The Sox went quietly in the second, as they would all night, and with one out in the bottom of the inning, things completely haywire. Cease’s already-shaky command completely fell apart, and his stuff seemed to have a noticeable lack of bite, corroborated at least somewhat by a decrease in raw movement in both directions, according to Baseball Savant. With one out, he allowed a single and a walk, and the wheels fell off under an avalanche of baserunners. More singles from Seager and Lowe, a walk to Adolis García, a Travis Jankowski double — there was no single massive blow, but Texas chipped and chipped and chipped until it was 7-0. After Cease couldn’t find the plate following Jankowski’s double and walked Mitch Garver, his night was done. Tanner Banks got out of the inning, but the ballgame was over.

On the other side, Dunning was incredible, a ground ball machine who also set a new career high with 11 strikeouts and hardly allowed a ball out of the infield in 7 2⁄3 masterful innings. He avoided Sox barrels with a sinker-slider combo for most of the night, mixing in a few cutters and utilizing a changeup against lefties. All in all, he recorded nine outs via the ground ball, working through seven shutout innings for the second straight year against his former team, while his offense dug in for even more damage.

Tanner Banks did an admirable job of eating innings and wearing it for a paper-thin pitching staff that really needed more than 1 2⁄3 innings out of its starter tonight. Banks was the last decision that Pedro Grifol would make on the field tonight, as the Sox skipper was tossed before the bottom of the third, visibly furious after Luis Robert Jr. was rung up on strikes to end his half of the inning. Banks loaded the bases in the third inning and added more runners in scoring position in the fourth and danced around both jams without allowing a run, but the Texas offense finally got to him the second time around, with Josh Jung smashing one 409 feet to center field after García beat out an infield single.

Edgar Navarro came on for his second big-league appearance and let two more in when Semien wrapped one around the foul pole for his 16th longball of the year, a batted ball that would have been out at zero other ballparks, according to Savant. Is this what you want, Sox fans?

The Sox finally managed to claw one back in the eighth, snapping their aforementioned scoreless streak and finally ending Dunning’s night when Seby Zavala returned the favor with a high fly ball into the left field corner seats of his own.

Sammy Peralta came on to relieve Navarro and gave us a rare stress-free inning, setting down the Rangers 1-2-3 in the eighth before the just-acquired Chris Stratton, who relieved Dunning, was allowed to finish off the game, though not before Yoán Moncada added a third hit to the Sox register.

That, however, was all she wrote, and the game went final in just barely over two-and-a-half hours. Now 23 games worse than .500, their lowest point since 2019, the team now surely turns their minds to contending with Max Scherzer, who makes his Rangers debut tomorrow. Scherzer hasn’t seen the White Sox since 2016, just the second year of his record contract with the Nationals. We’ll see you there — after the Six Pack, of course.


Who was today’s White Sox MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Tanner Banks (3 1⁄3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, SO)
    (15 votes)
  • 25%
    Seby Zavala (Went Yabo)
    (16 votes)
  • 51%
    Pedro Grifol (Didn’t Have To Watch The Last Seven Innings)
    (33 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now


Who was today’s White Sox Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Dylan Cease (1 2⁄3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, SO)
    (23 votes)
  • 0%
    The Offense
    (0 votes)
  • 71%
    The Entire Organization
    (57 votes)
80 votes total Vote Now

Six Pack of Stats

Some kind of abstract art, it seems.

Pressure Play
Andrew Vaughn stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the first, good for a 2.25 LI, but thanks to his ground out and the Rangers subsequent explosion in the second, that’s as high as leverage got.

Pressure Cooker
As a result, Vaughn takes this category for the second straight day, leading both teams will a relatively meager 0.97 pLI.

Top Play
The first offensive strike was the deadliest, as Corey Seager’s ding dong added 15.5% to the Rangers’ win probability.

Top Performer
Seager’s 24.6% WPA lapped the field tonight.

Hardest Hit
Skip to the “Toughest Out” section to find out more about this one.

Weakest Contact
The first-inning tapper single that Luis Robert Jr. beat out left the bat at 50.9 mph, lowest of any batted ball.

Luckiest Hit
It also had a .230 xBA, lowest of any hit today.

Toughest Out
This is a first in my time here, but Eloy Jiménez and Corey Seager both hit balls at exactly 107.9 mph and at a 4-degree launch angle. As a result, they had an identical .610 xBA. They were hit in different directions, but the result was the same: A grounder right at the shortstop for Jiménez and the second baseman for Seager.

Longest Hit
Jung’s two-run smash to center field was the longest hit of the day, checking in at 409 feet.

Magic Number: 16.5%
The three worst teams in MLB every year each have an equal 16.5% chance at the No. 1 overall pick in the draft under the new lottery system instituted with last year’s CBA. After tonight, the White Sox are just a half-game better in the standings than the Colorado Rockies, who currently hold the third-lowest spot. Just saying.


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

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