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Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox - Game One
Gregory Santos and Korey Lee celebrating a pointless win against a terrible team.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

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White Sox 6, Royals 2: A win in an empty ballpark (opener)

This victory doesn’t matter at all, but I’ll take it

Chrystal O'Keefe is an Indiana native who balances her time between Indianapolis and Chicago. She enjoys being a mother, wife and author. In her down time she enjoys petting every dog she sees, getting tattoos, baking and advocating for causes she believes in. But most of all, she enjoys tweeting during baseball and hockey to calm her nerves. You can follow her nonsense here: @chrystal_ok.

Despite the season being over for the White Sox and Royals, we still had some baseball to be played — two games’ worth, in fact. In the opener, the White Sox shined with an offensive burst to begin the game and a pitching masterpiece from Dylan Cease.

The White Sox took an early lead thanks to Eloy Jiménez in the first with his 57th RBI. Tim Anderson scored, putting the Pale Hose up 1-0 against Brady Singer. With no outs and the bases loaded, Yoán Moncada sent Andrew Benintendi home. Next up, the Royals committed an E4, and Mike Sweeney took to the mound to talk to Singer. Andrew Vaughn whiffed for the first out, but Gavin Sheets sent two more home. Elvis Andrus drove in the fifth run before the end of the first, giving Cease a wide berth in what White Sox fans hoped would be a bounce-back game.

Dylan Cease worked economically and kept the Royals quiet through three innings, with plenty of strikeouts.

Kansas City had a few on base in the fourth, and a botched double play resulted in a two-out double pushing a run across the plate. Cease gave up just one walk, in the sixth. He departed with eight strikeouts, and a fantastic outing. Following that effort, everyday pitcher Bryan Shaw came in and stranded two.

Andrus knocked in Vaughn with a double in the bottom of the sixth, resulting in a 6-1 lead, and Singer being yanked.

Jackson Kowar came in for the Royals and tossed some questionable pitches. In fact, Chris Johnson, assistant hitting coach for the Sox, was ejected after heckling the ump for a called strike that was low and out of the zone. The bad call would prove detrimental to Benintendi’s at-bat, helping to end the inning.

With Lane Ramsey on the mound, a run was allowed in the eighth — and the tall righty-handed runners on the corners with two outs for Gregory Santos. Gavin Sheets backed up Santos with a routine catch to extinguish any rally.

The Royals were unable to make any progress and allowed the White Sox to take the first game of two. For the first time this season, the White Sox pitching had a combined 14 punchouts and actually won the game. Sad stat, but it’s true.

Joe Resis will have the recap for the nightcap.


I’m just trying to ride that September high.
FanGraphs

Pressure Play
Eloy Jiménez’s RBI single brought Tim Anderson home and left the bases loaded, with Andrew Benintendi advancing to third and Luis Robert Jr. advancing to second. It was only the start of Brady Singer’s bad first inning, as it garnered a 2.02 LI.


Pressure Cooker
MJ Melendez faced the most pressure, with a pLI of 0.88. He might’ve drawn the first walk, but he struck out twice. His fielding was abysmal as well.


Top Play
Gavin Sheets singled to center, collecting a nice WPA of 16.9%. That single sent home Robert and Jiménez and advanced Yoán Moncada to third.


Top Performer
Dylan Cease’s much-needed gem would help the White Sox take down the Royals. He exited the game with only four hits, one walk, eight strikeouts, and a WPA of 9.4%.


Hardest Hit
In a no-home run game, we’re at the mercy of Moncada’s line out in the fifth that was tracked at 107 mph.

Weakest Contact
Korey Lee’s force out in the fourth gently exited the bat at 52.3 mph.

Luckiest Hit
The Elvis Andrus single in the sixth had a low, .100 xBA.

Toughest Out
The hard-hit line out from Moncada would also be the toughest out, with a .680 xBA.

Longest Hit: The top 11, yes 11, hits that went the distance were all outs. Salvador Pérez would win this pointless award with a 374-foot fly out in the first.


Magic Number: 1
As mentioned earlier, this is the only game out of 11 this season where the White Sox have at least 14 strikeouts and actually won.


Glossary

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


Poll

Who was your MVP of Game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Dylan Cease: 5 2⁄3 IP, 4 H, 0 HR, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
    (18 votes)
  • 4%
    Gavin Sheets: 2 RBI, 1 BB
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Elvis Andrus: 2 H, 2 RBI
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Bryan Shaw: 1 2⁄3 IP, 3 K, 0 HR/R/ER/BB
    (1 vote)
21 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was your Cold Cat of Game 1?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    Korey Lee: 0-for-3
    (13 votes)
  • 15%
    Lane Ramsey: 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB
    (3 votes)
  • 15%
    Andrew Vaughn: 1-for-4, 2 K
    (3 votes)
19 votes total Vote Now

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