The White Sox looked to bounce back after a dominant performance from their former ace, Chris Sale last night. And it looked possible on Saturday, as Dylan Cease faced Jake Pivetta on a cold and rainy fall day in Boston, with the wind not necessarily helping either team.
The first three innings would be fruitless, with an abundance of grounders and fly outs. The White Sox finally started making progress in the fourth with singles from Andrew Benintendi and Eloy Jiménez, but naturally never capitalized with runners on the corners.
Something worth celebrating happened in the bottom of the fourth, though, as Cease earned his 200th strikeout of the season, becoming only the third pitcher in club history to have three consecutive seasons of 200+ strikeouts. The strike he needed came on a fastball, one he famously struggled with during his 2019 and 2020 seasons.
That's 200 K for Dylan Cease.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) September 23, 2023
Most 200-Strikeout seasons
White Sox history
5 Ed Walsh
4 Chris Sale
3 DYLAN CEASE
Both teams sleepwalked into the seventh, still scoreless. The good news is, Cease was sparkling, with six scoreless innings, no walks, and 10 strikeouts. Unfortunately, Pivetta also looked good, as he ended the seventh with only one walk, and six strikeouts, keeping the White Sox scoreless as well.
That's seven shutout innings by Pivetta.— Gabrielle Starr (@gfstarr1) September 23, 2023
The White Sox have gone 1-2-3 in five of them.
Aaron Bummer entered for the eighth, putting a successful day on the mound in jeopardy. The game was STILL scoreless, but for how long? Well, Bummer walked his first two batters, so.
Aaron Bummer is zoned in on getting us that number 1 pick— Disaster_cluster (@Sox_mathteacher) September 23, 2023
But Bummer somehow rebounded and the game remained scoreless, turning this into one of the most boring games I’ve ever watched.
WHOA! A RUN! Shout-out to the Pesky Pole and Luis Robert Jr. for the solo home run that finally put the White Sox on the board in the ninth. Robert has seven games left to hit the two home runs that will get him to 40 for the season.
LUIS ROBERT JR! Nothing Pesky about it. pic.twitter.com/j8GQvgvA9C— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 23, 2023
Everyday pitcher Bryan Shaw entered to and shut down the Red Sox, as rain continued to pour. Reese McGuire, unlike his days in a White Sox uniform, kept things interesting with a two-out single. But Shaw ended the game with a strikeout to Ceddanne Rafaela, sealing the win.
Six Pack of Stats
Bryan Shaw faced an LI of 6.80 with two runners on and two outs in the ninth. But under the same amount of pressure would be Ceddanne Rafaela, who ultimately went down swinging for the final out in a one-run game.
Shaw’s ninth inning would prove to be tricky. He owned a 4.34 pLI after two runners safely made it on base.
Naturally, the top play would be Luis Robert Jr.’s solo home run. The run garnered a .403 WPA and would be all the White Sox would need to win this barnburner of a game.
Dylan Cease and Nick Pivetta actually tied with WPAs of .463. Both pitchers were masterful on the mound, keeping the game scoreless throughout their respective innings.
Hardest Hit: Eloy Jiménez’s single in the fourth left the bat at 109.4 mph.
Weakest Contact: Luis Robert Jr., on the other end, had the weakest-hit ball, with a grounder in the first at just 67.6 mph.
Luckiest Hit: Robert’s solo home run would actually prove to be quite lucky as it curled around the pole. That’s a homer in only one ballpark, Fenway. The xBA was a measly .240.
Toughest Out: Yoán Moncada’s contact in the seventh looked good in theory, with an xBA of .850, but the lightly tapped ball ended in a line out.
Longest Hit: A single from Justin Turner was actually the longest hit, going 373 feet. Robert’s home run came in fourth (!) at just 311 feet.
Magic Number: 2
Luis Robert Jr: 2nd career homer in a 1-0 game (also 9/24/2021 at CLE)— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) September 23, 2023
2nd ever White Sox homer in a 1-0 game at Fenway Park. Also Carlton Fisk 7/21/1989
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?
This poll is closed
Dylan Cease: 7 IP, 6, H, 11 Ks, .463 WPA
Luis Robert Jr,: 1 HR, .334 WPA
Eloy Jiménez: 2 H, 0 K, .020 WPA
Bryan Shaw + Aaron Bummer: 2 IP, 2 H, 3 Ks
Who was your White Sox Cold Cat?
This poll is closed
Tim Anderson 0-for-4, 2 Ks
Yoán Moncada: 0-for-4, 2 Ks
Gavin Sheets: 0-for-3, 2 Ks