Six Pack of Stats: Twins 8, White Sox 2

Early turning point: The White Sox’s chances were never favorable after Jonathan Schoop’s first home run. (FanGraphs)

The White Sox lost their second straight game to the AL Central leaders. Let’s take a look at some numbers from tonight’s loss.


The White Sox were just 1-for-11 (.091) with runners in scoring position. José Abreu, king of timely hitting and RBIs, got the only hit in those situations, which was a double in the first. Teams that only manage one hit with runners in scoring position generally do not fare well, which was the case tonight.


The White Sox issued two intentional walks early on in this game (one in the third and one in the fourth). Neither of those hitters came around to score, but very seldom is it a smart idea to give an opponent a free baserunner.


As a result of Tim Anderson’s 24th error of the season, the Twins scored their fifth run of the game to take a 5-1 lead. Anderson has now made five more errors than anyone else in the majors this season. Errors can be a misleading statistic, and shortstops see a ton of action, but needless to say, that is still not a distinction we want to see him have.


The biggest play in this game in terms of win probability added was the three-run homer by Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop. That home run, which came with two outs in the second, increased the Twins’ odds of winning the game from 38.8% to 67.2%, a difference of 28.4 percentage points.


The White Sox got two doubles in the first inning to grab an early lead. Leury García led off with a sharp liner that left the bat at 103.2 mph, and two batters later, Abreu hit one even harder (109.3 mph) to drive home the game’s first run. The average exit velocity on these doubles was 106.25 mph.


Tomorrow’s starter for the White Sox will be Dylan Cease, who has allowed eleven home runs in nine career major league starts. The players who hit those homers totaled 3,960 feet rounding the bases. Cease has allowed at least one home run in all of his starts, which is a trend that he will hopefully break tomorrow afternoon.

Spot ’em a 3-0 lead? So what?

The numbers are nice but the story is better. (@WhiteSox)

Dylan Cease’s start couldn’t have been rockier. His follow-up couldn’t have been smoother. And the Chicago White Sox pecked away and then boomed away for an 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers, so the players celebrating on the first game of Players’ Weekend were the ones in the good-guy black outfits.

Four batters in, the Sox rookie had given up a walk, a 103 mph single to Elvis Andrus, a wild pitch, and a 401-foot, 102.3 mph three-run homer to Willie Calhoun. Looked grim.

But …

Cease left the game 19 batters later, having retired the next 11 Rangers before giving up just two more singles and getting a career-high (OK, short career, but still) nine strikeouts. The two singles led off the fifth inning, but a strikeout, a Shin-Soo Choo blast Leury García caught a few feet short of the wall and a routine fly later, Cease was out of the inning.

Cease picked up his third win and registered a game score of 60, by far his best in the bigs. He gets credit for a quality start, tossing 56 strikes out of 95 pitches over six innings. The mighty triumvirate of the bullpen took over, with Evan Marshall, Aaron Bummer, and Alex Colomé cruising aside for a hit batter by The Horse in the ninth.

Forgetting Sarah did get some nice help from Tim Anderson in the seventh:

Meanwhile, the offense picked up two runs in the second, when Lance Lynn showed that even 14-game winners can get sloppy by walking Matt Skole and Yolmer Sánchez with two outs, after which Adam Engel came through with a soft liner just over third that scored them both. (See, Sox guys and bosses and fans — taking walks truly is important. Really. Honest.)

The Sox took the lead for good in the fourth. Jon Jay singled, advanced on one of Lynn’s four wild pitches on the night — that’s right, four of ’em — and scored on a Sánchez single. Yolmer scored on a double by Leury, who was driven in on an Anderson bloop to right.

That made it 5-3, and the Sox added three more in the sixth when Leury singled, took second and third on two wild pitches, then scored on the hardest-hit ball of the night, a 109.6 mph, 403-foot double by José Abreu. Yoán Moncada then belted one that had less velocity and less distance than Jose’s (102/393), but a better sense of direction:

That closed out a big offensive night, with every Sox batter but James McCann getting at least one of the team’s 12 hits, and García, Anderson, Moncada and Jay getting two apiece. In the process, Anderson and Sánchez both extended their hitting streaks.

Game three of the series will begin at 6:10 p.m. CDT tomorrow. Iván Nova. who has gone from 4-9 to 9-9, will try to get on the plus side of the win-loss ledger, opposing Rangers rookie Kolby Allard, who sports a 6.60 ERA and gave up six earned runs to the Angels in five innings last time out. Ashley Sanders is going to try to bring the sunglasses emoji over the South Side Hit Pen, in her recap debut here.

Gamethread: Rangers at White Sox

Wood wagoneers: Rangers sounds less intimidating in Spanish, since “rurales” also means “country folk” and “station wagons.” Maybe that’s why Yoán Moncada hit so well last night.

The White Sox will be trying for their third straight win and second in a row against the Texas Rangers, in what should be a perfect night to begin Players’ Weekend at Downward Facing Arrow Stadium. The challenge will be continuing the pitching domination of Lucas Giolito and (surprise, surprise!!) Ross Detwiler.

Dylan Cease will be taking up that challenge for the Sox, making his ninth big league start and trying for his third win. Cease’s ERA is back up close to six, at 5.93, after getting whacked for five runs in five innings against the Angels last time out. Lefties are batting .338 against him, so it’s good the Ranger lineup only has three southpaws and switch-hitter Danny Santana, who missed last night’s game with a sore hammie.

It’s probably not quite time to go from considering Cease’s mediocre performance as just the rockiness of rookieness, to thinking, “Sure hope Giolito gets him away from the Sox organization to the people who made such a difference for him mentally and physically last offseason.” That time could come soon, though , especially given Dylan had a really rocky June at Charlotte as well.

Dylan Cease ponders the next step in his development. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

Things will probably be tougher for the offense tonight, since tossing for the Rangers will be 14-game winner Lance Lynn. The big (6´5´´, 280) righty has had two losses and a no decision in his last three starts, though in each loss he only gave up one run.

The good news is that one of the few times Lynn got hit hard this year was courtesy of the White Sox, who got to him for five runs in seven innings June 22 (OK, we lost 6-5 anyway, but let’s not mention that). The bright light you’ll see coming from the Sox dugout will be the gleam in the eyes of Tim Anderson, who nailed Lynn for a single, double, homer and four RBIs in that game.

Tim Anderson hears he gets to face Lance Lynn again. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

Sox lineup comes complete with Players’ Weekend nicknames:

Three of the four Rangers who will hit lefty against Cease will be among the first four batters he faces:

Guess the players wanted the lineup in invisible ink. Probably legible if you rub lemon juice over your screen.

If you can’t figure that out (silly you), it’ll be Choo/Santana/Andrus/Calhoun/Pence/Odor-/Kiner-Falefa/DeShields/Mathis.

First pitch 7:10 CDT. NBC Sports on the tube, WGN on the transistor.

Chisox get Caned, Calhouned and Bemboomed in 9-2 drubbing

Double trouble: Eloy Jiménez had a homer and narrowly missed a second, settling for a well-admired triple in the fourth. (Clinton Cole/South Side Hit Pen)

So, this was a bad, bad, bad, very bad game, on almost all counts.

While the Chicago White Sox seemingly had advantages in all areas — starting pitcher (potential, at least), offense (no Mike Trout for the Angels today), law of averages (hard for a .500 team to win a four-game series, even at home) — they played like they were wearing Kannapolis Intimidators uniforms today, falling 9-2 in Anaheim in a laffer.

Let’s get the couple of highlights out of the way. Eloy Jiménez, when not watching the flight of his colossal clouts

(bench him, Ricky, I dare ya!)

was putting just a smidge more extra juice on ’em to get ’em over the wall.

(no additional hustle, though … Ricky?)

Tim Anderson had another two hits, after being shuttled down to seventh in the order, but then, you know, he got picked off of second base, too.

(fifth inning, nobody out, runner on second, down just 4-1 … Ricky?)

So, I guess let’s tip a cap to the guy who just picked off Anderson up there, and held the White Sox in check on five hits, one earned, one walk (eight Ks) over seven innings, Griffin Canning, of the 6.28 ERA over the last seven games and Dylan Cease-esque 4.58 ERA for the season Cannings, stymied the White Sox all game long.

Cease, for his part, was not good: five earned in five innings, seven hits, a walk, six Ks and two long balls, swelling his ERA to 5.93. Ross “available for long relief” Detwiler detwilled it even worse, mopping up the final three frames, outpacing Cease with eight hits allowed, squeezing in four earned, whiffing just two and matching his starters walks (one) and homers allowed (two).

Angels Matt Thaiss, Kole Calhoun, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Bemboom all went boom today against this mediocre pitching effort. Eight of the host’s nine runs came via the round tripper.

The White Sox fall to 55-68, a 90-loss pace. On an afternoon like this one, it’s amazing to think this club is still on a pace 10 games better than last season.

Is it too early to start talking about tomorrow? It’s not too early to start talking about tomorrow. It’s White Sox-Twins, Darren Black on your coverage for the 7:10 p.m. game, with a potential 1-6 trip staring the Chisox in the face.

Six Pack of Stats: Angels 9, White Sox 2

One swing of the bat: The home run off of the bat of Mike Thaiss (an 81.9% win expectancy) was all the Los Angeles Angels would need to take the series from the Chicago White Sox. (FanGraphs)

Eloy notches his first career triple and tallies home run No. 22 in an ill-fated loss to the Angels

Although the Chicago White Sox couldn’t find the series equalizer, Eloy Jiménez had himself a numbers game this afternoon.


The Tale of Threes:

Eloy Jiménez recorded his first career triple during the top of the fourth inning. With this three-bagger, Eloy has more triples this season than Tim Anderson.

However, Timmy still has a very admirable batting average well into the three-hundreds.

The worst of the threes is that the Angels take three of four games in this late-August set.


Dylan Cease, born in 1995, threw 95 pitches in his eighth career major league baseball game.


In all eight major league outings, Cease has pitched at least five innings. Dylan works to save the bullpen, and if he can keep it up and possibly stretch it to six, the bullpen arms will be as sharp as ever. In a game where long starts are needed, Cease provides a bright spot for the future.


One-out in the ninth inning, Eloy hit another opposite-field home run in back-to-back games. Lucky No. 22 lands just above the yellow line on the padding of the right field’s wall.


Mike O’Brien, Jason Benetti’s partner-in-crime for this afternoon, dons Mark Buehrle as his favorite baseball player. No. 56 inspired Eloy a little as Jiménez recorded the best WPA of the game for Chicago at .056.


The South Side pitchers gave up 25 runs in the four-game series. Allowing over six runs a game will be a habit that must be broken in order to contend in the future. It all comes with the growing pains of the game, and I am confident that these young ballplayers are going to go on a very special run.

Gamethread: White Sox at Angels

So, hey, howdy, have I written anything here yet? I don’t know, this weekend, this week, this season’s been a blur. Anyway, what’s up. Happy Dylan Cease Day? (Is it still a celebration, with Dylan having a somewhat pedestrian rookie start?)

I’ve got double gamethread/recap duty today, so listen, I’ll leave it to my SSHP compadre overachievers to make me look bad with exhaustive detail about this that and other. But Tim Anderson, hot as hell, dropped back down to No. 7 (just gonna guess, a righty, right?) is classic Ricky. At least the Abreu/McCann/Jiménez flex at 3-4-5 makes sense, but then … all righties? C’mon, Sr. Rick.

Something sort of funny, if you’ve not noticed: You start typing “Angels” into Twitter to get lineups, and the Los Angeles Dodgers show up before the Angels. No wonder Arte Moreno’s team has suffered through like 28 different prefixes and suffixes in the past 15 years, they’re carpetbaggers in their own city!

Check it out, you can write captions for embeds in WordPress. Hey wait, by typing a caption for this did Mike Trout disappear from the Angels lineup? #UnmitigatedAudacityAndThirstForPower

OK, yeah, see, “Griffin Canning,” a righthander.

But more importantly, no Mike Trout! He DHed last night and is off today?


OK, lemme quit before I break all of the new WordPress toys.