Drop-off slide: The graph, at the eighth inning mark, was construed to represent a water slide — made for Angels fans only. (FanGraphs)
Lucas Giolito pitches seven innings, and Tim Anderson crushes a two-run homer, but it all goes for naught
The Chicago White Sox’s starting pitching did a job well-done. The Chicago White Sox’s offense did a pretty good job. The Chicago White Sox’s back-end of the bullpen faltered during this fluke of a game.
In a rare, rare, incredibly bizarre sight, Aaron Bummer had an off day. And, you know what? That’s okay. For how spectacular he has been this season, this is okay. It does hurt that he contributed a -.261 WPA, but his 2.4 WAR this season speaks louder.
Tim Anderson’s 2-for-4 night, which included a single and a two-run blast, kept his batting average at .333. In some of the best news of the night, TA still leads the American League in batting average!
This was only the second time ALL season where the Good Guys have lost the game leading after seven innings. That’s pretty impressive given that they aren’t a playoff team, and it just amplifies how great the late-inning arms have been for the South Siders.
Lucas Giolito continues to dazzle and impress. Luc-ace G-elite-o allowed only two runs off of three hits in this seven-inning start. Unfortunately, he couldn’t capture his 15th win of the season, but have no fear, he will try again in five days!
José Abreu’s first-inning double allowed Tim Anderson to score the first run of the game. TA7 accoutned for Mal Tiempo’s 107th RBI of the season. With Timmy leading the leauge in BA and Abreu second in the league with RBIs, I say we cheer them on to finish first in their respective categories by season’s end!
Giolito reocrded his 216th strikeout during tonight’s game. This feat puts Lucas in second place behind Ed Walsh as White Sox righthanders to strikeout at least this many during a season. Walsh recorded 269, 258, 255, and 254 strikeouts from 1908, 1910-1912 (Baseball Reference). Lucas is a little way away from tying Walsh’s 254 strikeouts in 1912, but he might surprise us by the time the season ends. Regardless, I am incredibly happy with how Gio has turned his pitching career around that has resulted in complete games, being one win out from 15, and having his name and Walsh’s in the same conversation.
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.
As they say in baseball: Let’s do that baseball! (FanGraphs)
There’s a throwaway gag in Family Guy, where Peter and Lois go to a drive-in movie theater (in a tank, because why not) and watch “The Even Couple” starring Jeff Daniels and Bill Pullman, two mild mannered, evenly tempered actors who you could probably interchange in literally every movie they’ve been in and not notice. This Sox/Twins “thriller” was pretty much like this bit. Two teams performed functional baseball, gave workman-like, professional efforts, and had some moments that moved the needle ever so slightly towards: Meh. Anyway! Here’s your Six Pack of Stats! (brought to you by the number 6)
Both the Twins and White Sox offenses were relatively quiet for most of the night. The Sox could only muster six hits all night. Five singles sprinkled throughout, and one BIG FLY from our very own Tim Anderson that made the game 2-1 in the fourth inning.
The Twins also had six singles, however the remaining two hits they got were solo homers off of Giolito in the second inning, which ended up being enough tonight!
The number of strikeouts for Lucas Giolito so far in the 2019 season, which for those counting at home, makes this the first 200-plus strikeout season of his career. The soon to be AL Cy-Young vote getter didn’t duplicate his dominant performance from last week, but a quality start and nine K’s make for a fine effort.
With his 200-plus K season, Lucas Giolito became the sixth pitcher in franchise history to achieve this feat! The number of 200-plus K pitchers/convicted drug kingpins on this list remains at one, however.
That’s how far Steve Stone’s loved ones would have buried him underground had this fifth inning foul ball off the bat of Twins batter Mitch Garver shot into the Sox TV broadcast booth a few inches lower than it did. Thankfully for him (and not so much for NBC Sports Chicago) the monitor just behind his noggin caught the brunt of the damage. Rob Manfred immediately called for the installation of nets to cover all broadcast booths.
The game batting average for one Yolmer Sánchez, who went 2-3 and despite them only being singles, had the highest WPA of all Sox players for the game at .118. (The second single came with one out in the seventh inning, which was the only time the Sox had a man in scoring position with fewer than two out.) Naturally, Matt Skole pinch hit struck out and Leury lined out to Sano to end the last Sox offensive threat of the night.
Let’s make up for the fact that the last stat was barely worth mentioning, but again, not much exciting happened in this game, one that mattered way more to the Twins than the Sox. So I will instead recognize the reigning NL MVP (and six-letter surnamed) Christian Yelich, who was involved in a one-sided twitter owning of some random troll. Yelly will be featured in ESPN’s The Body Issue and some of his tasteful nudes popped up on Twitter (sorry ladies and gents, no peeks at his Wonderbat) and some random Twitter-MAGAbot named @RoxaneJ77 who claimed to be sad in a now-protected tweet because Yelich “didn’t give a thought about all the kids that idolize him before doing his naked photo shoot.”
Yelich responded simply with a two-worded tweet: “Relax Roxane.”
But did our hero let bygones be bygones? NO, dear reader, he most certainly did not, and owned this troll into an early Twitter grave by doing this:
May the odds be ever in your favor: According to the graph, the odds were almost always in the favor of the White Sox, and they made sure to prove the odds true. (FanGraphs)
Mal Tiempo collects RBIs No. 99 and 100
Yesterday, the Texas Rangers had the pitching going for them, and for this afternoon, the tables turned. The Chicago White Sox recorded the one-hit shutout and took the season series from the Rangers (4-3).
Reynaldo López was firing on all cylinders during this afternoon’s ballgame. He pitched five complete innings, which consisted of 80 pitches. The thrill of that? He threw five shutout AND no-hit innings. Unfortunately, he left the game with signs of dehydration and flu-like symptoms. Wishing for a speedy recovery!
José Abreu collects RBIs No. 99 and 100. With that, Mal Tiempo is third on the all-time Chicago White Sox list of seasons with 100-plus RBIs.
The collective pitching effort of the Good Guys only gave up one hit to the Rangers. Recently, the South Siders have had some remarkable pitching efforts by starters and relievers. If the batters can keep complementing the pitchers with overall solid defense, this team will be a legit contender in 2020 as Abreu predicts.
With today’s save, Alex Colomé registers his 25th save in 26 opportunities. He definitely lives up to his Players’ Weekend nickname: The Horse.
The South Side pitchers totaled a .607 WPA, and they were absolutely magnificent.
Today’s wonderfully-pitched ballgame and simple-hitting baseball equated to the Sox’s 60th win of the season. The South Siders are 60-70 overall.
Ace of the staff: Lucas Giolito displayed his best stuff — against the best team in the A.L. Central — for a brilliant complete game shutout. (FanGraphs)
When someone shuts out one of the best major league teams of the season, he deserves some glory. For the numbers of the game, it’s all about the masterful Luc-ace G-elite-o!
Lucas Giolito, without a doubt, was the player of the game. No. 27 notched all 27 outs in his third complete game of the 2019 season. He now leads the Chicago White Sox in that category, breaking a tie with Iván Nova.
Of the 27 outs recorded by Giolito, 12 came via the strikeout.
That makes three straight starts with at least 10-plus strikeouts, for a grand total of 36! That is incredible!
Today’s scoreless opponent, the Minnesota Twins, joins the Houston Astros as the second team this season (and in his career) that G-elite-o has kept scoreless in a shutout.
Per the post game interview with Luc-ace, he claimed that he “didn’t shake [off James McCann] once.” That is some pitcher-catcher wizardry, and I am so here for it!
Ultimately, what do all the above numbers add up to? A series win for the White Sox and an outstanding .380 WPA for Gio. The next-highest of the game? José Abreu’s .194. Lucas simply got the job done, and he did so brilliantly!
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.
James McCann doubles home two runs, and Eloy Jiménez goes deep for the 21st time this season, but the Angels score late to earn the victory. (FanGraphs)
The tables turned as the Los Angeles Angels — instead of James McCann — put up four late-inning runs to secure the victory
I am beyond excited to finally make my South Side Hit Pen debut! Unfortunately, it comes after a late South Side loss. I will dive into the numbers of the night in hopes to surface with hope for evening the series tomorrow afternoon.
Without wasting any time, the White Sox scored the first run of the ballgame. Leury García led the game off with a triple, and Tim Anderson followed with an RBI-groundout for the opening run.
The Los Angeles Angels also used one (1) opener during the game. Noé Ramirez pitched 1 1/3 innings before Jose Suarez came onto the scene.
After a 410-foot opposite field home run — hit at 106 mph — Eloy Jiménez ties the former No. 10 Alexei Ramirez for the tenth spot on the White Sox rookie home run list.
Héctor Santiago threw only 80 pitches before he was taken out of the game. Amassing 4 2/3 innings, Santiago pitched well. With two back-to-back strikeouts to Mike Trout, that’s a success worth celebrating.
Once again, James McCann keeps rolling. With two RBIs on a third-inning double, McCann had the highest WPA of the South Siders at .191.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, Evan Marshall had the worst win probability added. Giving up three walks and two runs (unearned), his -.637 WPA led the Sox into the losing direction.
The season is coming to a quick close for the Good Guys, as there are only 40 games left to the 2019 regular season. It’s time to really enjoy, but most importantly, learn during the last month-plus of baseball. Besides, I know that the South Siders are looking to avoid back-to-back 100-loss seasons.