Bullpen gets it done: Largely thanks to the bullpen, the White Sox’s odds were consistently favorable in the latter innings.
Josh Osich earned today’s MVP award by wins probability added (WPA), with .200. Osich was lights out in his two and two-thirds innings of work, only allowing one hit. Honorable mention goes to José Abreu, who went 1-for-2 with a go-ahead homer and three walks to finish with .172 WPA.
Danny Mendick has one career major league home run, as he hit his first blast since being promoted earlier this month. It is still extremely early, but in 14 career plate appearances, Mendick is slashing .357/.357/.571. In other rookie-related news, Dylan Cease has now made one start in which he did not allow at least one home run. Yep, for the first time in his young career, Cease did not allow any long balls this afternoon. In non-rookie news, the White Sox’s bullpen allowed only one hit and issued just one walk in five and two-thirds innings.
Today’s game marked the end of the White Sox’s season series with the Angels. In the seven matchups between the two teams, the Angels outscored the White Sox by two runs (39-37). Despite this paper-thin margin, the Angels won five of the seven games.
José Abreu reached base safely four times in this game, as he was key to the White Sox’s offense. In addition to walking three times, Abreu launched his 31st home run of the season, a solo blast that traveled a whopping 462 feet. Abreu’s home run gave the White Sox a 2-1 lead, and they never looked back.
In negative Dylan Cease news, the rookie right-hander issued five walks in three and one-third innings. As a result, his pitch count climbed very quickly, as it sat at 66 after only two innings. Cease’s updated walk rate is 4.35 BB/9, while the league average is about 2.90 BB/9. For Cease to maximize on his potential, he will have to cut down on his walks.
The Royals, the White Sox’s next opponent, are 38 games under .500. On Tuesday, the White Sox will look to pick up where they left off this afternoon as they face a struggling 53-91 team at home.