From a Chicago perspective, the talking points of this series are how Lance Lynn and Dylan Cease kept San Francisco’s offense at bay. How Tanner Banks has come up big out of the bullpen is unexpected. Oh, and how the White Sox are the team taking advantage of defensive miscues.
From a San Francisco perspective, it’s all about the defense.
San Francisco took the lead early, thanks to LaMonte Wade Jr.’s leadoff home run in the first inning. Joc Pederson followed up with a double, and it appeared Dylan Cease was set for a tough afternoon having to face seven left-handed hitters in the lineup. It was an arduous first inning for Cease, who threw 28 pitches but only allowed one run.
That’s all the Giants could muster off Cease as he threw 104 pitches to get through five innings of work. He relied on his slider, throwing that pitch 50% of the time with good results. Cease generated 15 whiffs on 27 swings (56% whiff rate) and had a Called Strike Whiff rate of 44% using the slider. The final line isn’t as impressive as Cease’s last two outings, but scattering four hits and three walks while striking out four works when the opponents only score one run off you.
Logan Webb was on a roll through the first three innings giving White Sox hitters fits with his sinker – slider – changeup combo. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that things started to unravel for the Giants.
Tim Anderson reached on an infield single that Giants third baseman Evan Longoria couldn’t make the barehanded play in time. Then Andrew Vaughn reached on Brandon Belt’s error. With Luis Robert batting, one would hope he could put a charge into one. Instead, his swing topped a pitch that barely got out in front of home plate. The result was like a sacrifice bunt with both Anderson and Vaughn advancing. With one out, no balls were hit out of the infield against Webb, and here is having to face Jose Abreu with runners in scoring position.
Webb got out ahead early 0-2 on Abreu but couldn’t put him away. Abreu did an excellent job of not chasing the changeups or sliders out of the zone and took his walk to load the bases for Gavin Sheets. With the infield drawn in, Sheets had to find a way to get some lift and drive the ball.
Which Sheets did, to left field, right at Joc Pederson. It was a deep enough line drive that would allow Anderson to tag up and score, but a funny thing happened. Pederson completely misjudged the line drive. He ran too far in and watched the liner sail over his head, resulting in a two-RBI double for Sheets. Two defensive blunders by the Giants put their Ace pitcher in a bad spot.
The infield was still drawn in for Yoan Moncada, but he pulled a grounder hard enough to get through the infield and increase the lead to 3-1. Eventually, Webb made an excellent play on a slow roller in front of home plate to nail Sheets out at home, but the Sox generated three runs weirdly.
White Sox was blessed with more lousy defense in the sixth inning from the Giants. The bases were loaded when Abreu singled, and Sheets doubled, legitimately, to put them into scoring position. Moncada was hit by a pitch to load them up but watched AJ Pollock swing at bad pitches for a strikeout. Last night’s hero, Leury Garcia, was facing another drawn-in infield.
He hit a grounder that made Brandon Belt move to his right, taking his momentum to second base. There wasn’t a good angle for a throw to home plate, so he attempted to start the 3-6-1 double play. The issue is that Garcia’s speed down the first baseline was going to make that play very difficult, with a pitcher covering first. Garcia beat the throw to first base, so one run was going to score. Still, Giants shortstop Donovan Walton’s throw was off target resulting in another error that led to another run for the White Sox.
A four-run lead was held up thanks to Tanner Banks tossing two scoreless innings, not allowing any baserunners while striking out two. He’s been throwing the ball better. Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman did not have the same success as both were pitching on back-to-back days. Something out of the norm for both. Kelly had the eighth inning where he walked two and allowed a hit to give up a run making it a 5-2 game towards the ninth inning.
Graveman didn’t walk anyone but allowed three hits and the game-winning run to bat. That opportunity rested on Mike Yastrzemski’s shoulders, but he grounded out to Anderson at shortstop, finally ending the game.
- The White Sox are 12-4 when Dylan Cease starts in 2022
- Tim Anderson, Gavin Sheets, and Yoan Moncada all had multi-hit games.
- White Sox only struck out five times as a team.