This was not the most beautifully pitched ballgame ever. Scott Baker lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up four runs (including a couple of home runs). John Danks was a little better, pitching seven innings but giving up five runs on eleven hits (also including a couple of home runs). The crappy pitching is actually what made this one of those classic, tension-filled, back-and-forth games that makes pennant races so much fun. The Twins jumped out to an early lead, tagging Danks for four runs in the first inning. Then the White Sox clawed their way back, scoring three runs off of Baker in the second. Then the White Sox tied it up off of Baker in the fourth, then Delmon Young homered to put the Twins ahead, and then Alexei Ramirez homered to tie it up again. Then the Sox scored the go-ahead run in the tenth. Of course Jim Thome would hit the walkoff home run against his former team (video); this game really couldn’t end any other way.
Jim Thome: .673 WPA. This is what I was talking about when I said Thome was one of the best free-agent signings of the offseason. Thome’s walkoff two-run blast is the difference between a 2-game lead and a 4-game lead in the AL Central. The White Sox aren’t dead yet, but they’re getting there.
Glen Perkins, .180 WPA. Though perhaps an honorable mention goes to Ron Mahay. The much-maligned Mayday pitched out of a Rauchian jam with runners on first and second and two outs in the tenth. It isn’t often that Ron Mahay is one of the heroes non-goats of the game.