5.) June 4th vs Tigers
Yermin Mercedes snaps hitless streak hits a walk-off single (9-8)
Yermin Mercedes had plenty of big games for the Chicago White Sox in 2021.
The White Sox 9-8 win over the Tigers on June 4th was one of the wildest wins of the season. It was an emotional roller coaster that could easily be dubbed the Yasmani Grandal game. The events that led up to the walk-off place this game at number five on our list.
The White Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Yasmani Grandal launched a home run to center field. The White Sox offense would tack on five more runs in the fifth inning to extend the Southsider’s lead to 6-1. It looked like they were going to coast to an easy victory over their division foe.
But the bullpen ensured that didn’t happen while giving fans a small heart attack along the way. The Tigers got a run back in the sixth inning but Nick Madrigal responded with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 7-2.
Then, the wheels fell off. Codi Heuer allowed three runs in the seventh inning without recording an out. Evan Marshall came in to stop the bleeding but made things worse by allowing three more runs. The Tigers six-run seventh inning flipped a 7-2 lead to an 8-7 deficit. Garrett Crochet finally got the White Sox out of the inning but the damage had been done.
The Tigers had all the momentum. With two outs in the seventh inning, it looked like they were going to steal a victory. The White Sox had a win probability of 27%. However, Yasmani Grandal saved the day.
He ripped a home run 413 feet to center field to tie the game. The ball only had a launch angle of 23 degrees but the 104.9 mph exit velocity was enough to carry it out of the yard much to the delight of a euphoric White Sox crowd.
The Tigers threatened in the top of the ninth with a lead-off walk. Miguel Cabrera then ripped a line drive towards the gap that looked like the go-ahead hit. But Billy Hamilton tracked it down preserving the tie.
The White Sox were not out of the woods yet, however. Garrett Crochet issued a two-out walk putting runners on first and second. Liam Hendriks came out of the bullpen and escaped the jam by inducing an inning-ending fly out to left field.
Yoan Moncada opened the bottom of the ninth by getting hit by a pitch. Jose Abreu advanced him to third with a single. With runners on the corners and nobody out, the White Sox had a win probability of 93%.
The table was set for Yermin Mercedes to play the hero. Mercedes was in the midst of a 0-for-25 slump that he was desperate to bust out of. He did just that ending the game with an RBI single to right field.
Mercedes threw his hands up to the sky with joy as he jogged to first and was mobbed by his teammates. The game itself was more exciting than the actual walk-off but if you add in Yasmani Grandal’s heroics with Yermin Mercedes redemption story and you have yourself a memorable moment.