First of Four in Minnesota
January 24, 2014
White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field, Minneapolis (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a four-game series. Starters: RHP Hector Noesi (4-6, 4.55) for the Sox, RHP Phil Hughes (10-6, 4.05) for Minnesota.
Noesi will be making his 16th start since joining the White Sox. He has made seven quality starts and has lowered his ERA from 14.21 to 5.21. He earned his fourth win in his last start on July 17 vs. the Astros, allowing three runs on six hits over six innings.
Sox Starting Lineup: Eaton CF, Ramirez SS, Abreu 1B, Dunn DH, Viciedo RF, Gillaspie 3B, Beckham 2B, De Aza LF, Flowers C.
Play of the Day
Another no-decision yesterday can’t diminish the latest outstanding performance by Jose Quintana. Though the Royals scored the winning run in the top of the ninth for the 2-1 victory, “Q” was brilliant in his pitchers duel with James Shields. Jose yielded just a run, seven hits and a pair of walks along with three Ks in seven innings of work. He is now 2-0 with a 1.70 ERA with 49 strikeouts over his last seven starts (six quality) and has allowed only three earned runs or less in 18 of his 21 starts…Jose Abreu extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double (he’s batting .377 during the streak) and has hit safely in 31 of his last 32 games…Tyler Flowers, who singled twice, is 9-15 (.600) with four doubles and three RBI over his last five games…Moises Sierra, who doubled yesterday, is 11-40 (.275) with four doubles in his last 12 starts.
Before tonight’s game, the Sox placed reliever Zach Putnam on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled Andre Rienzo from Class AAA Charlotte.
Paciorek in Booth This Weekend
With Hawk Harrelson heading to Cooperstown, NY, for Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, Tom Paciorek with join Steve Stone in the TV booth for the series with the Twins.
The Truth about Chris Sale
From Jonah Keri in Grantland.com:
If we’re going to spill thousands of words about Clayton Kershaw, it seems only fair to do the same for Chris Sale. Yes, Kershaw plays for a more glamorous and successful team, and yes, he’s been dominating a little longer than his fellow lefty. Still, compare the 2014 stat lines and it’s tough to ignore the similarities: Right now, Sale looks like the AL version of Kershaw.
To toast Sale’s excellence, here are some fun facts about one of the best and most underrated pitchers in the game:
• Sale leads all left-handed AL starters with as many or more innings pitched in ERA (2.08) and FIP (2.48).
• Opposing batters are hitting .190 against Sale, with a .237 on-base percentage. Both of those marks lead the AL. Opponents are slugging .271 against Sale, second only to the Angels’ Garrett Richards.
• Sale ranks second in the AL in strikeout rate (28.3 percent), trailing only Yu Darvish; second in swing-and-miss rate (12.5 percent), trailing only Masahiro Tanaka; and sixth in walk rate (4.4 percent).
• In 14 starts, Sale has allowed more than three runs only once: a seven-inning, five-run affair against the Angels, the top-scoring team in baseball.
• Left-handed batters are hitting .118/.183/.132 against Sale. When Sale gets two strikes against lefties, he throws his slider away, and those hitters take a seat.
The White Sox are headed in the right direction as GM Rick Hahn’s roster makeover continues behind Sale and the great Jose Abreu. Take the $68 million deal that binds Abreu to the team through 2019, and the $32.5 million pact that locks up Sale through 2017, and the White Sox boast the best pair of long-term contracts in all of baseball.
And Don’t Forget “Q”
From @ckamka: The most quality starts by a left-handed pitcher in 2014:
Jose Quintana, Sox 16
David Price, Rays 15
Jon Lester, Red Sox 15
Scott Kazmir, A’s 15
Ceremonial First Pitches
Quote of the Day
The Weekend Schedule
I will be in Cooperstown this weekend celebrating the Hall of Fame inductions of Frank Thomas and Tony LaRussa so I will be posting from there on all of the Hall of Fame festivities.
Here is the schedule for the remainder of the weekend series against the Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis:
Friday: LHP John Danks (8-6, 4.35) for the Sox, RHP Kevin Correia (5-12, 4.76) for the Twins (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN).
Saturday: LHP Chris Sale (9-1, 2.03) for the Sox, TBA for the Twins (6:10 p.m., CT, WGN).
Sunday: RHP Scott Carroll (4-6, 4.52) for the Sox, RHP Yohan Pino (1-3, 4.64) for the Twins (1:10 p.m., CT, CSN).
Photo of the Day
…And we know it won’t be his last!