Today’s game against the Royals is a big one for the White Sox. I wouldn’t call it a "must-win" unless I were fine with diluting that phrase, but after Poor Jose Quintana took a loss for a sixth consecutive start, a defeat at the hands of Yordano Ventura would create quite an unenviable scenario for those still around.
Should the Sox somehow stall after their victory in the opener, they will have:
- Lost nine of their last 10 series.
- Lost a third consecutive series to Kansas City, which came to Chicago on a seven-game skid.
- Lost their last seven games in which they did not DFA a veteran earlier in the day.
That last one brings to mind a flight crew throwing non-essential items off an airplane that's failing to maintain altitude, except in this case we don't quite know whether an engine gave out, or if it's just pilot error.
I’ll refrain from making sweeping ironclad judgments before then, so setting aside White Sox present, here are a couple notes about White Sox past and future.
While James Shields flopped in his White Sox debut, Erik Johnson wasn't much more impressive in his inaugural start with the Padres.
Getting a shot at rotation work after an injury to Andrew Cashner, the Happy Warrior posted a typical line for his new team on Saturday: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. He issued those two walks to the first two batters he faced, and they both came around to score on a Carlos Gonzalez homer.
While Johnson took a step back in terms of team quality, it's a step forward for his own career. A start like that with the Sox would’ve meant a trip to Charlotte the next day. But Johnson is the 10th starter used by the Padres this year, which is why manager Andy Green said the Padres were going to "commit to him to some degree." That’s the strongest endorsement Johnson has received in a long time.
There are mixed reports about whether Collins has agreed to a slot-value bonus with the Sox — I’d assume so, but the weirdness comes down to language that will allow him to continue playing with Miami in the NCAA Super Regionals.
The Hurricanes face a decisive Game 3 with Boston College today, as they lost 5-3 on Saturday. Collins has been raking in both victory and defeat:
The second of those homers was of the no-doubter variety
You can catch Collins in action today at 11 a.m. Central on ESPNU.