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Gamethread: Rays at White Sox

Start time guess now 2:45

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox
Fair query: After a long winter, is it weird to pray for snow? (After a long ugly stretch for the White Sox ... maybe.)
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Midst all the general moaning and groaning about today’s Chicago weather, that isolated section of loud cheers you heard was the White Sox bullpen, which really could do without the five or six innings it could be called upon to throw if the game is played.

The forecast is no longer for a deluge, but it’s supposed to be 37 degrees with an 85% chance of rain or snow — yes, snow — at game time. Chances of rain taper off later in the afternoon, so both of the fans who are likely to show up may eventually see a game. It’s one they’ll try to wedge in, because the Rays don’t return to Chicago this season, but both teams have an off-day tomorrow, when the weather should be much better.

The pitching matchup is Reynaldo López vs. giant (6´8´´) Tampa righty Tyler Glasnow. So far, Glasnow has given up fewer runs for the season than López lets score each inning (1 to 1.11). So the signs are not auspicious. But, as they say, that’s why they play the game.

The good news for those in attendance is that López walks almost a batter an inning, so there’s plenty of time to hit any concession stands that bother to open. Attendance for the last two games, apparently taken by certain estimators of inauguration crowds, was listed around 11,000. I was at Monday’s game, and half of them must have been hiding in the men’s room. It’ll be interesting to see what magic figure is produced today.

Meanwhile, on the field the White Sox will be trying to end a four-game losing streak and avoid a sweep with a lineup of:

Notice that this lineup gives Ricky the chance to again use a career .205 hitter with a 30.8% K rate and 37.1 o-swing rate to pinch-hit against a pitcher with serious wildness problems and the game on the line, i.e. Adam Engel isn’t starting. Other teams may use innovative pitching or lineup strategies these days; the Sox use innovative pinch-hitting strategies.

The Rays will counter with:

Should be an adventure. Will López last four innings? Will we get lucky and discover that Glasnow can’t pitch in the Arctic? Will the White Sox ever catch an opponent trying to steal? Will there be a any fans at GRF at all?

Gametime now 2:45 p.m. Central. NBC Sports Channel has the coverage with WGN on the radio call.