It’s expected to be 48 degrees at game time today, a nice hike from Monday’s ice bowl, but winds of 23 mph will be blowing toward right field as Carlos Rodón faces off against Corey Kluber.
Rodón was let down by both his offense and defense in his loss to the Kansas City Royals on Opening Day. The hitters could only manage two singles and one walk while he was in the game, and the defense might as well have consisted of random fans picked from the stands. Rodón ended up throwing 101 pitches in 5 1⁄3 innings, 60 for strikes, with one walk, six Ks, and two earned runs on his tab.
(If I may digress, while that game had three Sox errors called, there were many more defensive failures. This has become so common we need a handy acronym for it, in the spirit of TOOTBLAN. I’d like to suggest DUNCE, for Defensive Ugliness Not Called Errors, or, if you want to be more 21st Century, E-DUNCE, for Egregious Defensive Ugliness not called errors. No doubt some of you have better suggestions.)
Kluber’s lack of help in his opener was on the offensive side. The two-time Cy Young winner pitched seven strong innings, holding the Minnesota Twins to one hit through the sixth before giving up two runs in the seventh. Not good enough, since Cleveland was shut out.
Rodón will be fortunate to get offensive help today, because the current Sox roster has a lifetime .194 average against Kluber, with 79 strikeouts vs. 39 hits. With the Sox already striking out nine times per game this season, a big turnaround is needed.
The lineup is missing Tim Anderson, who is now officially on paternity leave. Reliever José Ruiz, who as far as we know can’t hit or field shortstop, was called up to take his roster spot.
The Indians will be playing for a job-secure manager. The team announced today that Terry Francona just signed a two-year extension, through 2022.
Rodón will only get to face one left-handed batter, but he won’t have to pitch to injured All-Star Francisco Lindor:
First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m. Central. NBC Sports has the TV coverage, WGN on the radio call.