The Jeopardy answer:
Halley’s comet. The Rapture. Dylan Cease.
The correct question: What are three long-awaited things of astronomical import?
For many a Chicago White Sox fan, the list is in the wrong order. By all accounts, Cease is a kid with his head on his shoulders, his feet on the ground, and everything else properly arranged, which is critical, because otherwise all the hype would have swollen his head to the size of the Great Pumpkin. He could toss a 96-pitch perfect game this afternoon and still not live up to all the hoopla.
Cease is making his major league debut following two good months at Charlotte in April and May, followed by an horrendous June. In the past month, he’s given up 16 earned runs in 17 1⁄3 innings, walking 12 in the process. So naturally, the White Sox, being the White Sox, bring him up now.
You can reasonably second-guess the timing. You can reasonably second-guess the decision to make the promotion regular, rather than taking advantage of the 26th man opportunity, given that this is a rainout make-up. But you have to give the Sox full credit for picking the team for him to start his career against.
The Detroit Tigers offense is awful. Beyond awful. It’s the worst in MLB, so bad it makes the Miami Marlins look like the ’27 New York Yankees. The Tigers have scored 274 runs, the Marlins 301. The next-worst team in the American League (OK, it’s the White Sox) has scored 351.
The Pussycats batters have earned a whopping 0.1 offensive bWAR for the season. Nick Castellanos has 1.5 on his own, the so the rest are worse than a Triple-A team would theoretically be.
Cease has seen plenty of their level of performance before. And he won’t have to face Detroit’s future Hall-of-Famer, because Miguel Cabrera isn’t in the starting lineup.
Cease will be facing lefty Daniel Norris, who’s 2-7, but with a 103 ERA+. Norris tossed against the Sox twice back in April, with mixed results — the first time he was terrific, giving up just two hits, one walk and no runs in five innings in a 4-3 win. The next time the Sox got revenge, with 10 hits and four earned in five innings, eventually leading to a 12-11 win.
Cease will have James McCann behind the plate.
The Tigers aren’t turning loose Gordon Beckham against his old team, perhaps because he’s on a 3-for-23 streak.
The historical first pitch will be at 1:10 p.m. Central. Try to be somewhere memorable at that moment, because years from now people will ask, “Where were you when Dylan Cease threw his first major league pitch?”
It’s a beautiful day for baseball, 78 degrees at game time, though the way things have gone lately, the 15% chance of precipitation may mean a two-hour rain delay. WGN has full broadcast coverage.