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Gamethread: Cleveland at White Sox

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Vaughn is back in the lineup, Williams and Lamb sit, Anderson is close to a return

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners
After a tummy ache banged his Monday start, Carlos Rodón is back, to battle the Wahoos.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning!”

Blow it up. Tear it down. Rebuild the Rebuild. That’s what every White Sox fan is undoubtedly feeling today after last night’s loss to Cleveland. All fingers are pointed at manager Tony La Russa for his decision to play Nick Williams and Jake Lamb, who went for a combined 0-for-8 last night, over future starters like Andrew Vaughn, Zack Collins, and yes, the star-iest of them all, Yermín Mercedes.

The White Sox are 5-6 in their first 11 games of the season. Maybe La Russa is trying to find his best lineup. Maybe he’s making sure these young guys aren’t thrown into the fire too quickly. And sure, the argument can be made that “there’s a lot of season left.” But Sox fans aren’t looking for late-season heroics. Chicago wants their team to DESTROY their opponents, right now. Smash them into the ground. Blast them into space. Either one works. South Side fans want the Pale Hose to run away with the division and wipe years of memories of mediocrity from their minds.

Every loss should fire these guys up to do better. Let’s hope last night’s does that today.

Carlos Rodón takes the mound for the White Sox tonight. He was scheduled to make his regular start on Monday in the series opener against Cleveland, but was scratched due to a stomach bug. He has been a bright spot so far in a season filled with shadows. Rodón rolled his spring training magic over into his first start against Seattle last week, throwing five innings of shutout ball, with two hits, three walks, and nine Ks. Being non-tendered and re-signed must have been a wake-up call for Rodón, because he’s truly pitching like the prince who was promised.

Chicago’s lineup looks different from last night … phew. Vaughn, Collins, and Mercedes are all in the lineup tonight. Lamb and Williams are both sitting. Yasmani Grandal gets the night off as well. Adam Eaton is hitting leadoff — he’s the only player on the team with a batting average better than .300 against Cleveland starter Zach Plesac. Leury García is in at shortstop, although that shouldn’t repeat again for a long, long time, as Tim Anderson is expected to return tomorrow.

Here’s the lineup:

Plesac has had a good career against Chicago. In five starts, he has a 3.03 ERA and a 0.918 WHIP. This season, the Crown Point native is 1-1, 1.38 ERA, with 10 strikeouts. He threw seven scoreless innings and gave up three hits in his last start against the Detroit Tigers. Plesac has a great slider, but relies on his 4-seam fastball quite a bit. If the Sox swing early, they might be able to make a statement in the first few innings of the game. Let’s just hope we all go to bed happy and when we wake up, we smell sausage instead of napalm.

“I love the smell of sausage in the morning!”