Happy Sunday! The Chicago White Sox will take on the Boston Red Sox this afternoon to play two games, with the first at 12:10 p.m. C.T. Due to the “routine April snow” on Friday, the first game of this four-game set was postponed and moved to today, at 4:00 p.m. CT. This means that both games will be played in just seven innings, so it is even more important for the offense to jump on the Red Sox early and the pitching to be solid from the jump.
Colleen Sullivan will have the coverage on that second game a little later, but for now, let’s focus on the first game of the day!
First, a little fun fact: On this day in 2007, Mark Buehrle did something that might seem familiar to White Sox fans by now: The ace threw the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history, against the Texas Rangers. Since the White Sox tweeted it out, of course I had to watch the highlights to reminisce, and here’s the video so you can as well.
Another White Sox lefty, Dallas Keuchel, will be on the mound today after a solid outing last week against Cleveland. The rotation is slightly out of order due to Keuchel filling in for the sick Carlos Rodón last week, but he will be making his fourth appearance nonetheless. Even with little preparation and notice, Keuchel delivered in a pinch, going five innings with only three hits. His ERA still sits at a relatively high 6.43, but hopefully he can chisel that down a little today.
One thing about the Red Sox that is hot right now is their offense. Yesterday, we even saw many soft/lucky outfield hits that came from line drives and pop-ups, helping them out. If Keuchel can continue generating ground balls and letting the defense do its work, that could be the factor in today’s game. Fans have been slightly underwhelmed with Keuchel’s performances this year so far, dating back to spring training, so maybe today can be the start of more solid outings from the original two-spot pitcher.
The Red Sox No. 6 prospect, righty Tanner Houck, will be on the mound for the Red Sox. Despite his 0-1 record, Houck had a solid first outing and relief outing this year. He currently holds a 3.00 ERA after two appearances, and has 10 total strikeouts with a 1.33 WHIP in just six innings. Houck was recently just optioned to an Alternative Training Site after his appearance against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 7, but was appointed as the 27th man for today’s doubleheader. Houck is still a rookie, so he wasn’t sent down because he was performing badly, but for developmental reasons. Houck relies on his slider and 4-Seam fastball, throwing a slider 42% and a 4-Seam fastball 37% of the time.
Here’s how the rest of the lineup with look for both of the Sox today:
Tim Anderson will lead it off, followed by Adam Eaton and Yoán Moncada, who is looking for revenge after he hit a ball 407 feet yesterday for an out instead of a grand slam. Yermín Mercedes is probably looking for another mammoth home run today and Yasmani Grandal is back in the lineup after a day off yesterday. Luis Robert looks to continue to have great at-bats and solid base hits. And we even have the returns of Jake Lamb and Leury García into the lineup! Because it is a doubleheader, it is a little bit more understanding this time to give some other players opportunities. The offense has been relatively sluggish and slow, so it would be great to see someone destroy a ball over the green monster at some point today. Yerminator, do your thing.
One thing that needs to happen in order for the White Sox to start getting hot and finally make it over .500 is that the team needs to get some sort of a win streak going. So far, it has been frustrating to see the pattern of one win/one loss. If the team can somehow steal both of games today, I would say watch out to the league.
The Red Sox will be back out there in their bright blue and yellow jerseys, which seems to have produced a lot of mixed emotions for fans.
The game will be on NBCSCH and you can listen in on ESPN 1000. Cheers to the first game of a long day!