Outside of the Rangers and the Red Sox, this schedule feels very “2020 Regionals.” That’s partially due to playing Cleveland three times in a month, which is really just too much. I do want to be a fly on the wall when MLB is figuring out scheduling, just once, to see what sort of bingo caller they use.
This is the third meeting between Cleveland and the White Sox and the season is only one month old. In five meetings, the White Sox have taken three. Carlos Rodón is especially pleased playing them, because they did give him his first career no-hitter. Zack Plesac had a some terrible outings the two times he’s faced the White Sox, which is a trend I would not be mad if we continued.
How’s it Going?
Cleveland has lost six of their last 10, which is not going to get you into the postseason. It faced the Twins, Yankees, and Reds, and with how poorly the Yankees have been doing so far you would think that series wouldn’t be hard. Cleveland did manage to beat the Twins, who are on fire in a bad way, so at least it has that going for them.
The club has gone 4-6 on the road and are 4-7 against LHP (for those who care about lefty/righty). Their offense is slumping, with a team average of .209 (14th in the AL), but the bullpen continues to prop up Cleveland with an ERA of 3.74 (fourth). A strictly “isolate power, home run offense” is exciting to watch, and the pitching is terrific, but if you’re not getting on base and then driving in runs, what exactly are you doing?
With the departure of Francisco Lindor, Franmil Reyes is emerging as the team’s star, slashing .293/.322/.646 in 82 at-bats. José Ramírez is leading in OBP (.333) which is the only thing that Reyes isn’t leading the team in. I know you’re going to be shocked when I tell you that Shane Bieber leads the pitching staff in ERA (2.48), and strikeouts (57). Bieber holds the White Sox to a career .212 average, so it’s always a joy when he’s in town.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have been a tad uneven. After a very poor showing vs. the Tigers on Tuesday, they managed to thoroughly trounce them in yesterday’s doubleheader. Dylan Cease going all seven innings yesterday gave the bullpen some much-needed rest (and breaking his only-four-innings curse) so the relief corps should be fresh and ready to go as we move into the weekend series.
Today is going to pit Shane Bieber against Dallas Keuchel. Bieber is coming off a career high 119 pitches thrown (vs. Yankees) where he allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings. He rolls in with a 2-2 record and 2.48 ERA this season. Keuchel, meanwhile, is coming off a game where he finally looks like he found his dominance after a shaky start to the season. He threw six scoreless vs. the Rangers and did not allow a walk. Currently he’s got a 1-0 record with a 4.32 ERA that we’re going to be looking to chip away at and get him back down.
Cleveland hasn’t announced who’s pitching Saturday or Sunday (yet) but we should be seeing the return of Lance Lynn on Saturday from the IL. Prior to his trip to the IL he posted a 0.92 ERA and a 1-1 record in three games, culminating in 27 strikeouts (and of course the home opener complete game). Sunday is going to see Lucas Giolito coming back after a showing on Tuesday that could have gone better. Giolito’s ERA has climbed to 5.68 and he’s entering with a 1-2 record.
Hear it from the Twitterverse
Why do we hate them? Well, mostly because they lost the World Series in 2016 and screwed up Rodon’s perfecto.
2016 WS is literally the reason why we got 4 years of complete garbage from our country and why we’re in a global pandemic and the Indians are directly to blame for that— Kyle/VPR Revan (@Iamsharknado) April 30, 2021
they purposely ruined Carlos' perfect game— Katelyn Foehner (@Katelyn_Foehner) April 29, 2021
because of seasons 1995- current— GGTB White Sox podcast (@GoodGuysTB) April 29, 2021
Because they couldn’t finish the job in 2016! pic.twitter.com/TitEWVoE8D— Richie 2 Sox (@LodiDodi17) April 29, 2021
The 90’s— A.J. (@AJEarley4) April 29, 2021
Blew a 3-1 to the damn Cubs— Sergio Santos fan club (@santossergio46) April 29, 2021
Albert Belle. Hated him when he played for Cleveland, hated him slightly less when he played for the White Sox.— Coach Sexton (@bwsexton) April 29, 2021
Perez. Still mad.— Bill Koester (@Billy_dk_89) April 29, 2021
They think they are a superior city to Detroit for some reason and they’re not— Herb Lawrence (@Ecnerwal23) April 30, 2021
Cleveland sucks!! Cleveland sucks!!— The Blond Mexican ⚾️ (@chi73girl) April 30, 2021
And then Plesac posting an apology video on Instagram that was him driving through downtown Cleveland without a seat belt on.— Rob MackOwiak (@OwiakRob) April 29, 2021
Ruined Rodon’s perfecto, and choked against the Cubs.— Major BS ⚾️ (@BenChiTownKid98) April 29, 2021
Jose Ramirez decides to play his best against the Sox. They continually have dominant pitchers even in down years, and Jordan Luplow can go away.— White Sox Truther (@SamR33v3s) April 29, 2021