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Gamethread: White Sox at Mariners

Dallas Keuchel looks to put the Sox over .500, with Jake Lamb getting his first start

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Angels
It’s been a rough start to 2021 for Dallas Keuchel. If there’s any team he can feast on, it should be the Mariners.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Gosh, it feels good to be .500.

That’s certainly a phrase you don’t hear baseball fans use too often, but with back-to-back wins for the White Sox in Seattle, it looks like the team is heading in the right direction.

After an embarrassing series to open the year in Anaheim, Chicago’s bats have come alive, scoring 16 runs on 20 hits, including four home runs in the last two games — one of those round-trippers being Jose Abreu’s second grand slam of the year last night.

The pitching has been phenomenal as well. Carlos Rodón continued where he left off in spring with five innings of shutout ball, with three walks, two hits, and nine Ks in the first game of the series. And, Lucas Giolito again looked dominant in last night’s matchup against James Paxton. Besides one shaky inning after a Nick Madrigal bobble, Giolito looked like the Cy Young candidate he is destined to be. His fastball was rising and his changeup helped walk 10 Mariners batters back to the dugout. With Michael Kopech and Garrett Crochet leading the way for the bullpen, the team looks like a division winner.

But to be a division winner, a team needs to be over .500. The South Siders look to get there today in the final series matchup with M’s.

Dallas Keuchel takes the mound for the Sox. Keuchel’s first start against the Angels was a rocky one. He lasted four innings, allowing six runs, four earned, with four strikeouts and two walks. The veteran southpaw came into spring training a little late due to personal reasons, so it’s safe to assume he’s still wiping the rust off his shoulder. He is 9-8 with a 3.25 ERA in 20 appearances against Seattle.

Chicago’s lineup may look a little different today: Andrew Vaughn, Yoán Moncada, Leury García, and Yermín “Vroom Vroom” Mercedes get the day off. Danny Mendick has been called up to fill the shortstop void after the team placed Tim Anderson on the 10-Day IL. And Jake Lamb gets his first start of the season, at third base. Hopefully, he hits a couple of dingers so we can start calling him “The Great LAMBino.” Anyway …

Here’s the lineup:

Justin Dunn will get the start for the Rockies. This is Dunn’s first start of the season. In 2020, he was 4-1 with a 4.34 ERA and 38 strikeouts over 10 games. Dunn has had control problems over his career so the Sox should be able to capitalize if they remain patient, stay away from his sharp breaking pitches, and aim for his 96-mph fastball … I’m talking to you, Luis Robert.

The game starts at 3:10 p.m. CT. NBCSCH will have coverage along with ESPN1000. MLB.TV will have the game for its subscribers. So sit back, relax, and hope Dallas Keuchel can lead to the team into the promised land, above .500.