Happy May, and welcome back to another edition of Sunday afternoon baseball! The Chicago White Sox will play the final game of their series today against the Cleveland Baseball Team and try and win the rubber match. After a pasta party from Tim Anderson yesterday, a ton of plate discipline from the offense, and a strong performance from the pitching staff, the White Sox were able to grab a 7-3 win to even the series. The White Sox now sit at just 1.5 games back of the Kansas City Royals, and they have an overall record of 15-11. A win today would keep the positive momentum going as they begin Interleague play later this week and end the nine-game homestand.
First, let’s take a look at our pitching matchup for the game.
Lucas Giolito will be pitching today and is looking to get back on track after a rough last two starts and skipping a start due to a slight finger injury. Some may argue that his performance against the Detroit Tigers last Tuesday wasn’t exactly rough and that his late struggles stemmed from some poor managing skills, so I’ll leave that to you to decide. Either way, he showed what he had in the earlier innings and was able to strike out seven batters with only five hits in 6 2⁄3 innings. Going into today’s game, he holds a 1-2 record and his ERA sits at a 5.68 with a 1.26 WHIP. An important statistic to look at is the fact that in 25 and 1⁄3 innings this year, he has 33 strikeouts. Giolito relies heavily on his fastball, which he has thrown 50.7% of the time this year, followed by his changeup 34.3% of the time and his slider 15.1% of the time.
The White Sox will be going up against righty Zach Plesac, who we are already quite familiar with this year. This will be the team’s third time facing Plesac, and it will be his sixth game overall. His record sits at 1-3 with a 5.81 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Plesac was the pitcher in Carlos Rodón’s no-no, and it’s safe to say we jumped on him right away. He was pulled with two outs in the first inning after our offense scored six runs on seven hits. The second time around, he had a much better outing going five innings, but still allowed six earned runs. The South Siders seem to see his pitches well, especially his fastball, which he has used 37.8% of the time this season. Hopefully, the offense can continue its strong hitting against him and give Giolito some run support to make his outing easier.
Here are the starting lineups for today:
Tim Anderson will lead it off once again, followed by Luis Robert, who is making an appearance in the two spot. Although the lineup says that Yermín Mercedes is in the five spot, there was a late change, and Jake Lamb will start in his place. Zack Collins looks to stay solid in his plate appearances while Andrew Vaughn is back in the lineup as well as Nick Madrigal. Leury García will start in right field today in place of Adam Eaton, who is struggling at the plate lately.
Game time is 1:10 p.m. CT, and it will be televised on NBCSCHI. Listen in on the radio at ESPN1000.