The White Sox treated June 30 like they had a home run budget for the fiscal year and it was use ’em or lose ’em, so now that it’s July we get to see if that was starting a trend or they got too worn out trotting around the bases to want to do it some more.
Speaking of it being July, happy 41st birthday, Nelson Cruz! That’s enough in the way of observation — no reason to carry any kindness over into the game. And speaking of Cruz, with the Twins hopelessly out of it, no matter what they pretend, and no doubt seeking what rent they can get for the slugger, this could be his last game in Chicago, at least in a Minnesota uniform. That sound you hear is a collective sigh of relief from White Sox pitchers.
The Sox pitcher hoping to reap a sweep of the series is Carlos Rodón, he of the 2.06 ERA and 6-3 record. Carlos weakened a bit last time out, giving up three runs and four walks against the Mariners, but that was the only time In June he ceded more than one run. He hasn’t started against the Twins since 2018.
The Twins counter with their ace (and only good pitcher this year), José Berríos. Berríos has a 3.42 ERA, 7-2 record, and 96 strikeouts in 89 2⁄3 innings. He hasn’t faced the Sox this season, but is 12-2 lifetime against us with a 2.62 ERA and has only given up a .223 batting average and .603 OPS, so, yeah, he’s tough.
Berríos has strong righty-lefty platoon splits, so the Sox lineup is loaded with lefties and switch-hitters.
The absence of Yermín Mercedes is presumably only for handedness, because he did not swing at any 3-0 pitches after the slaughter was on last night. No White Sox batter did, since none had a 3-0 count. Yoán Moncada did swing at 2-0 and 3-1, but that’s apparently OK enough that the HOFBP was able to keep his rage internal and not call for the opposing team to try to maim one of his players.
(Mercedes even caught the ninth, his second inning behind the plate this year. Why not more? Real good question, which you should ask the HOFBP next time you see him.)
Against Rodón, the Twins are starting Miguel Sanó for the first time in the series. He’s only hitting .195 this year, but has 14 homers.
First pitch 1:10 p.m. Central on a beautiful day for baseball. Usual broadcast suspects.