If you have a rabbit’s foot, please keep it in your pocket and rub it regularly tonight. If you have a horseshoe, don’t give it back to the horse just yet. If you have a preferred deity, please appeal to that deity in the manner he, she, or it prefers.
Eloy Jiménez is going to be in left field.
In his 2021 White Sox debut last night, Eloy was safely in the DH slot, where he went 0-for-4. Tonight, though, the HOFBP has him playing defense, and we all know the jeopardy in that.
It’s not true that Eloy gets hurt or injures someone else every time he takes to the field. Not even most of the time. It just seems that way. Still, a little appeal to whoever protects the potentially sick and lame wouldn’t hurt.
That has nothing to do with Eloy’s actual defensive skills, though a little good fortune may be called for there as well. With him in left, Brian Goodwin in center, and Andrew Vaughn in right, starting pitcher Dylan Cease may really need to concentrate on reversing his unfortunate recent tendency to give up more fly balls than in the past.
The Royals are a perfect opposition for Cease, since despite a six-game winning streak, they’re still well under .500 (43-55, for those who insistent on precision), where Cease much prefers his opponents. He sports a miserable 7.03 ERA against teams .500 and over but a nifty 2.93 against the dregs. He was even better than that against the Royals when he faced them in April and May, totaling 10 1⁄3 innings and just one earned run.
Cease has had a rough July, though, going 0-3 and giving up 14 earned runs in 21 innings, despite 29 K’s. That’s the opposite trend from his mound opponent, Brad Keller of furious flip flap fame (please see above for pic for friendly reminder).
Keller, who was very good in 2020, has basically stunk in 2021, going 7-9 with a hefty 5.84 ERA and leading the league in both hits and walks surrendered, which are not categories where you really want to lead the league. He seems to have recovered in July, though, with a 1-1 record and just six runs allowed in 20 2⁄3 innings. Keller faced the White Sox three times in April and May, with one bad start and two okay ones, totaling nine runs in 14 1/3.
Naturally, the first batter Keller will face will be Tim Anderson (feel free to refresh your memory by looking at the pic up top again). Anderson would probably do a bat flip over a single right now, since he’s only 4-for-25 since his 16-game hit streak ended.
Cease will be trying to contain the Soler power of the Royals’ DH, hoping the White Sox don’t suffer another Soler eclpise like last night and he just sends out a few Soler flares instead. No doubt the Sox engaged a Soler panel today to try to figure out how to cope with him.
First pitch is slated for 7:10 Central, when it should have cooled down to 94 degrees in Kansas City, though it will not be nearly that comfortable in the stadium. Usual suspects on the broadcasts (NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP 1000 AM).