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Gamethread: Pirates at White Sox

South Siders go for the two-game sweep

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays
Think Carlos Rodón’s Cy Young chances are cooked. Los doesn’t agree.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Dog Days of summer are officially behind us as we flip the calendar from #AugustAbreu to #SeptemberSheets. (OK, fine, I’ll admit that it’s premature to make a catchy alliterative hashtag for Gavin Sheets, but you can’t blame a girl for trying to manifest some positivity.) In a tale as old as time, MLB fans everywhere will celebrate September’s arrival by participating in the time-honored tradition of arguing about which players have been called up to help push their clubs across the finish line. Welcome, my friends, to the home stretch.

For their part, the Chicago White Sox (77-56) have made the following roster moves:

At this point in the season and with Tim Anderson being sent to the IL to try to find where his legs went, the Sox seem interested in preserving their leading position players for the eventual postseason run. White Sox fans should be familiar with the power-hitting platoon stylings of Sheets (#SeptemberSheets), but the rise of Romy González is an interesting one. With load management as their possible motivation and considering he would have been eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this offseason, it makes a lot of sense to give a breakout player like González a chance at the big-league level.

The Pittsburgh Pirates (48-84) have made some roster moves of their own. After last night’s game, Pirates’ manager Derek Shelton announced that rookie righthander Max Kranick is expected to start tonight. Kranick has respectable velocity on his fastball and will mix it up most often with his slider. He was solid in A-ball this season and had an impressive MLB debut against the St. Louis Cardinals in June, when he pitched five perfect innings. Since then, however, Kranick has come back down to earth. He enters tonight’s game with an ERA of 7.20, out of which the hard-hitting White Sox lineup should be able to make good hay.

Carlos Rodón makes his second start from the IL tonight. Understandably, the White Sox are being very careful with the injury-prone lefthander. In his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays, Rodón was pulled in the fifth inning with a very comfortable lead and after just 67 pitches. I’d wager that with Lance Lynn on the 10-day IL and Lucas Giolito twisting up his hamstring in last night’s game, the White Sox will keep a close watch on Rodón’s pitch count tonight in the interest of protecting their rotation.

Here’s how the rest of tonight’s lineups shake out:

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. You can catch the action locally on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN 1000 AM.