Welcome to unexpected daytime baseball! The game was allegedly moved up because Detroit is due some bad weather tonight, so Dallas Keuchel gets to pitch in daylight. Well, sort of daylight — rain chances are 35% at game time, then 54% at 2 p.m., 74% at three, and 92% at four, so the move may not do much good.
Until Monday night, Keuchel looked like the odd man out for the playoffs. Sure, his last game didn’t result in the five or more runs he’d been giving up every game in (short) memory, and he got a lot of ground balls, but he also walked five and hit one and gave up six hits in six innings.
Looked like he was mostly just lucky. No way he’s back in the playoff rotation without several more sold starts. Or so it seemed.
Suddenly, there’s a way.
With Carlos Rodón leaving Monday’s game with unspecified soreness he didn’t want to talk about, and with all his pitches down at least a couple of ticks, the need for the now-No. 5 starter to be used against Houston suddenly loomed up. Maybe today, Keuchel can show he’s back in form.
He’ll be facing fellow lefty Tyler Alexander, a change from the scheduled appearance of Casey Mize. Alexander has been primarily a reliever, with four appearances against the White Sox this year, totaling four innings and one run. He sports a 2-3 record and 4.13 ERA.
Alexander tosses a big variety of pitches — cutter 37% of the time, sinker 19%, changeup 18%, four-seamer 16% and slider 10%. He’ll be throwing those to a White Sox lineup that includes Adam Engel’s return to action, in what will be just his 34th game for the big club this season.
Keuchel’s attempt to redeem himself, recapture his youth, become relevant again, etc., will go against a Tiger lineup that’s missing Miguel Cabrera, but has several batters who have hit him very well, especially Jonathan Schoop (7-for-18, 2 HRs) and Eric Haase (3-for-5, HR).
First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. Central. Bring a raincoat and plenty of money for snacks, because the weather may mean an afternoon even longer than usual. Usual broadcast suspects.