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Gamethread: White Sox at Royals

The South Siders can’t lose this one, can they?

New York Yankees v Chicago White Sox
Against KC, Vince Velasquez should be inVinceble, shouldn’t he?
David Banks/Getty Images

Enough, already.

Scoring just nine runs in regulation in four games against the worst ERA in the American League has been bad enough. Not to do better today would be humiliating. In fact, not scoring at least a run per inning would be bad.

That’s because Kansas City is starting Carlos Hernandez, who has given up more runs this year than any pitcher in the majors, and sports a 9.11 ERA. And it’s not like the bad numbers are because of one or two bad outings, either — although giving up nine runs to Colorado his last time out was particularly awful, even for him.

Hernandez hasn’t always been this bad. In 2021, Hernandez was 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA, and he flat-out owned the White Sox. Half of his wins on the year were from his three starts against the Sox, in which he gave up just three runs in 17 innings.

But that was then, and this is now, and now is not kind to the KC righty. This year, Hernandez has command of basically nothing. His four-seamer, which he has thrown almost half the time and which is down a couple of ticks this year to 95-ish, is being crushed at a .500 BAA. Mix in his breaking stuff — slider and curve, mostly — and righties are hitting .419 against him, with a 1.062 OPS.

So, unless Hernandez suddenly discovered something during his side this week, Sox lineup should be very happy. Yasmani Grandal won’t get a chance to feast on Hernandez’s pitches, though, because he has the day off.

Opposing Hernandez will be Vince Velasquez, who followed up on two excellent outings by getting crushed last time out, giving up seven runs to the Yankees. But that was the against the best-hitting team in the AL, with its .748 OPS, and KC is one of the worst, at .637 (which is better than the Sox, but we won’t mention that).

Velasquez won’t have to face Salvador Pérez, still out with a sore thumb, and MJ Melendez caught both games yesterday, so Sebastian Romero is up from Double-A to do the catching. Michael Taylor is also out, just placed in COVID protocols.

First pitch is 1:10 p.m. Central, with a temp of 81° and 15 mph wind toward left. Looks like Gordon Beckham will be in the TV booth again.