We made it through what is usually a boring Yankees road trip; Saturday afternoon’s controversy surrounding noted jackass Josh Donaldson made the whole weekend weird. Now it’s time to face (again) the Yankees' hated rival, the Boston Red Sox
What happened last time?
The Red Sox were slumping big, and the White Sox took advantage: Luis Robert smacked a two-run home run over the Green Monster like it was nothing, Vince Velasquez pitched through five solid innings, and Tim Anderson had three singles as the White Sox routed the Red Sox 4-2 in the opener. The next day, the game stretched into the 10th inning before the White Sox took it 3-1 thanks to a double from José Abreu. The final game of the series saw Dallas Keuchel stop his three-start losing streak, making it through a solid six-inning stretch before turning things over to Ryan Burr. Small ball contributed to the 3-2 win, Chicago’s sixth straight.
How’s it going now?
Since the Boston sweep, the White Sox split a two-game series against Cleveland (the finale was postponed because of weather). The Yankees humiliated the White Sox on their home turf, scoring double digits before the South Siders squeaked out a win at the end of the series. The White Sox then went on a successful road trip, taking three of five from Kansas City, and after an early loss to the Yankees in last weekend’s series the White Sox managed to yank out a couple of wins.
All-in-all, not terrible per se. This isn’t the Reds or Pirates we’re talking about, but the White Sox are still struggling. They’re 4 1⁄2 back from first, with a home record of 9-10. It’s no big shock that a batting title winner is leading the offense with a .359 batting average and 52 hits; in fact, the only thing Anderson isn’t leading the White Sox in is home runs: Robert is the lead there with six. Abreu, meanwhile, has been slumping (.216/.304/.351 in 148 at-bats). The team has the second-fewest strikeouts in the AL, but that isn’t translating into more walks, as it is 12th in OBP.
Led by Anderson’s team-leading nine errors, the White Sox are second-to-last in the AL in fielding and have the third-most errors. Yasmani Grandal and Reese McGuire need to step it up as they’ve only thrown out five baserunners stealing against 22 stolen. Four passed balls for Grandal and one for McGuire shows that good catchers make a difference — the five PBs for the White Sox are tied with the Yankees for worst in the AL. (BTW did you hear Zack Collins got sent to Triple-A? The Blue Jays know something we didn’t.)
The Red Sox are fourth in the AL East with a 19-22 record. Trevor Story has been a big story for them recently, earning American League Player of the Week honors after hitting six homers and driving in 14 runs in seven days. Overall he’s leading the team in RBIs with 29. Rafael Devers is slashing .335/.365/.594 in 170 at-bats, so he’s continuing to do the absolute most. Collectively, the Red Sox are slashing .245/.300/.391, which seems terrible, but they’re actually third in the AL in batting average.
On the hill, Nathan Eovaldi leads the Red Sox in ERA (4.10) and strikeouts (53). Nick Pivetta is following close behind, with a 4.22 ERA.
Pitching matchups: Two aces and a TBD
Sit back, relax, and strap it down. And hope the wins against the Yankees are what sends the team on an upward trajectory.