It’s going to be nigh on impossible to match last night’s 4 1⁄2 hours of tension, or even Tuesday’s can-we-hold-them-off nailbiter, but at least the weather is cooler today. That’ll be a nice development for teams that have only had 13 1⁄2 hours between games.
Today’s series finale gives the White Sox a chance to avenge being swept in Toronto, as well as providing the opportunity to break through the .500 wall once more (well, they’ll break through either way, but upwards would be the better plan). On paper, the matchup of Opening Day starter vs. journeyman-swingman-who’s-only-starting-due-to-injuries would seem to give the Sox a big edge, but that all depends on whether Lucas Giolito’s once all-world changeup decides to return from its lengthy walkabout.
It was Toronto where Giolito’s mastery escaped. He’d been enjoying a solid, if not spectacular, season with a 2.63 ERA when the Jays lit him up for six earned runs in 4 2⁄3 innings, starting a four-game slump that has seen the ERA skyrocket to 4.78. Giolito’s last appearance was against the Astros Friday and, well, let’s just drop it there.
Tossing for Toronto will be righty Ross Stripling, who’s 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA, about half in relief and half as a starter. He gave up no runs in two of his last three starts. but those were against the Tigers and Royals, so the information should be treated with at least a tablespoon of salt. He did throw 2 2⁄3 innings of scoreless relief against the White Sox in Toronto.
With both bullpens running on fumes after last night, having a genuine starter who can go deeper into the game should be a big boon, but you never know, especially given the HOFBP’s, uh, shall we say, interesting initial bullpen decisions last night.
Stripling will be using a low 90s fastball, change, slider and occasional curve against a White Sox lineup that will be without Tim Anderson, who, despite two hits, looked at times last night like a little more recuperation is a good idea.
Giolito will be facing a Toronto lineup that will be without George Springer, who left last night’s game with an elbow injury.
First pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. Central, with a forecast of 83 degrees and very light winds lowing left to right. Usual broadcast suspects.