A BRIEF PRELUDE
The picture of Jerry Reinsdorf mouthpiece Bob Nightengale is because the USA Today columnist just wrote about dissension in the White Sox clubhouse. Whether that’s true — Nightengale isn’t always wrong — or just Reinsdorf trying to shift blame for lousy performance from his great buddy, the HOFBP, is open to conjecture.
ON TO THE GAMETHREAD
“It’s not who you play, it’s when you play them.” — Hawk Harrelson
Like most Hawkisms, that one was repeated often — like the rest, very, very often — and it actually has some truth to it. That particularly applies to the four-game series in Cleveland that starts tonight.
The Guardians started the season playing much better than predictors expected, but that has turned around, big time. They’ve lost eight of 10, including a humiliating four-game sweep in Detroit, and aren’t doing much of anything well. Their lead over the White Sox is down to half a game, so positions could switch tonight.
Of course, the Sox have to win for that to happen. But the timing is also fortuitous when it comes to the opposing pitcher. Cal Quantrill was outstanding in 2020 and 2021, but has been just adequate this year, especially lately, with his ERA jumping from 3.38 to 3.86 over his last five starts.
Quantrill pitched at the GuRF in May, giving up four runs on nine hits in 6 1⁄3 innings. Tim Anderson got three of the hits, and Gavin Sheets went deep. Homers have been a problem for the righty, and the weather won’t do him any favors tonight, with a stiff breeze blowing toward right-center.
He’ll face a White Sox lineup that doesn’t include Andrew Vaughn, but does include Leury García (of course), with Eloy in the DH slot.
On the mound for the White Sox is Lance Lynn, whose 5.33 ERA in five starts since joining the team off the IL is very indicative of how he’s pitched. It looked like he made a breakthrough against the Giants two games ago, with six innings of shutout ball, but it was then back to the doldrums, giving up five runs to the Twins in five innings.
Lynn takes on a Guardians lineup that has scored little of late aside from a solitary, 13-run outburst in Kansas City. Josh Naylor had been iffy for the game with back issues, but he’s in the cleanup spot.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Central, with the temp at 87° and the aforementioned stiff breeze apt to help the hitters. Usual broadcast suspects.