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Gamethread: Twins at White Sox

Eloy is back! Eloy is back!

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox
At least we think this is the real Eloy.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, it’s true! Eloy is back! Eloy is back! Now the Yankees and Astros better cringe at the thought of the White Sox! But the Twins better cringe first!

Well, something had better inspire this team and keep them from getting swept at home by the team that leads them by a bunch in the AAAL Central.

On the mound for the Sox and hoping nothing gets hit to the outfield, which will feature Mr. Jiménez in left and Gavin Sheets in right, will be Lance Lynn, who finally seemed back on track last time out with six shutout innings against the Giants that lowered his ERA almost two points, to 4.50.

After last night’s debacle, the HOFBP will no doubt put his decades of experience and expertise to work and instruct Lynn not to throw any gopher balls.


Many younger (by which is meant under-40) readers may not be familiar with the term “gopher ball,” meaning a pitch thrown that results in a home run. Arduous research — i.e., asking Google for the history of the term — did not turn up any definitive reason for the term’s origin, but only suggestions it might refer to the fact a hitter would “go fer” it, or the ball did “go fer.” For all the dictionaries know, it could have been that gophers dig themselves into holes and so do pitchers who throw home run balls.

But I digress.


Facing Eloy and eight other White Sox hitters will be Joe Ryan, who has had a nice season — 6-3 with a 3.00 ERA — but who struggled a few times out after a COVID IL trip, but recovered with seven innings of two-hit, no run ball against the Orioles last time out.

Did we mention he’ll be facing Eloy? He’ll also be facing Leury García, because Josh Harrison yesterday had two hits including a ground-rule double to raise his average to .242 and thus deserved to be benched for a .202 hitter. Ryan won’t be facing Jake Burger, who went on the 10-day IL with a hand problem.

Lynn will be trying to be gopherless against a Twins lineup that doesn’t include Carlos Correa.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Central, with a cool-for-July temp of 72° and winds out of left field at 12 mph, which may keep some balls from being gopherish. The usual broadcast suspects.

While almost anything can be bet on the game at some sports book or other, there appear to be no posted odds for which inning the first “fire Tony!” cries will be heard.