Oh my gosh, it’s so early. Why is it so early?
After a late night following the back-and-forth of a 15-inning contest between the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox faithful are up early on a Sunday to watch as the South Siders finish up a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers.
As happened on the West Coast trip, the White Sox can’t win for winning. With Cleveland remaining hot, Chicago lost ground yesterday in spite of winning. Well, the AL Central is the only path to the postseason for the White Sox, who are 4 1⁄2 games behind the Guardians with only 16 games left on the schedule to play. From here until mathematical elimination, every game is pivotal.
So, who are the Sox sending to the bump today? It won’t be Johnny Cueto, who is still fighting some flu-like symptoms. (Get well soon, Johnny!) It won’t be Joe Kelly, which is a name you wouldn’t think I’d need to bring up when I’m talking about starting pitchers, but you know, the White Sox do things like that sometimes.
Prior to today’s series finale at Detroit, the #WhiteSox placed right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly on the Family Medical Leave List and recalled left-hander Tanner Banks from Class AAA Charlotte.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 18, 2022
No, it’ll be Vince Velasquez (3-3, 5.29 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) who will captain this ship of the walking wounded in a bullpen game. This is just what the White Sox need as they go into a make-or-break series against the Guardians — a depleted bullpen. I hope Velasquez is hungry and skipped breakfast this morning — he’ll have to eat a lot of innings.
Here’s how the rest of the lineup looks for today’s rubber match. No Yasmani Grandal, which is totally fine, and no Luis Robert, which is less fine, but at least understandable after the one-armed man went 0-for-4 yesterday.
Detroit sends ’em out like this:
Here's how we line up for the rubber match at 12:10 PM. pic.twitter.com/aYWq42I2bQ— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 18, 2022
First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. CT and can be found locally on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN 1000 AM.