Wow! Talk about exciting!!
The White Sox and the Twins, tied with seven games to go, four of them against each other! What could be more thrilling than that!?
Well, OK, it could be more thrilling if they weren’t both 11 games behind Cleveland.
And it would even be more exciting if either had a chance for a wild card spot. But the White Sox chance at that went from .000000001% to a flat zero last night, so even those fans desperately hoping against the odds, like children who believe they’re getting a pony for Christmas even though they live on the 23rd floor of a high rise, have to give up now.
So this is where the cliché comes in that they’re playing for pride. If only the White Sox had ever shown any this year.
Still, the Sox have chances for big doings. Their eight-game losing streak from early in the year is only tied for 11th in MLB in 2022, and a loss today would make it nine games, and move them up to a tie for fifth. And a loss would give Minnesota the season series, which would mean the White Sox will have lost the series to three teams in the AAAL Central, which is quite a feat.
Lucas Giolito and his 5.05 ERA will be trying to avoid that particular record. Giolito lost to the Twins on September 4, giving up just two runs in five innings, but needing 95 pitches to get that far. Giolito really does seem to be one the Sox with pride, though, and his velocity was back up some last time out, so there is hope.
The Twins counter with righty Louie Varland, who sports an ERA a hair above Giolito’s at 5.06 and is making his fourth major league start. Varland will face a lineup that includes 30-year-old rookie-with-the-White-Sox Mark Payton, who’s playing left, which means the Sox will have two actual outfielders in the game, a rarity. Payton naturally is hitting in the second spot, because this is the White Sox. He has three walks already, so in just five plate appearances he’s ahead of most of the team.
Giolito will take on a Twins lineup that has outscored the White Sox, 12-4, in the first two games of the series, even without Byron Buxton.
- J Miranda (R) 3B
- C Correa (R) SS
- L Arraez (L) 1B
- G Urshela (R) DH
- G Sánchez (R) C
- N Gordon (L) 2B
- G Celestino (R) CF
- J Cave (L) LF
- M Wallner (L) RF
First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. Central, with a temp of 62° and wind out of the south at 12 mph, blowing toward the left field corner. Usual broadcast suspects.