Prior to tonight’s game, the Sox made the following roster moves:
Prior to tonight’s series opener vs. the Los Angeles Angels, the #WhiteSox returned right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks from his injury rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Charlotte and reinstated him from the 15-day injured list. The White Sox also placed right-hander Jimmy…— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 29, 2023
WELCOME BACK, LIAM!
The Sox started the month of May strong but have sputtered into an overall 14-12 record. While it is a significant improvement over April which was gruesome, it is probably still not good enough to make them buyers at the deadline. A week ago, when I wrote up the gamethread, the team was 6 1⁄2 games back, and now it’s only six, so despite playing lousy baseball for a week, they’ve somehow found themselves fewer games back of the first-place Minnesota Twins. At this point, though,we’ll have to enjoy the wins we manage to get and find other things to be excited about this summer, like Liam Hendriks being back on the roster! Hopefully, the fans at the Rate will give Slydah the extraordinary standing ovation he deserves.
Tonight at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Pale Hose will face the Los Angeles Angels for the first time this season. The Angels are in fourth place in a tough AL West division with a 28-26 record. They are carrying a three-game losing streak into this week’s series, as they were swept at home last weekend by the Miami Marlins.
The red-hot Michael Kopech gets the nod this evening to open up the contest. In his last two starts, Kopech has been masterful. He’s surrendered no runs on three hits and struck out 19 in 15 innings. He also lowered his ERA from 5.74 to 4.24 during that span and WHIP from 1.56 to 1.22.
Kopech has started in three games, pitching 9 1⁄3 innings against the Angels in his career, and he owns a 1-2 record with a 3.86 ERA, a .177 opponent batting average, and a SO/9 of 11.6 Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani has come up empty against Michael with no hits and one walk in five plate appearances. On the other hand, second baseman Luis Rengifo has seen Kopech well and has a double and home run in three at-bats. The Angels can expect to see a four-pitch mix from Kopech: 4-seam fastball (63.7%), slider (22.6%), curveball (7.4%), and changeup (6.3%).
Opposite Kopech, the Angels will send Griffin Canning to the mound. The 27-year-old is pitching in his first season since a stress fracture in his back sidelined him for 20 months. He also started the season on the IL with a groin issue that plagued him in Spring Training. Since his return to the team in April, he’s scuffled a bit in seven appearances, going 3-2 with a 4.95 ERA in 36 1⁄3 innings.
Canning has only faced the Sox once, and it was in his rookie year, Aug. 18, 2019, when he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings, striking out eight and walking one. Fortunately, four players on the current team — Andrew Benintendi, Hanser Alberto, Eloy Jiménez, and Tim Anderson — have faced him in the past and have had some luck against him with a collective .429 batting average. Canning relies on five pitches: 4-seam fastball (33.6%), slider (32.3%), changeup (21.5%), curveball (11.6%), and sinker (1%).
Here is the starting lineup for the White Sox:
Here is the starting lineup for the Angels:
The game is at 7:10 p.m. CST. Watch on NBCSCHI or FS1, and listen in at ESPN-AM 1000.