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Gamethread: Rangers at White Sox

Pride Night sweeps the South Side

Looking for good Michael Kopech tonight, which has been an increasing likelihood as the season wears on.
| Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Pride Night on the South Side, and if you haven’t already taken some time out of your day to read the magnificent pieces by Jordan Hass and Brian O’Neill gracing the front page of this site, you need to stop reading this and check those out first before getting to anything game-related. White Sox baseball is a distant second to the food for thought provided by the joy (and shortcomings) of this day, particularly within the context of what this organization has done, who they’re facing — the Texas Rangers are only team yet to host a Pride Night — and within the broader landscape of the horrifying wave of violent rhetoric and repressive legislature currently being aimed at the LGBTQ+ (and particularly the trans) community.

So yeah, we’ll get to the lineups, but as much as some would like baseball to be an escape destination, a closed system absolved from any contact with what’s happening in the world we live in, it never is, and it’s never a bad thing to take that on board again every once in a while.

On the field tonight, Michael Kopech hopes to regain the control that he had demonstrated over his previous five starts before his tightrope walk of a six-walk, one-run outing in Seattle last week against a longtime control artist, Martín Pérez, who’s worked to a 4.54 ERA that lines up nearly perfectly with his career average after last year’s 2.89 ERA and All-Star appearance. Kopech faced Texas twice last year but only totaled four innings, first in the bizarre afternoon in which he injured his ankle while warming up and was then allowed to throw two-thirds of an inning before being removed from the game, and then again in August, when he lasted just 3 1⁄3 innings while allowing four runs.

On the lineup side, the White Sox are running out virtually the same order that got them last night’s also-bizarre victory, bolstered by the return of Luis Robert Jr. after a day of rest, bumping everyone below the 3-spot — where Robert had batted for 19 consecutive games and 29 of the last 31 before yesterday — down in the order, Clint Frazier to a corner spot, and Gavin Sheets to the bench.

[Note, a last-minute change to the lineup has Yaz out and Seby in at catcher. Zavala bats last and pushes the bottom third of the order up a spot.]

The good news is that this slate of Sox hitters have mostly mashed Pérez whenever they’ve seen him, putting six runs on him in five innings last June in a game that, naturally, the Sox lost, 11-9.

Current White Sox hitters’ numbers against Martín Pérez

Texas also gives us most of what they have been the last two nights. Last year being what it was, nobody here has taken more than five plate appearances against Kopech, with a total of six hits across 33 total trips to the plate.

First pitch is at 7:10 pm CT, and as per usual, the game will be broadcast on ESPN AM 1000 and NBC Sports Chicago. We’ll see you there!

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