Last night was the sixth time all season White Sox pitchers K’d 15 or more opponents and did not record a win. I am no expert, but the key to success may be letting batters put the ball in play. Given the defense though, maybe not.
Tonight is the 6th time this season the White Sox pitching staff has recorded 15+ strikeouts (17 tonight).— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 24, 2023
They are 0-6 in those games.
Regardless, Lance Lynn is coming off of a historic outing on Sunday, and today will be the test. Lynn mixed in more breaking pitches in his last start, en route to mowing down 16 Mariners over seven innings. Will the Red Sox fall victim to the newest junkballer in the league? Time will tell.
While his 6.51 ERA isn’t impressive, Lynn has struck out 102 batters over his 84 1⁄3 innings of work this season. If Lance wants the club to pick up his option in the offseason (I wouldn’t blame him if he is secretly hoping they don’t), he will have to ride on the coattails of that stellar outing in Seattle. This is the first time Lynn will pitch against the Red Sox since September 2021. In his career, he is 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA and 37 strikeouts in eight appearances against the Boston team.
Facing off against the righthander this afternoon is fellow veteran James Paxton. The Boston lefthander had a late start to the season after dealing with a hamstring strain. Over his seven starts, he is 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA and 51 strikeouts.
Paxton missed the 2022 season due to Tommy John surgery, and since returning has significantly decreased his 4-seam fastball usage. While he still uses this pitch 57% of the time, the southpaw is mixing in a cutter and curveball regularly. His fastball is still his strikeout pitch, however, using it 48% of the time to take out righthanders and 63% of the time to wipe out lefthanders.
Pedro Grifol told us not to read into Tim Anderson playing second base last night, but TA is back in the lineup in the same position again today. Consider me reading into things. The only notable change to today’s lineup is Clint Frazier appearing in right field. Yasmani Grandal is also back behind the plate. He did not start the game last night but came in late to pinch-hit for Seby Zavala, and remained behind the dish until game’s end.
If Lynn of old shows up today, Rafael Devers will hit another baseball very far from the 4-spot.
Today’s game is going to be hot one, even with a late afternoon start. First pitch is at 3:10 p.m. CST. The game is being aired on NBCSC and broadcast from ESPN 1000.