The White Sox this afternoon will be trying to remain undefeated for the second half of the season, after last night’s baseball-bashing display in game 82. They’ll also be hoping to leave the vicinity of The House the Mouse Built with a split of the four-game series with the Angels.
On the mound for the Sox will be Lance Lynn, striving not only for victory but also, like Lucas Giolito before him, hoping for a good audition for any competitive West Coast teams planning to add a starter at the trade deadline.
Will today feature the Lance Lynn, who struck out 16 in Seattle on June 18? Or will it be the Lance Lynn who ended May giving up eight earned runs in four innings to these same Angels, including smashes by Mike Trout once and Shohei Ohtani twice? Will he be the owner of his current 6.40 ERA, or the righty who once was pretty good?
Only his hairdresser knows for sure. Or maybe his dietician.
Facing the White Sox will be journeyman lefty — a phrase I hesitate to use since lately every lefty facing the Sox goes from “journeyman” to “Sandy Koufax clone” as soon as the game starts — Patrick Sandoval. Sandoval has had a rough June, getting demolished by Houston and Seattle and even pretty well banged around by the Rockies (although he did toss seven scoreless against the woeful Royals), and watching his ERA jump from 3.42 to 4.16 in the process.
Sandoval has pretty big platoon splits going the expected way — .721 to .612 OPS — and the Sox have all-right handed lineup, with rookie Zach Remillard and his .385 average (including three hits last night) moving to the leadoff spot. Tim Anderson, who hasn’t had a hit since the Eisenhower administration, remains in the 2-slot.
The main challenges for Lynn are apt to be Trout and Ohtani (of course) as well as Mike Moustakas, each of whom has gone deep against him three times, although he has K’ed Trout nine times in 30 official at-bats.
First pitch is set for 3:07 p.m. Central on what should be a perfect day for baseball, with temps in the mid-70s and light winds blowing toward left-center. Usual broadcast suspects.