Happy Sunday Sox fans. Well, as happy of a day as it can be when you are looking to avoid the sweep against the team with the worst record in the league!
Today the Chicago White Sox will play another game (sigh), against the Oakland Athletics to close out this West Coast trip. Yesterday’s game was absolutely draining to watch, so let’s just hope the finale can provide something better. It will be a bullpen day for the team, as Touki Toussaint will start it off and righty Paul Blackburn will take the mound for the Athletics.
Prior to the game today, the team made three roster moves.
Michael Kopech will head to the 15-day injured list after a rough couple of starts with discomfort. Replacing Kopech is veteran righty reliever Bryan Shaw, 35 and the active MLB holds leader, was closing at Charlotte and went 2-0 with a 4.03 ERA, 24 strikeouts, four saves and a .171 opponents average over 21 games.
And to make room on the 40-man for Shaw, Romy González is now on the 60-day injured list. Right shoulder inflammation does not land a player on the 60-day IL, so assuming the White Sox still really like Romy, something is very wrong with his throwing shoulder. Still no sign of Oscar Colás in Chicago, even though he is (along with Víctor Reyes) crushing it in Triple-A right now.
Toussaint has appeared in two games since joining the White Sox, with a solid, four-inning hitless outing against the Texas Rangers followed by 2 1⁄3 innings of work against the Los Angeles Angels where he gave up one hit, two runs, two walks, and two strikeouts. He has a 3.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP on the season, which includes a stint with Cleveland. The goal is to have Toussaint go as far as he obviously can in this game, as hopefully with an off-day tomorrow the bullpen can be used to its full extent.
Blackburn is appearing in his seventh game of the season and carries a 3.77 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 31 innings pitched. He has been with Oakland his entire career after making his debut in 2017, and looks to give the Athletics a decent amount of innings each outing. Blackburn uses a mix of six pitches, starting with his sinker that he throws 20.2% of the time. He follows with a fastball (19.6%), slider (19.4%), cutter (18.7%), curveball (13.8%), and changeup (8.3%).
Andrew Benintendi will lead it off and play left, while Tim Anderson and Luis Robert Jr. follow. Eloy Jiménez is the DH and Andrew Vaughn is at first. Jake Burger takes third, Gavin Sheets is in right, and Zach Remillard is at second base. Seby Zavala will be behind the plate.
Game time is at 3:07 p.m. CT. Watch on NBCSCHI and listen in at ESPN 1000.