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Gamethread: Cubs at White Sox

Sox seek split while Lynn seeks salvation from this moribund roster

With Lance Lynn seemingly still in tow and scheduled to make his start, the White Sox (41-61) take the field on Wednesday looking to salvage a two-game split in the first leg of the Crosstown Classic after the Cubs (49-51), who have won six of seven and are in the midst of a push to make Jed Hoyer’s trade deadline directive a lot murkier than his counterpart’s.

His counterpart, Rick Hahn, has seemingly been working the phones in recent days in an effort to convince Bob Nightengale the White Sox have players who are in demand deal a starting pitcher or two:

One pitcher who seemingly won’t be on the move is Dylan Cease, one of just two Sox starting pitchers currently under contract for 2024, and the only one who’s ever thrown 120 innings or made 30 starts in a major league season:

The Sox entered the day with a season-low .402 winning percentage, which would be their worst finish since the .383 mark they posted in 2018. And the 11th-worst White Sox team in history. The 2023 squad is on pace to be the fourth time during Hahn’s tenure that it has finished with a rate of .417 or worse, composing four of the 16 worst seasons in the franchise’s 120+ year history. Only one of those other 11 seasons (1976) has come within the last 50 years.

The lineup offered by Pedro Grifol certainly reflects that, as evidenced by today’s starting second baseman.

Jake Burger is an immensely likeable fellow, and a pretty good hitter, but his 105 OPS+ and strikeout and walk rates both roughly 50% worse than league average don’t typically warrant such extreme measures as checks notes literally making a first baseman play second base. That, of course, is the result of another Hahn masterclass wherein the alternatives are a 34-year-old veteran with a .663 OPS since 2018 and a 29-year-old rookie who is a 29-year-old rookie because his track record in the minors isn’t any better than the aforementioned veteran’s in the majors. I wish Jake nothing but success at the keystone, but it’s a move that’s indicative of a fundamentally uncompetitive roster constructed by fundamentally unserious executives. As if you needed me to tell you that.

It seems overwhelmingly likely that this will be Lance Lynn’s final start for the Pale Hose before on embarking on what’s sure to be a dominant 70-inning, 2-ERA stretch run for a team that knows pitching exponentially better than the White Sox do. He’ll be facing a few Cubs players who are also likely to be in greener pastures come next week, including a starting pitcher who seems sure to command a significantly greater return package than Lynn:

My pick to click tonight? The oft-maligned Yoán Moncada, who came one well-timed Seiya Suzuki jump away from a thunderous return to the lineup last night. Take your pick from tonight’s lineup:

Poll

Who’s your Pick to Click today?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Andrew Benintendi
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Tim Anderson
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Luis Robert Jr.
    (0 votes)
  • 100%
    Eloy Jiménez
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Yoán Moncada
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Andrew Vaughn
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Jake Burger
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Oscar Colás
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Seby Zavala
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Lance Lynn
    (0 votes)
1 vote total Vote Now

First pitch is at 7:10 PM c.t. at Guaranteed Rate Field. The game will be broadcast in English on NBC Sports Chicago and in Spanish on NBC Sports Chicago Plus. The radio broadcast can be found, as per usual, on ESPN 1000 AM. See you there!


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