Well folks, we did it. Or at least I have done it. My final game coverage of the dreadful 2023 season and it could be a monumental one. My champagne is on ice, ready to celebrate the fated 100th loss of the season.
If you need me before the game, you can find me in Lot B with my friends because the only storyline of note from this season is the amazing friendships I have cultivated through this White Sox community.
But, enough of this sappy stuff. You surely are sitting on the edge of your seat ready to subject yourself to this game, and you probably would like to know about the opposing pitcher.
Michael Wacha will make his 24th and final start of the season tonight, at 35th & Shields. Wacha joined the Padres pitching staff in the offseason after spending two seasons with Boston. He will be in San Diego for the next three seasons, pending options. He has had a pretty great season, with a 13-4 record and respectable 3.39 ERA. In his 127 1⁄3 innings of work, the veteran righthander has struck out 117 batters and walked 42.
Wacha utilizes five pitches. His changeup (34%) and his four-seam fastball (29%) are the most used, in front of a sinker, cutter, and curveball. In his earlier years, Wacha relied most on his fastball, but in his 11th season, this pitch is a few ticks slower than it used to be and thus other pitches must be utilized for him to remain an effective starter. This might be why when hitters have two strikes, both righthanders and lefthanders will see the changeup around 50% of the time.
That brings us to the offense portion of the gamethread. Apparently, Pedro is getting another 162 chances to create lineups next year, and I am not convinced they are going to look any better than this.
On the other hand, this Padres lineup is already pretty good, likely to bounce back with vengeance in 2024.
Tonight’s game on the South Side will start at 6:10 p.m. CST. You can it on the ’ol NBC Sports Chicago or the classic ESPN 1000.