Records: White Sox 5-4 / Brewers 3-3
Start Times: All Games @ 7:10
Bud Selig’s Ghost: Brew Crew Ball
Game 1: Carlos Rodon (0-1, 12.27 ERA) vs. Brett Anderson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 2: Lucas Giolito (1-1, 6.52 ERA) vs Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 1.59 ERA)
Game 3: Adrian Houser (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 3.38 ERA)
Game 4: TBD vs. Gio Gonzalez (0-0, 7.36 ERA)
After this very successful weekend for the Pale Hose, our attention turns to the next series against the Brewers. Having had their weekend tilt against the Cardinals postponed due to some apparently casino-related Rona action, the Brewers not only sat around and didn’t do much, but they lost Lorenzo Cain as he decided the risk wasn’t worth it and opted out for the rest of the season. While he hadn’t been what he was during his heyday in KC, Cain was still a solid contributor who posted at least an .800 or greater OPS in 3 of the last 5 seasons. He was also a plus defender on the other side of the ball, having won a gold glove last year.
Replacing him in the OF will most likely be Ben Gamel, who is the definition of “a guy,” and he’ll be joined Old Friend Avisail Garcia and all-universe Miami cast off Christian Yelich. The Brewers infield has improved simply from bringing their #1 overall prospect Keston Hiura up late last season. Hiura managed an impressive .303/.368/.938 slash line last year with 19 home runs in only what amounts to half a season. The kid has pop in his bat for days and the patience to match, making him and Yelich a deadly combo at the top third of their lineup.
As far as their rotation goes there really aren’t many big names here, but they somehow always manage to be at least league average. Brandon Woodruff is the de facto ace of the group, who relies on his mid 90s fastball and a plus changeup that he uses for his punchout pitch. He came tearing out of the gate last year, going 11-3 and earning his first ever all star game nod before he hit the IL with an oblique issue in July that kept him on the shelf until just before the playoffs.
After Woodruff, the rest is just sort of there. Craig Counsell is the type of coach that’s not afraid to go to his bullpen and when it’s as good as the one he has you can’t really blame him. With the back end of Brent Suter, Corey Knebel and Josh Hader shutting down pretty much everything from the 7th inning on, teams have to make hay against the starters in the early innings while they can. If the Sox bats can get ahead of Woodruff and company, they stand a decent shot of being able to make Counsell go to his pen early and often hopefully wearing them down.
The Brewers with Cain were a pretty solid offensive team in 2019, ranking 10th overall in the league so the starters should probably have their A game especially with Hiura and Yelich at the front. Keeping the walks to a minimum is a must, as the Brewers like to swipe bags when they can (ranking 3rd overall in the NL last season). Grandal and McCann are going to have their hands full, so keeping as many Brewers off the basepaths will be appreciated.
As for the Sox, they announced the arrival of Nomar Mazara today off the RONA-IL, which hopefully should signal the end of the Nicky Delmonico Experiment for the time being. With Leury Garcia most likely out for at least game 1 of the series while he tends to a death in his family, Danny Mendick and his creepy mustache will most likely get another start at SS. Luis Robert has probably cemented his spot atop the lineup for the foreseeable future with his performance in KC over the weekend. His easy power is a sight to behold, as I’ve never seen someone seemingly put less effort into ponging baseballs off the outfield fence.
With the Sox now sitting in 2nd place division-wise this week should provide a good test for the young team. Carlos (Hard Karl) Rodon gets a shot at redemption, and I fully expect him to have the same result that Dylan Cease did yesterday. If he’s able to turn it around, suddenly the only question in the pitching rotation is Gio Gonzalez (who looked pretty pedestrian in his 3.2 innings on Saturday). If he’s unable to start giving the Sox at least 4-5 innings per start I could see Rick Hahn eyballing Dane Dunning for some starts.
This should be a fun series between two very solid teams. Bare minimun here for the Sox should be a 2-2 split, which the way the rotation lines up should be pretty achievable. 5 is better than 4, keep the party going. Let’s Go Sox.
White Sox "Elite" Image By @SavesTuesday