Series Preview #47: Chicago White Sox (69-76) at Cleveland Indians (72-73)
Bob Toth | On 18, Sep 2015
Normally, splitting a four-game series with the team with the best record in your league would be considered a successful set against an opposing club.
Somehow, this week’s split by the Cleveland Indians (72-73) against the Kansas City Royals felt like a major letdown, especially with so much on the line for the Tribe in the final weeks of the 2015 regular season. It was not the end all be all for them, however, as two of the three teams above them in the standings took losses, so the team is continuing to tread water in the American League Wild Card race.
The Tribe won Monday night, 8-3, aided by three RBI from Lonnie Chisenhall. The offense returned to a dormant status on Tuesday in a 2-0 loss. They were victors on Wednesday, 5-1, as Francisco Lindor drove in four. Omar Infante’s career day put seven of the eight Royals runs on the board on Thursday night as Kansas City earned the series split with an 8-4 final.
Chicago (69-76) is 3-5 since the two clubs last met earlier in the month. After dropping three of four against the Minnesota Twins, they split a four-gamer with Oakland this week. They won decisions of 8-7 and 9-4 on Monday and Wednesday, were hit hard 17-6 on Tuesday, and lost a closer 4-2 ball game on Thursday.
PITCHING PROBABLES and GAME NOTES
Sale was shelled his last time out, giving up six runs on nine hits in just three innings, a career low. He will look to improve upon a suspect 2-2 record in Cleveland with a 5.28 ERA. Since returning from the disabled list, Anderson is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA and has far more resembled the rookie who started his Major League career on fire.
The rookie Rodon made his MLB debut against Cleveland on April 21st. He is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Indians, but has not pitched since facing the Tribe on September 8th. Carrasco lost in his return from the disabled list against Chicago on September 8th, allowing four runs on a pair of homers in two and two-thirds innings. He was better his last time out against Kansas City, throwing six innings on the mound and allowing just one run on five hits while striking out nine.
Danks gave up three solo home runs in his last outing, a no-decision against Oakland. He has now given up eight home runs in his last five starts, posting a 1-3 record in that span. He is 5-13 in his career against Cleveland with a 5.29 ERA. Tomlin is coming off of a tough-luck complete game loss on Tuesday, when his offense could not supply him with any run support. He is 1-2 with a 4.06 ERA in six career games against the White Sox.
TV – Fox Sports SportsTime Ohio; Comcast SportsNet (Friday and Saturday); WGN (Sunday)
Radio – Cleveland Indians Radio Network; WSCR 670 in Chicago
AL WILD CARD STANDINGS
TEAM W-L PCT. WCGB STRK L10
New York 80-65 .552 +4.0 W1 4-6
Houston 77-70 .524 – L4 2-8
– – – – – – – – –
Minnesota 75-71 .514 -1.5 L3 5-5
Los Angeles 74-72 .507 -2.5 W1 5-5
Cleveland 72-73 .497 -4.0 L1 6-4
Baltimore 72-74 .493 -4.5 W1 7-3
The White Sox hold a 1,066-1,034 advantage all time in 2,117 meetings. The Indians are 548-503 at home.
Last time out, the Indians took two of three in Chicago to bring the season series record to 7-9. Anything short of a sweep by the Indians will give the series win for the season to the White Sox.
ON THE MEND
BY THE NUMBERS
Lindor continues to make his rookie of the year campaign a loud and noticeable one. If his defensive gems have not caught enough attention around the league, his .315 batting average and infectious smile may have. After hitting .211 in June, he hit .295 in July, .370 in August, and is hitting .351 down the stretch in September.
Chisenhall has not swept the leg over the last several weeks, hitting just .150 in that span. He will likely not start on Friday night with the lefty Sale on the mound. He has had no success against him in his career, with just one hit in nine at bats.
Trevor Bauer‘s time in the rotation for this season appears done, as he has been shifted to the bullpen. He has thrown a career-high 168 innings this season, but his still short of his professional season high of 199 set last year between Cleveland and Columbus.
Jose Abreu leads the White Sox with six home runs against the Indians this season. He also has three doubles and 13 RBI while hitting .333. He has struck out 20 times while walking just three times.
Melky Cabrera is second on the club with ten RBI against the Indians. He has hit .277 against Cleveland this season with a pair of homers and three doubles.
Thompson lit up Indians pitching in the three games he faced them earlier in the month. He hit .625 (5-for-8) with a homer, four singles, and four runs batted in.
The Indians will take Monday off, their final off day in the regular season, before heading out on their final road trip of the season. The first stop will be in Minnesota where they will take on the Twins for three. The White Sox will head to Detroit, where they will play four games in three days before moving on to New York to face the Yankees.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images