After a combined six hits in their double-header on Saturday, the White Sox got a much-needed offensive-outpour on Sunday that saw them hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Sox are 11-11 with a four-game series against Detroit ahead of them and a three-game set against the Cubs on deck.
Starting on the mound tonight will be Gio González, as Carlos Rodón and Reynaldo López still remain on the injured list. Dylan Cease will get the ball tomorrow in the hopes that his successful last three starts will continue, a stretch in which he’s allowed three earned runs in 17 innings. He’s struck out 13 in that stretch, while walking six (Five in which came from one outing). A good start and we may really be able to say he’s turning a corner in his development.
With López and Rodón still working their way back from injuries, the White Sox are still with a hole in their rotation for Wednesday’s game, which will also be the debut of Casey Mize, the Tigers no. 1 overall pick from the 2018 draft. Though it’s not set in stone who will start or how long they will go, general manager Rick Hahn hinted that it would be Dane Dunning by saying the game would be a good young-pitching matchup.
The White Sox’ IL reads like a laundry list at this point, with eight contributors down with injuries after Adam Engel was put on the 10-Day IL. Despite Aaron Bummer’s IL listing, the White Sox’ bullpen has survived thanks to incredible seasons from Matt Foster (No earned runs in 10.2 innings), Ross Detweiler (None in 11.1 innings), Alex Colomé (None in eight innings) and Evan Marshall (2.89 ERA in 9.1 IP). Tim Anderson’s return makes their lineup look much more formidable at the top.
Speaking of the top of the lineup, now would be a good time for Yóan Moncada to get back to the groove with which he started this season. Since August 4, he’s slashed .182/.217/.341, with 15 strikeouts and only two walks in 44 at-bats. He was one of the team’s propellants when the White Sox won six straight to keep their season from slipping early in the year, and he can still be one of the rising tides that lifts all boats moving forward.
The Tigers aren’t necessarily the doormat they’ve been in recent years, but at 9-10, they still present an opportunity to pick up some ground. The White Sox are three games out of first place in the AL Central and, for second place, are only a game back of Cleveland, who apparently is in a bout of turmoil. It’s conceivable that they could leapfrog the Indians and even put some distance behind themselves by the end of the week. With the rotation in the air as it is, the Sox still get a Lucas Gilotio start coming against Detroit this Thursday, clearing the way for a Dallas Keuchel-Gonzalez-Cease stretch against the Cubs, a matchup this weekend that will surely spark friendly, non-petty discussion on Twitter. The Cubs, in a bit of a funk themselves, have been one of the best teams in baseball up until this past weekend, necessitating an A-game series from the Sox, especially from the hitters, who will face a stellar Cubs rotation that has the third-lowest ERA among rotational starters.