My little speeches about “must win” games not actually being must win can go out the window. The White Sox need to win and until further notice they need to win every game. A 2 game deficit with 6 play certainly isn’t insurmountable but it’s not an easy thing to do, either. And they’ll need help. Either the Royals, the Twins or both will have to contribute to the cause.
Jeremy Hellickson is not looking to contribute to the White Sox cause. The Rays have their own agenda. They’re 2 games back as well. For them the prize is a one game playoff with the Orioles, Yankees, or the A’s, depending on how these final games play out. Hellickson is under the radar solid. He’s carrying a 3.20 ERA and 119+ ERA+ this season and hasn’t thrown too many clunkers. What gets him, and it’s not something the Sox have been able to exploit much in pitchers this year, is his workload. He doesn’t get too deep into games even when he’s going good. He threw 118 pitches opening day and went 8.2 innings. He hasn’t gotten that far since and hasn’t come very close to it many times either. It’s been 6 starts since he’s gone 7 innings and 7 starts since hitting the 100 pitch mark. None of those exists have a ton to do with poor performance. In those 7 starts he’s given up just 11 runs. Patience, please. For the love of god, patience.
Gavin Floyd has inched himself ever closer to a league average performance in 2012 ever since he’s returned from the DL. His last effort looked great until it wasn’t. One unfortunate inning ended up putting him in line for the loss, but we can actually go into this game feeling somewhat confident in Gavin. He’s striking guys out and Robin has let him get deeper into each game he’s pitched. If he can avoid the meltdown inning, the offense should be able to muster up enough to support a win.
1. De Aza – CF
2. Youkilis – 3B
3. Dunn – DH
4. Konerko – 1B
5. Rios – RF
6. Pierzynski – C
7. Viciedo – LF
8. Ramirez – SS
9. Beckham – 2B
If you thought you heard a lot of people say it was all over for the Sox in the last week, wait’ll you hear what they’re yelling if they lose this one. A must win.
Where to Watch
Game available in Chicago on WCIU and on Sun Sports in Tampa/St. Pete. A 7:10 Central start time.