What goes into a matchup like this one?
The pitching line of Jose Quintana vs. Kevin Correia asserts this game as a rather absurd mismatch in favor of the White Sox. Quintana has an ERA that’s nearly 1.3 runs lower than Correia’s while pitching in a far less forgiving ballpark with a mostly drunk defense behind him. Correia has failed to make it through the third inning in his two of his last three starts, has a 7.88 ERA with a .970 OPS against in his last seven outings and is desperately trying to cling to a spot in the worst rotation in baseball. Meanwhile, Quintana is breaking open ideas about what we think his ceiling can be every day.
I wrote how I didn’t think he could stick in the rotation without an out-pitch, barely over a year ago. I swear usually such thinking is validated. Dylan Axelrod just supported this logic fairly recently.
But the White Sox have managed to lose in situations where the single blip of information offered on bottom-line scrolls favors them greatly all season. Chris Sale is 7-11, after all. Jose Quintana has 14 no decisions in 23 starts.
With the second-worst offense (thanks, Yankees) in the American League and their goofball defense, the problem seems to be that Jose Quintana, while well-equipped, is alone in his fight today. He must dominate the Twins, hold them down singlehandedly to unreasonable levels so that his teammates can crazily stagger into the winner’s circle.
White Sox Lineup:
Jose Quintana, SP
Avisail is playing, which he might do every day from here on out unless he’s hit with a baseball. More importantly, Robin Ventura adhered to “rangiest guy in center field, strongest arm in right field” rules of outfield construction.
Minnesota Twins lineup
Kevin Correia, SP
I’m the last person to tell you to listen to Hawk when he makes grandiose statements about players having very specific abilities without citation or statistical backing, but despite a sub-.700 OPS for his career, Jamey Carroll has hit .316/.360/.433 against the Sox in 190 career plate appearances. It’s only 190 plate appearances, so who cares, but he’s captured the unenjoyable nature of the experience correctly. Stop being you, Jamey Carroll.
Speaking of announcers and weird grudges, you can hear Ed Farmer trying to set Chris Colabello on fire with his mind over the radio these days. The 29 year-old is generally seen as a heart-warming story, since he went undrafted out of the same tiny and unknown college that Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly went to*, played eight years of independent league ball, burst into our collective consciousnesses by starring for Italy in this year’s World Baseball Classic and finally got a chance to play major league baseball after hitting 24 home runs in 85 games in Triple-A this year. But he’s super-slow in the batter’s box, so he’s a jerk, I guess.
Where to watch: CSN Chicago & Fox Sports North, 1:10 pm CT
Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan