Over the course of the last month, jokes and comments have been made regarding the White Sox potential role as spoilers. Nobody tries to be the spoiler, it’s just something that happens. First off, obviously you don’t want to be in the position of being beyond helping yourself. Also, you play to win the game. Doesn’t matter what month it is, doesn’t matter who the opponent is, teams are out there to win so “spoiling” is really just incidental.
The heaviest of this talk from the fan’s perspective probably came in the middle of August as the Sox were between losing streaks and scheduled to take on the Kansas City Royals, who had a hand in spoiling a Pale Hose trip to the playoffs a year earlier. The Wild Card situation as it stands is complex, and the Royals are still in it despite a sweep at the hands of the Sox back when it seemed cool to do so. Not only that but the Indians are also in a position to make a play for some extra games in October, and suddenly find themselves just 4.5 games in back of the Tigers, who many (myself included) had just assumed would walk away with the division title. The White Sox remaining games come almost entirely against AL Central opponents. 5 of those against the Tigers, 5 are against the Indians and 4 are against the Royals. The Sox have shown that defeating the Tigers isn’t impossible. In fact, their play is such that any game is theirs for the taking if the offense just happens to get the right sniffing salts somewhere around batting practice time. The long point I’m making is, that by putting together a winning streak here and seeing what happens later, the White Sox could potential knock the Tigers out of the playoffs while helping either Cleveland or Kansas City into them. Which is just kind of fun because chaos.
Erik Johnson vs. Rick Porcello isn’t exactly Scherzer vs. Sale, but it again matches up 2 guys who, if the White Sox are lucky, bring similar things to the table. Johnson made his debut last week against the Yankees, and he held up reasonable. He even announced himself as a member of the defense by committing an error and knocking the “earned” off of a couple of his runs allowed. He’ll look to make his first home start a bit more memorable, and not leave fans with the impression that their next middling starter is ready to do his thing for the foreseeable future.
Because the game of baseball is played in a vacuum, and the Sox had a relatively easy time besting Max Scherzer last night, Rick Porcello should not be an issue at all. And they are getting him at a time when his confidence is not surging, having just given up 8 earned, including 3 HR, to the Red Sox in his last outing.
1. De Aza – RF
2. Beckham – 2B
3. Ramirez – SS
4. Dunn – DH
5. Konerko – 1B
6. Avisail Garcia – RF
7. Gillaspie – 3B
8. Viciedo – LF
9. Phegley – C
Avisail Garcia, who missed yesterday’s contest after a couple of root canals, is probably going to be even less talkative than usual as he takes the field with what is presumably a very sore mouth. Garcia is providing a .320/.358/.440 line so far in his short White Sox career. He may as well pad those stats against the team that dealt him away.
Detroit Tigers Lineup:
Where to Watch
Today’s game will be broadcast on WCIU and Fox Sports Detroit. 7:10 Central start time.