Veteran Bullpen Help! – Lineups 7/21
By Matt Adams
Jess Crain has officially been on the disabled list since June 24, lending his roster spot to various rookies along the way. For this afternoon’s Chris Sale lead contest against the Tigers there will be one less rookie watching from the bullpen. Crain is re-joining the team while Brian Omogrosso will be heading back to AAA Charlotte. This is bigger than it should be for the Sox, who have had trouble inserting any relievers who allow for confidence in holding a lead or remaining in the game. Crain provides some additional stability, and another non-rookie, non-Matt Thornton option for Robin Ventura late in games.
It’s preferred that Crain doesn’t get a shot to shake off the rust today. Chris Sale, who lead to the White Sox to a 2-1 victory over Kansas City in his last outing, hopes to keep the team in first place as they face off against a Detroit team that is just half a game away from overtaking the division lead.
Detroit puts their first place aspirations in the hands of Rick Porcello. Porcello comes in with a 4.66 ERA but probably isn’t somebody the Sox are excited to face as he throws a heck of a lot of ground balls. The team has had some issues generating offense, and the last ground ball pitcher they faced kept the team in check even without the aid of any strikeouts. Hitters should look to be patient against Porcello, even in his quality starts this season he doesn’t tend to go too deep into the game. Seeing some extra pitches each at-bat should put them in a position to face the bullpen early.
1.De Aza – CF
2.Youkilis – 3B
3.Dunn – DH
4.Paulie – 1B
5.Rios – RF
6.AJ – C
7.Dayan – LF
8.Alexei – SS
9.Gordo – 2B
It’s funny how perception works. Watching the reaction of Sox fans upon losing last night’s game you might think that it was September and the Tigers just clinched. The reality is that the White Sox are in first, it’s July, and there is a lot of baseball left to be played. Had the Sox been down 3 games to start this series and won Friday night, fans would be pumping their fists and shouting about how it’s only a matter of time before the Sox take over the lead. First place for now, and first place later. How about it?