Chris Sale–Light of our lives–takes on Tampa Bay – Lineups – 4/25


It might have been one of those cases where the deer was only out and wandering on the road–where it was plowed over by an SUV–because it was already gravely ill and confused, but the last time the Rays visited U.S. Cellular Field and faced Chris Sale, they pounded the White Sox’ fatigued ace into oblivion and sent any lingering playoff hopes to the showers with him.

Even known baseball vagabond/scoundrel Jeff Keppinger homered off of Sale that day, before his body and soul were cleansed and purified in the Chicagoland Plumbing Council shower in the outfield concourse. Despite the conversion, revenge is at hand…or counter-revenge, since no one on the Rays can feel too great about that 15-strikeout game from last Memorial Day.

  1. Alejandro De Aza, LF
  2. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  3. Alex Rios, RF
  4. Adam Dunn, DH
  5. Paul Konerko, 1B
  6. Conor Gillaspie, 3B
  7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  8. Tyler Flowers, C
  9. Dewayne Wise, CF
  • Chris Sale, SP

Tampa Bay (More like, Trampa Bay, hahahaha, alright settle down) starter Jeremy Hellickson is a right-hander with distinct platoon splits, so Robin Ventura is staying heavy on the left-handers, including left-handed center fielder Dewayne Wise, who is notably more left-handed than left-handed center fielder Jordan Danks and left-handed center fielder Blake Tekotte, both of whom are left-handed.

Hellickson has remarkable command but lacks a true out-pitch. While the mouths of White Sox hitters are far too parched for them to lick their chops at anyone, “throws lots of strikes but is vulnerable to dingers” is a much more favorable combination than “good stuff but bad control, gotta wait him out.” They don’t wait people out. Hellickson actually being decent mutes some of the excitement of the matchup.

  1. Desmond Jennings, CF
  2. Ryan Roberts, 2B
  3. Ben Zobrist, SS
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Sean Rodriguez, 1B
  6. Shelley Duncan, DH
  7. Kelly Johnson, LF
  8. Jose Lobaton, C
  9. Sam Fuld, RF
  • Jeremy Hellickson, SP

Other than slots 1, 3 and 4, this lineups got jokes for days and giggles for weeks. We can laugh and laugh at Sam Fuld’s attempts at Sale’s sliders right up until our throats crack with blood, or when we remember that the Rays have scored 13 more runs than the White Sox this season in one more game played.

Weather: Cold, but playable!

Where to watch: Due to this whole Chicago Bulls playoffs conflagration going about, this game is on CSN+ at 7:10 pm. Gee, I sure hope this CSN channel guide is accurate.

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan