Let’s Avoid the Sweep and Get the Heck Outta KC – Lineups 5/6


Opening Day starters with a little less optimism. Just over a month ago the Royals came to Chicago to get their season started, and the scheduled pitchers were Chris Sale and James Shields. Today, the White Sox remain in Kansas City to try and, well, in a manner of speaking, get their season started. The scheduled pitchers are Chris Sale and James Shields. Both threw well that day, allowing very little in the way of offense, the difference being a solo HR from Tyler Flowers. Knowing what we know now, that was pretty telling with Sale going out and being absolutely stellar, getting the win because he was above and beyond in the run prevention department. The offense has struggled since and pitchers that have failed to put forth a massive effort towards a shutout have also failed to see the run support to deliver a win in more cases than I’m comfortable with.

Originally a day off, today’s tilt is the result of a Friday rain out that pushed the series from Fri-Sun to Sat-Mon. Does that make today’s game Friday’s game or today’s game Sunday’s game? Does a loss today start the sweep or complete the sweep. No matter, they’re playing.

Shields has been solid so far this year for Kansas City, and pitching to what a tempered fan could call the high-end expectations for him. An ERA sitting at an even 3, a high strikeout rate in line with his last few years in Tampa, and the ability to pitch deep into ballgames. He’s pitched through at least the 6th inning in each one of his starts, has seen the 7th, has seen the 8th, and has even gone the distance already (interestingly for a loss) in a game against the Blue Jays.

With the White Sox offense being the culprit in the slow start, they did manage to put up 5 runs in yesterday’s loss thanks to a 4-run 7th inning. As it turned out that wasn’t enough, but it’s proof that the offense is capable from time to time. Even still, as Jim Margalus points out, they have the potential to be historically bad.

Sale overcame a slow start in his last outing to see the winning end of an unexpected pitching duel, going 7 innings and striking out 7 in Texas. Every game is a new one, but the Royals lineup doesn’t have the same firepower that Texas does, and Kauffman doesn’t provide the run environment. Look for Sale to continue building his Ace status.

Today’s Lineup:

1.De Aza – LF
2.Keppinger – 2B
3.Rios – RF
4.Dunn – DH
5.Konerko – 1B
6.Gillaspie – 3B
7.Alexei – SS
8.Flowers – C
9.Wise – CF

Kansas City Royals Lineup:

1.Alex Gordon – LF
2.Alcides Escobar – SS
3.Billy Butler – DH
4.Eric Hosmer – 1B
5.Lorenzo Cain – CF
6.Mike Moustakas – 3B
7.Jeff Francoeur – RF
8.Salvador Perez – C
9.Chris Getz – 2B

Where to Watch
Today’s White Sox game can be watched on CSN for the Chicago area and on Fox Sports KC in the appropriate areas. 1:10 Central start time.