The Royals have no business sweeping this series – Lineups & Preview 7/28


Hector obviously needs to throw a 25-inning shutout. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox are about as terrible as a team that didn’t plan to be terrible can ever be, and should never take for granted that a new degradation of unimaginable scope and degree is lurking around the corner.

Yet, the Royals entered into this series with Wade Davis and Bruce Chen slated to go the mound for them; two guys not fit for a major league rotation. The former probably would have taken his shutout all nine if given the opportunity on Saturday night, but it’s not too late to inject some normalcy into the world of on-game pitching results.

Chen has a 1.97 ERA for the year, with 19 of his 21 appearances coming in relief, and has allowed only five baserunners combined over two six-inning starts since re-joining the Royals rotation. That said, he’s still a soft-tossing lefty with no ability to keep the ball on the ground, and is seemingly built to give up home runs to Dayan Viciedo. We here at Southside Showdown are not above being callously dismissive of hot streaks enjoyed by 36 year-old journeymen.

However, again, the White Sox offense really doesn’t have a floor for their performance, so predictions are hard.

I will probably need this video of Marcus Semien homering off Archie Bradley just to get through this preview.

White Sox lineup

1. Alejandro De Aza – CF
2. Alexei Ramirez – SS
3. Alex Rios – RF
4. Adam Dunn – 1B
5. Paul Konerko – DH
6. Jeff Keppinger – 3B
7. Dayan Viciedo – LF
8. Gordon Beckham – 2B
9. Josh Phegley – C

Hector Santiago, SP

While the camera watched him attack a bag of sunflower seeds with ferocity, Hawk described Hector Santiago as someone who is “effective when he throws strikes.” To be snarky, anyone for whom that statement doesn’t apply probably needs a much smaller role, but specifically for someone like Santiago, whose whip-like release on his 93 mph fastball gets swings-and-misses in the zone, his control seems like the last barrier to unbridled success. How much of that is nibbling due to the lack of an out-pitch, is a matter for debate and also subject to change.

As far as the tale of the tape, there’s not really a correlation to Santiago avoiding walks and Santiago being successful that’s more specific than walks are bad. He walked four Red Sox hitters over six innings in May and was fine, a week prior he only walked one Minnesota Twin and failed to make it out of the sixth.

Kansas City Royals Lineup

1. Alex Gordon – LF
2. Alcides Escobar – SS
3. Eric Hosmer – 1B
4. Billy Butler – DH
5. David Lough – RF
6. Miguel Tejada – 2B
7. Mike Moustakas – 3B
8. George Kottaras – C
9. Jarrod Dyson – CF

Bruce Chen, SP

It’s too bad Lorenzo Cain isn’t hitting much this season, because between his smooth   and easy ranging to deep center field, and his love for interacting with bozos in the outfield–especially on nights where he hits two home runs–makes him a proper, respectable villain. We wish only the best to him and his wounded groin.

Where to Watch: 1:10pm CT, CSN Chicago, Fox Sports Kansas City