Chicago White Sox Game Preview (4/3): Going for the sweep


Mar 18, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher

Jose Quintana

(62) throws in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Entering their final game of the three-game set with the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox have been winners seven of the past eight times they’ve played their AL Central rival.

Today, the White Sox go for the sweep by sending left-handed pitcher Jose Quintana to the mound, opposite of Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes.

The White Sox (2-0) look to Quintana in the afternoon matchup following a tough spring where he was 0-2 with a 16.36 ERA in five starts (11 innings).

In 17.2 innings pitched against the Twins in his career, Quintana is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA. In his last start against Minnesota (0-2), on Sept. 17, 2013, he allowed just one run in 6.0 innings pitched (five strikeouts).

This spring Quintana allowed 20 runs (all earned) on 18 hits (one home run) and seven walks. He did strikeout six batters, but opponents in the Cactus League managed to hit .375 off him as his WHIP rose to 2.27.

In Quintana’s first full MLB season, in 2013, he finished 9-7 with a 3.51 ERA. He started 33 games last season (200 innings), keeping opponents to a .247 batting average, while collecting 164 strikeouts.

This offseason (March 24) Quintana signed a five-year contract to stay with the White Sox.

Mar 13, 2014; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher

Phil Hughes

(45) rubs the baseball during a game against the Boston Red Sox at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Hughes, on the other hand, joined the Twins this past offseason, where he signed a three-year, $24 million deal. This spring he compiled an ERA of 4.74 in five starts, amounting to 19 innings pitched.

In those 19 innings, the RHP allowed 12 runs (10 earned) on 26 hits (two home runs) and four walks. Hughes did strikeout 12 as his opponents batted .333 against him in the spring.

Last season, with the New York Yankees, Hughes was 4-14 in 30 games (29 starts) with an ERA of 5.19 in 145.2 innings.

This will be the 12th time Hughes has pitched against the White Sox . In seven career starts vs. the White Sox he’s 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA, including six walks and 28 strikeouts.

This game should be interesting for the simple fact as to who can get off to a good start and forget their sub-par spring trainings. Both teams have their pitchers locked up for the next few seasons, now it is time for them to earn those contracts with a good start out of the gate.

Both have the ability to pitch better than what they did in March, that is for sure.

More before today’s game:

• As for the White Sox hitting, in the first two games of the season Alexei Ramirez leads the team with a .667 batting average (4-for-6) including one double and two RBIs. He has an on-base percentage of .750 with two walks.

• In the first two games against the Twins, the White Sox have a combined three home runs, two on Opening Day from Alejandro De Aza and one from Adam Dunn on Wednesday.

Pregame Tweet

• Player of the Game Prediction: My pick is Jose Abreu.

They said it … From the White Sox article by Scott Merkin on Wednesday:

"“By coming back and then you win later, I don’t know how many times we did that last year, not many.” — White Sox manager Robin Ventura."

Please follow Southside Showdown on Twitter and like us on Facebook.