Series Preview: White Sox to end season with Kansas City Royals
Sep 24, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) walks back to the dugout after striking out in the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The final series of the 2014 season for the Chicago White Sox is set to begin Thursday and end on Sunday, as the Chicago White Sox will host the visiting Kansas City Royals for the final four games of the season.
Sep 21, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) signs autographs before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
In this series preview, we know the Royals enter this series with an 86-72 record, two games back of the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers, who are 88-70 on the season. KC is also tied with the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card standings, with the Seattle Mariners three games back of those two teams.
As for this series, the White Sox seem to have fourth place locked up in the Central with a below .500 mark of 72-86, their second consecutive losing season, 16 games worse than the Tigers in the division.
The only thing to really look for in this series with the Royals is how Jose Quintana pitches and to celebrate the career of retiring first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko.
Otherwise, this series is just a wash, so to speak.
Here are the pitching matchups for the final four games of the regular season (White Sox pitchers listed first):
• Thursday, Sept. 25: Jose Quintana (9-10, 3.22 ERA) vs. James Shields (14-8, 3.18 ERA), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Friday, Sept. 26: Hector Noesi (8-10, 4.39 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (12-11, 4.28 ERA), 7:10 p.m. CT
• Saturday, Sept. 27: John Danks (10-11, 4.82 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (9-11, 2.32 ERA), 6:10 p.m. CT
• Sunday, Sept. 28: Chris Bassitt (1-1, 3.65 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.07 ERA), 1:10 p.m. CT
Another of the pitching matchups I’m interested in seeing is Bassitt vs. Ventura. I want to see how Bassitt responds after his first career MLB win in his start on Sunday. It is a big game for him personally, because if he can end on a high note, that has to be good for him as he’ll next go to the Arizona Fall League this October.
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Thursday’s game seems to have the best overall pitching matchup with Quintana opposing Shields, as both have ERAs under 3.50 and Quintana is looking to end the season with 10 wins.
At the plate for the White Sox, the player I’m watching is Adam Eaton. Eaton is batting .297 on the season, and if he can reach the .300 mark with a good performance in the next four games, it will give the White Sox two batters with .300 or better averages in over 100 games played for the first time since the ’09 season.
That season, it was Scott Podsednik at .304 in 132 games and A.J. Pierzynski at .300 in 138 games.
Currently, Jose Abreu (142 games) is batting .316 for the White Sox, and Eaton (119 games) is at .297, so there is a good chance he can achieve that feat.
Thoughts on this final series of the season?