The Chicago White Sox head to Oakland after winning two out of three on the road in Milwaukee behind two dominant pitching performances by ace Chris Sale and fellow southpaw Jose Quintana. Winners of their last three series overall, the Sox look to continue their recent improved play offensively and take a couple games against the 13-23 A’s this weekend. Let’s take a look at the pitching probables and matchups.
Tonight we have our top prospect Carlos Rodon going up against right-hander Jesse Hahn. Rodon looked very impressive last weekend in his debut start and he looks to build on that strong start versus the struggling Athletics.
While there were questions all week as to whether or not Rodon would be inserted permanently into the starting rotation, Rodon appeared to show enough with his spectacular 4-hit 8-strikeout game and I whole-heartedly agree giving our future number two the innings and games he needs to more effectively adapt to the league. Another recent addition to the team to watch out for tonight is recent call-up second baseman Carlos Sanchez.
Although Sanchez looks to start off strong in his 2015 major league campaign, I am not totally in love with the move. Just a couple days ago, the team gave Micah Johnson a vote of confidence and the next day they demote him. What kind of message does that send to not only Johnson, but to the team and fans?
There is no doubt Sanchez has been producing offensively down at Charlotte and the move was more than likely to provide the Sox with a better defensive option at second base, but, again, this sends the wrong message. Hopefully he and the rest of the lineup can continue to provide the recent surge in offense we’ve seen the past few days and lead us to a win.
Saturday night’s main event sees John Danks coming off a very impressive start of his own against the Cincinnati Reds versus another righty in Jesse Chavez. Danks threw the ball very well last Sunday going seven innings while scattering six hits and a run.
Chavez comes in to Saturday’s contest having only made one home start. Look for our guys to work the count early and often to try and get to Oakland’s pen early and put pressure on the home team. Couple things to watch for are the guys at the top of the lineup. Leadoff man Adam Eaton has been getting on base more often than not recently which is a very welcome sight to see, especially with the offense coming around. Also, Cabrera has been hitting into some bad luck recently.
The past few games I’ve watched he’s had great at-bats but just ended up hitting the ball right at guys. I have no doubt Cabrera will better his luck soon and our top two guys will be a fearsome sight to see for opposing pitchers.
Sunday’s afternoon game sees Jeff Samardzija squaring off against Scott Kazmir. Shark looks to rebound from a couple shaky starts recently and I think this Oakland team is a perfect fit for him to do so. From what I’ve seen so far this year, he’s had trouble placing his offspeed pitches.
When he gets better command, I’m sure we’ll see the pitcher all of us thought we were getting from these same Athletics in the offseason. We’ll see how it plays out but all in all it should be a fun weekend of baseball. Let’s get back to .500 huh?