White Sox: Hope to split the series with Red Sox on Sunday
After a tough 6-1 loss Saturday night to the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox hope to tie the series with a win on Sunday.
The afternoon game features White Sox veteran pitcher James Shields against the left-handed Brian Johnson who has successfully filled in for Chris Sale who has been on the DL since July for shoulder inflammation.
Boston won Thursday and Saturday. Chicago won on Friday. Considering that Boston has the best record in the MLB, the ChiSox have proven themselves to be tough opponents. But, Boston has also capitalized on current ChiSox weaknesses, especially the bullpen.
The bright spot
One of the brightest spots of this series has been the Chicago starting rotation. In the first three games of this series, the starting rotation has proven its value. Keeping in mind that the average age of the starting rotation is 23 1/2 years old, the three men who have pitched against the Red Sox have performed better than expected. (Boston’s three starters average 27 1/4 years old and Rick Porcello has a Cy Young win in his 10-year career.)
Lucas GIolito gave up one earned run. Boston had one hit off of Michael Kopech in his three innings pitched on Friday night. And, Carlos Rodon gave up four earned runs on Saturday. Remember that the Red Sox have two players with the highest batting average in the MLB and one with the most RBI in the league, too. In fact, J.D. Martinez has a good chance of earning at least two batting titles this season and he could even walk away with a Triple Crown. Chicago’s pitching staff has held Martinez and Mookie Betts to only two runs in the first three games of the series.
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Up there with the winners
Interestingly, when looking at season win-loss records, Chicago has done well against Boston all season. Only the Oakland Athletics have a winning record against Boston, but three teams have a .500 record against the BoSox. Those teams include the Indians, Astros, Phillies, and your Southside Sox.
That’s pretty good company.
Chicago’s weakness in this series has been the bullpen. On Thursday night, the pen gave up eight of the nine runs Boston scored. The one run Boston scored on Friday came via the Chicago bullpen. Saturday’s game was the only one of this series where the bullpen gave up fewer runs than that starter did – Ryan Burr gave up one run, while Rodon gave up five (four were earned). Hopefully, the ChiSox pitching staff can get put it together for this final game.
This series against Boston has been a good test for the young White Sox staff. The lineup has scored runs and the pitching staff has proven that it can face the best of the best and keep them relatively quiet.