The Most Important Game of the Season?
What’s 6’6”, 180 pounds, throws 95 mile per hour fastballs, has a mean slider and has the second most wins in the American League? If you said Obi Wan Kenobi, something is seriously wrong with you. The answer was Chris Sale. And he may be the White Sox only hope to keep the lead in the AL Central.
The last time Sale and Verlander met, it was in Detroit on September 2nd, and Sale pitched well, but Verlander pitched better.
The biggest mistake for Chris Sale was giving up a three run homer to Sox killer Delmon Young in the bottom of the 6th, and the Sox weren’t able to overcome the deficit. However, White Sox pitching has been doing a good job of pitching to him and have kept him at 2 for 14 on the series so far.
Chris Sale could really use some run support this game. The Sox have gone from the best team in the AL at hitting with runners in scoring position to one of the worst. It’s been a lot of the same stuff lately: if they’re not hitting homers, they’re not really scoring runs.
Not only are they struggling in the hitting department, but their bullpen is also struggling. They lead the league in walks so far for the month of September. And it seems like every time a White Sox pitcher gives up a walk, it comes back around to bite them and score.
Dunn is most likely a scratch for the evening, as his oblique is still bothering him. The Sox really haven’t been able to rely on Dayan Viciedo hitting righties, but he’s been able to crush lefties, so expect to see Dan Johnson hit in the DH spot or play first base tonight.
The Sox have missed having Dunn in the lineup. Even though he’s only been a .200 hitter this season, Dunn has been able to put a spark in the Sox lineup. He has 38 homers, which up until about a week and a half ago, was a league high. He can work pitchcounts well and is able to walk and get on base. Plus, he’s one of those guys that has the ability to take Verlander yard in any of his at-bats, even though he’s struck out against him a lot.
Another important note to add : after last night’s game we can only hope Youkilis has snapped his mini slump. Up until last night, he only had 3 hits in 25 at bats since the last series with Detroit. Taking two out in one game does wonders to help break out of a slump, and they need more of that hitting tonight.
It’s up to an outstanding performance by Chris Sale and timely hitting by the White Sox offense to keep the lead for the AL Central at two games.
First pitch is at 7:10 on Comcast SportsNet.