They’ll be playing this series in my backyard, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it to any of the games. Definitely not on Monday, but Wednesday or Thursday is a possibility. If I do go, of course I’ll file a full report.
The White Sox come into this series hot off a sweep of the Detroit Tigers, much like the Royals did before them. I have to say it’s awfully nice of Detroit to do their part to make these teams satisfied and complacent coming into their games against the Twins. This is the first series away from home for the Twins, who sit at 3-4 compared to the White Sox 4-2 mark which puts them atop the AL Central. That’s three series against division leading teams out of three so far this season, for anyone who’s keeping track.
If someone came up to me and asked, “What do you think the White Sox are like?” it would take me an awful lot of guesses to come up with Warren Zevon (mostly because I don’t think I know who or what that is), but apparently he/she/they are the perfect musical equivalent of the South Siders. Perusing the rest of the list, I guess I’m a closet Yankees fan, and the alternative band offered up for the Twins in the comments makes a fair bit of sense.
The Wall Street Journal article that crowned Ron Gardenhire as the best manager in baseball has sparked some comment. I found it interesting that the Twins manager seems to find himself in a lot of people’s top 5 lists (among White Sox fans at least). Perhaps that is due to the Sox struggling against the Twins during Minnesota’s run of division crowns?
The most important thing to remember in this series is: Beware Nick Swisher bringing the awesome. Also, Great Boone Logan’s beard! That’s two things, is there anything else? Oh, right. Jermaine Dye is probably going to hurt someone out there.
Probables for this series:
Nick Blackburn v. Javier Vasquez
No wild pitches Blackburn, that kind of crap doesn’t cut it here in the bigs. You throw one wild pitch, you lose the game, the sooner you learn that, the better. The Twins faced Vasquez 5 times last year, and he lasted 6+ innings each time, allowing 10 runs in 35 2/3 IP, so if that keeps up Blackburn may have to be just as good as last time. Vasquez has made one start this year allowing 4 R on 5 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings against Cleveland.
Scott Baker v. John Danks
Danks came over in the Brandon McCarthy trade, which, at the time, was a little surprising given the high esteem McCarthy seemed to be held in by the Sox organization. This season, Sox fans are declaring the deal a success, with Danks strong debut (6.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H) and McCarthy starting the season on the 60 day DL.
The other part of that trade was Nick Massett, who was the 25th man on the 25-man roster, and pitched well on day 1 of the season, but had a very bad spring. When his spring numbers were compared to others who didn’t make the team (like Ehren Wassermann) it’s hard to see why Massett got the call. After all, Wassermann is the greatest Sox player ever to don the #62 jersey.
Livan Hernandez v. Jose Contreras
Two veterans from Cuba go at it in the finale. Jim, at Sox Machine, has been watching Contreras closely, and by reading into the frequency of his unorthodox sidearm deliveries, he don’t like what he sees. Between Contreras’ sidearm junk, and Livan’s so-slow-they-time-it-with-a-sundial curveball, there are going to be some interesting at-bats in this one.