Series Preview in Blog: Chicago White Sox (4/29-4/30)

Short post for a short series, the Twins play two against the White Sox to begin the week. The White Sox come into this game on a … well … it’s hard to explain, but they’re not on a winning streak, or a losing streak. We won’t be able to figure that one out until June 12, when the Sox and the Orioles resume the game that was postponed in the 12th inning yesterday due to weather. The Sox had won two out of three from the O’s thus far in the series, and they remain on top of the AL Central early in the season with a 14-10 record. An early AL Central lead is enough for some to try to sell this team as a contender this season (I can’t have a Sox series preview without a Palehose 8 link. It wouldn’t be right).

The Sox have been scoring a lot of runs, they lead the AL with 5.29 R/G, but they haven’t been doing it with the benefit of a great batting average. The Twins have the advantage in that category (.261 to .243 – lowest in the AL), but the rest of the line tips pretty heavily in the Sox favor (MIN – .261/.303/.361, CHI – .243/.336/.418). Chicago has got a lot of their offense from the long ball (AL-best 32 HR), but they’ve also found an unconventional way to score runs, the bases-loaded hit-by-pitch, perfectly executed several times by Carlos Quentin. The HBP is probably gritty enough to count as Ozzie’s much ballyhooed “small ball”, but almost all other vestiges of that strategy seem to have disappeared. Quentin has been off to a fantastic start this season, solidifying his place on the roster.

Probable Pitchers:

Bonser v. Floyd

Floyd has pitched well so far, in 2 of his 4 starts he hasn’t allowed a run. Results like that make some people think that maybe GM Kenny Williams had a plan all along. Personally, I’m not ready to jump to that conclusion, but anything is possible I guess.

In his last three starts Floyd has walked 10 and allowed 8 hits in 19.1 IP. Not that this will change the Twins approach at the plate, but it’s worth noting that they might close the gap betwixt their AL-worst 51 walks and the next worst (Angels – 76 BB, that’s an extra BB per game played so far this season).

Blackburn v. Masset

Blackburn comes off his only bad start of the year, while Masset makes a spot start due to the weather that continually interrupted the last series against Baltimore. Masset has only appeared in five games this year, but he’s held opponent’s scoreless in four of those outings. The Twins are the only team to solve him so far, scoring 5 runs in 3.2 innings against him earlier this month.

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