Monday, October 6, 2008
Roundup: White Sox
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I'm not going to talk much about the Cubs here. Why? Frankly, I don't want the world to think that we're only pro-Sox around here - when the opportunity presents itself, we generally DO cover the Cubs. Expect a Cubs roundup later.
For now, let's talk about a team with more playoff wins in the last two years after last night's Sox victory.
First of all, I'm still on target for my projection of "Sox in 5." I almost EXPECT to win today's matchup of Gavin Floyd versus Andy Sonnanstine (13-9 record with a 4.38 ERA). I'm not saying that just because Gavin has been lights-out as of late -Floyd has produced in the same clutch-itude as Danks, but can be completely awful at times with poor control.
I'm saying the Sox will win because:
#1. It's a home game. We love home games (54-28 at home, 3rd best in the AL). We get to do the whole "blackout" thing, we get to eat elotes (trust me, try it), and we get to sing the White Sox fight song. It just works.
#2. We've seen Sonnastine. This is a guy who went 0-7 his last seven starts of the season, and isn't new to White Sox hitters. We saw him on April 19th (3-hit shutout I would like to forget), Jun 1 (10H, 3ER in a no decision where we let him off the hook) and August 24th (9H, 4ER, no decision). I'm not saying I expect us to be on the ball, but Sonnanstine has been coming at batters more, getting more K's and cutting down on walks...and seeing more balls in play. We do remarkably better as a team once we've seen a guy, and we've definitely had some success in the hitting department.
#3. Sonnastine loves to give freebies. This is probably going to be the make or break thing for the White Sox, but Sonnanstine has a nasty habit of helping out free-swingers as he looks to get ahead or finish a hitter. The White Sox, however, have a few ridiculous free-swinging players (Uribe, Ramirez, Anderson, Cabrera) that refuse to walk and can really come up big if they get some early pitches over the plate. Sonnanstine's line on first pitch (opponents hitting .354) and on an 0-1 count (opponents hitting .305) will help these guys out more than any experience can.
So, that said, here's my optimistic projected outcome:
SOX WIN, 6-3.