Before this series I posted half-mockingly, but half-serious that anything less than a sweep would be an abject disaster. The White Sox are a rebuilding club, whose top slugger is out with an injury, tossing a pair of no-name pitchers for the first two games of the series, while we miss ace Chris Sale altogether. At the very least, winning the series should have been a given.
Instead, we find ourselves depending on Jeremy Guthrie to help us avoid a sweep. The stopper!
It was never supposed to be like this. The offense has actually scored some runs the last two nights, but some disappointing pitching performances and some mind-numbingly awful ninth inning decisions have put us in this position. The Royals are 5-15 against their Central Division foes this year, a record that is not acceptable considering we have 56 games left against those teams.
Guthrie goes against Chicago for the second time this year, having gotten the win against them in a shaky performance in the home opener. Jeremy has not won a game since the second week of the season, and has given up seven home runs in his last four starts. For all the talk about how tough Kauffman is to hit a home run in, Guthrie has given up four home runs in four starts at Kauffman Stadium, and leads the league with twelve dong shots given up.
Jose Quintana goes for the White Sox, and has quietly become of one of the best pitchers no one has ever heard of. In 67 career big league games, Quintana has a 3.62 ERA (117 ERA+). Since 2012, among pitchers with at least 60 starts, he's tenth in the league in ERA+, ahead of Jon Lester, C.C. Sabathia, C.J. Wilson, and Matt Moore. A win tonight, and he ties Julio Teheran for the most wins ever by a Colombian-born pitcher. Quintana is 0-3 in eight career starts against the Royals, including a 4.60 ERA in five starts in Kauffman Stadium.
610's Josh Vernier has your Royals lineup:
I can't believe it has come to this. Fending off a sweep from the Sox? The thought of Hawk Harrelson happy sends shivers down my spine.