The Kansas City nine hope to cleanse their collective palettes tonight after a horrific drubbing at the hands of the Pale Hoes of the South Side. John Danks--who wishes that he could always play the Royals as he owns a 2.57 ERA against them in 21 starts compared to a 4.31 career mark--continued his nine-year domination of the Royals last night, tossing just his third complete game since 2011. Adding insult to injury, Chicago piled on a dozen runs in support of Danks, first out-Royalling the Royals by hopping on the singles train and playing pitch-perfect defense before adding extra-base hits to the mix later in the game.
Chicago sends Jose Quintana to the mound to face the Royals. Quintana does not enjoy the same success that his Pail Hoe rotation-mate Danks has enjoyed against the Royals. While pitcher wins mean very little, Quintana has yet to beat the Royals. In 16 starts, Quintana is 0-6 with a 4.68 ERA while allowing a .295/.337/.436 slash against. For whatever reason, the Royals have had his number since he broke into the league in 2012.
The Royals turn to Danny Duffy to wash that fecal taste from their mouths from yesterday. Duffy is embroiled in a fight for the last spot in the playoff rotation with Kris Medlen, who rather than slammed the door shut took it off its hinges in a schizophrenic start yesterday that saw him sandwich three-run innings around a eight- and five-pitch second and third innings. That the defense failed Medlen in the first and allowed two runs to score after a should-have-been double play trickled through the infield rather than ended the inning matters little for Duffy's cause at cracking the top four in the rotation.
Duffy's peripherals do not look particularly good. He currently owns a 4.11 ERA, 4.53 FIP, 4.94 xFIP, 4.99 SIERA with a paltry 1.64 K/BB. Duffy's issue, as always, has been pitch efficiency. He has made it past the sixth inning just once in his last eight starts. While the Royals' pen is inarguably a massive strength and Duffy's issues working deep into games probably won't matter as much in the postseason, Duffy will have to work hard make his case for the final four.
The White Sox will align themselves as such:
Today's starting lineups. Tune in at 6:10 pm CT. pic.twitter.com/6WRvCe0MGR— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) September 5, 2015
These will be tonight's expanded-roster Royals:
No Ben Zobrist. Still no Mike Moustakas. No southpaw-smashing Jonny Gomes. Drew Butera in for Salvador Perez, which is more than likely an offensive downgrade from even Francisco Pena, who seems destined to sit on the Royals' 25-man roster for the rest of the season virtually unused, praying just to get a plate appearance. If Yost felt compelled to play the son of a former major-league catcher to protect the heritage of baseball, one could reasonably posit that perhaps Pena's pedigree is better than Butera's. Never forget that strikeout on May 6, Frankie. Offensive black hole Alcides Escobar still leading off. Omar Infante in the lineup for Ben Zobrist instead of Christian Colon. There's very little to like about tonight's lineup. Two through six in the order are conceivably all right. It looks as though the Royals are trying to even the playing field with the White Sox, handicapping the offense.