The White Sox are making their one and only trip to Fenway Park these next four games. It will definitely be interesting for at least two members of the teams in that they will see their old buddies. They also might feel strange sitting in what might feel like the wrong dugout. Here is what you should know for the next four games:
2012 Record: White Sox 49-39, 1st in AL Central. Red Sox 45-44, 4th in AL East
2012 Series Record: 1-3
All-Time Series Record: 924-959 (The White Sox are 388-551 at Fenway)
The following pitchers are expected to start the four games:
Dylan Axelrod: 1-2, 6.16 ERA, 22K v. Aaron Cook: 2-2, 4.37 ERA, 2K
Philip Humber: 3-4, 6.01 ERA, 63 K v. Jon Lester: 5-6, 4.49 ERA, 94K
TBD v. Felix Doubrant: 9-4, 4.41 ERA, 97K
TBD v. Franklin Morales: 2-2, 3.16 ERA, 53K
All four games begin at 6:10 pm CDT.
The White Sox finally managed to extend their lead in the AL Central. Now they have a 3.5 game lead over the second place team in the division. Things also switched a tiny bit with the red-hot Tigers taking over second place and the Indians dropping to third. However, in some ways, the standings seem secondary at this point.
More bad news for the pitching staff. Gavin Floyd had an MRI over the weekend. He was scheduled to start tonight’s game, however due to forearm tendinitis, he has been pushed back. Early reports are that he is not bad enough to need a disabled list stint, but you never know. Of course, Philip Humber is returning from the disabled list. So far, he hasn’t been officially activated nor has a corresponding move been made to send someone either to the disabled list or back to the minors.
Elsewhere, John Danks doesn’t seem to be making the progress that was hoped for in his rehabilitation. Last week, pitching coach Don Cooper said that right now, he doesn’t have John on his radar. In other words, if you were one hoping that John would be back soon, it is not looking like that is going to happen. Of course, this adds further fuel to speculation as to what KW is going to do with the non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching. Yesterday, rumors were swirling that the Pale Hose are interested in Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke (I wouldn’t mind having him) and Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano (given how KW has gone after a certain kind of player, Liriano makes perfect sense sadly) to add to the team. These next few days and couple of weeks will be interesting to see what teams move players and what is given up in return.
On the East Coast, Boston is trudging along. While they are now one game above .500, they have spent a great deal of time trying to get back above the magic mark. Right now, they are tied for fourth place in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays. The division continues to be the only one where every single team is playing at .500 or above. Of course, aside from trying to find a way to come out on top of the AL East, the Red Sox have been trying to get over all of the injuries as well as learning to play under a new manager.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury recently has come back from the disabled list. He had been on with a shoulder injury. Most recently placed on the disabled list was second baseman Dustin Pedroia with a sprained right thumb. Right fielder Ryan Sweeney has also been out a few games with hamstring soreness. Daisuke Matsuzaka who recently returned now seems back on the dl with a trapezius strain.
Aside from the injuries, the big story this week will probably be the return of Kevin Youkilis to Boston. Before he was traded, Youk had spent his entire career in Boston and was instrumental in the World Series drought for the Red Sox. It is no secret that Bobby Valentine and Youk were not getting along before Youk just had to be moved. The fans there clearly love him. And Youk even penned an open letter to them. No doubt he will get a warm reception from the fans and probably from some former teammates. Hopefully, there won’t be too much drama as far as Youk and Bobby V are concerned.
Who’s hot: Adam Dunn for the second time this season has gone yard in three consecutive games. David Ortiz has a streak of nine games with at least one hit and one walk. Who’s Not: Paul Konerko is mired in a slump that has him hitting just .154. Jarrod Saltalamachia is hitting just .059 and has 11 strikeouts in this span of 17 at-bats.
For more on the Red Sox, be sure to check out Fenway Fatales.