Afte a three-game sweep of a division rival, the Sox took a small break to head south and face the Rangers. Another three-game sweep there was not meant to be, but a series was had. Now, the Sox head north again to face the Twins. And it will definitely be a weird one with a newly acquired teammate. Here is what you should know for the next three games:
2012 Record: White Sox 55-46, 1st in AL Central. Twins 43-58, 4th in AL Central
2012 Series Record: 7-2
All-time Series Record: 376-417 (The Sox are 170-225 at Minnesota)
The following pitchers are expected to start in the three games this week:
Jose Quintana: 4-1, 2.58 ERA, 44K vs. Cole De Vries: 2-2, 3.64 ERA, 33K
Francisco Liriano: 3-10, 5.31 ERA, 109K vs. Nick Blackburn: 4-6, 7.99 ERA, 33K
Jake Peavy: 8-7, 3.15 ERA, 126K vs. Scott Diamond: 9-4, 2.88 ERA, 56K
Monday and Tuesday’s games begin at 7:10 pm. Wednesday’s game starts at 12:10 pm. All times CDT.
Continued success. The Sox got back in first place last week thanks to sweeping tonight’s foe. And of course, there was some help from the Indians who made the lives of the Tigers miserable. The success continued in Texas where the Sox took two of three from the Rangers. That also sealed a season series win for the Sox who hadn’t won a series against the Rangers since 2004. They did drop the final game in that series to stop a winning streak of five games. That loss also combined with a Tigers win means the Sox only have a 1.5 game lead in the AL Central.
Of course, that is really not the big story of the weekend. That honor goes to the acquisition of Francisco Liriano from the Twins. the Sox did need another starter with word that John Danks may need surgery on his shoulder. While there was hope a bit ago that he’d return in August, that is looking like an extremely remote possibility.
The Sox missed out on acquiring Zack Greinke who went to the Anaheim Angels last Friday. KW was working hard to get him, but just could not get a third team involved to make the deal work. While the Sox probably do have some assets that the Brewers would have been interested in, they are all on the big league roster and too valuable to the team to give up for a two-month rental.
In any event, KW made such a KW move in getting Liriano. The trade over the weekend in acquiring Liriano was the first trade between the Twins and White Sox since 1986.
In the past, Liriano has had pretty good success against the Sox. And we all know how KW likes to get his guys like that. Moreover, Liriano will be a free agent at the end of the season so he definitely has something to prove with his new team. While his record is pretty bad, his starts since returning to the rotation on May 30th have been very good, save his start last week against his new team. Liriano was pitching for a team that had no offense and if you are one to count wins as a good measuring stick for how good a pitcher is, well, of course he is going to look bad. Hopefully, the offense will be there to support Liriano and all of the other Sox pitchers.
In return for Liriano, the Twins acquired utility man Eduardo Escobar and minor league pitcher Pedro Hernandez. Eduardo probably had the best game of his season Saturday night when he was filling in for Alexei Ramirez who was out due to a collision with center fielder Alejandro De Aza. Eduardo was also leading off in that game and making an impact all through the game. Pedro Hernandez was a pitcher acquired in the deal that sent Carlos Quentin to San Diego in the off season. Pedro made himself know by asking for the ball after he threw his first strike in his major league debut. Needless to say, that caused for quite the commenting from all the broadcasters.
If Liriano can pitch like he has since May 30, (save last week against the Sox) this can be another “win” of a deal for KW. It is sad to see Escobar go since he could play both the infield and outfield, but it really remains whether he can be an everyday player. As for Hernandez, can’t say he left much of an impression when he was up so he doesn’t really seem like someone fans will regret seeing go away.
Who’s Hot: Adam Dunn currently has a seven-game hitting streak. The Minnesota Twins are hot right now. They swept the Indians over the weekend and are batting .325 with 18 home runs in their last 13 home games. Who’s Not: Tyler Flowers went into yesterday’s action hitting just .140 in his last 20 games. Nick Blackburn has has been giving up runs lately. In three of his last four starts, he has given up six or more earned runs.