Nope. Things are not getting any easier for the Sox. The PITA Royals are coming to town this weekend and while the Sox play terrific at home, this weekend is the start of some critical business at home. Here is what you need to know for the upcoming weekend series.
2012 Record: White Sox 74-62, 1st in AL Central. Royals 61-76, 3rd in AL entral
2012 Season Series: 4-8
All-Time Series Record: 346-310 (the Sox are 195-138 at home against the Royals)
The following pitchers are expected to start the three games:
Francisco Liriano: 5-11, 5.11 REA, 147K vs. Luis Mendoza: 7-9, 4.48 ERA, 80K
Chris Sale: 15-6, 2.93 ERA, 162K vs. Bruce Chen: 10-11, 5.28 ERA, 117K
TBD: vs. Jeremy Guthrie: 7-12, 5.34 ERA, 85K
Friday’s game is at 7:10 pm, Saturday’s game is at 3:05 pm and Sunday’s game is at 1:10 pm. All times CDT.
The Sox remain one game ahead of the Tigers. Miraculously, the team manages to hang on to first place. This despite a recent beating the team took earlier in the week against the Twins. Of course, the starting pitching just hasn’t been there lately for the team. It is the dog days after all, so it is slightly understandable. Unfortunately, it is not a good time for the pitching to falter. Especially when the there have been various power outages in the lineup. It is definitely the time of year when it is perfectly acceptable for baseball fans to start thinking like football fans in that every single game is the most important game. One loss can tank things for the team. Hopefully now that the boys are home, they can get things in order to take care of business.
Meanwhile, the Royals are enjoying their spoiler success. They dropped the series with the Rangers at home last night losing by a final of 5-4 in 10 innings. Before that, they did the Sox a favor by sweeping the Tigers. Had the Royals not done that, the Sox might not be sitting in first place by one game right now. They are still playing most of their season regulars. Not many guys were called up on September. That is because manager Ned Yost felt those guys should stay at Omaha to win a championship there rather than sitting on the bench in the majors. You have to respect that decision. While it would be nice for Royals fans to see what the next crop of PITAs will be able to do, it is good for the opposing team to play “real” competition as opposed to guys who are typically in the minors because they are not good enough for the Show.
This weekend is important. And it should be fun to watch. Most people don’t find the Royals to be a great team, but they have done a great job of making life miserable for the Sox this season. This is yet another chance for them to truly be PITAs and for the Sox to show that they CAN take care of their latest demon in the Royals.
Who’s Hot: Gordon Beckham is hitting .333 in his last 14 games including some home runs of late. Jeremy Guthrie has gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts. Who’s Not: AJ Pierzynski is hitting just .108 in his last 11 games. Jeff Francoeur is hitting just .111 in his last 27 at-bats with nine strikeouts.
For more on the Royals, be sure to visit Drinking the Royals Blue Aid