In what was certainly the most important series of the season thus far for the Chicago White Sox, things could not have gone any worse. You can say the Sox are still in first. You can say the Sox still have nearly a month left in the season. But after the pitiful display they put on against the Detroit Tigers this past weekend, one has to think the season is basically over.
Perhaps that’s getting a little bit ahead of oneself, but if this team can’t win important games, what makes a fan think they can win less important games? Much less, games against teams that never stop biting back, like the Minnesota Twins. Surprisingly, the Sox have played well against the Twins this year, compiling a 9-3 record thus far. But even though the Twins are struggling heavily this year, we’ve all seen in years past that this Minnesota ball club constantly plays spoiler to the White Sox, and there’s nothing to keep us thinking that they won’t do it again this season.
Hector Santiago gets his first start in months, as Dylan Axelrod won’t be recalled from the minors until later in the week. This gives the Sox a possible chance to give the starters a rest, in case Axelrod makes an appearance as a starter later in the week. Luckily, the Sox will be at home for this series, but after being swept by the Tigers, all confidence in this team might’ve just gone out the window. So if it wasn’t humiliating enough to drop three straight, now the Pale Hose have to face up against those pesky Twins who just never seem to go away.
Game 1 (Monday, 6:10 p.m. CST)
Hector Santiago (2-1, 3.91 ERA) vs. Samuel Dedundo (5-2, 3.72 ERA)
Game 2 (Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. CST)
Jose Quintana (5-3, 3.17 ERA) vs. Scott Diamond (10-6, 3.21 ERA)
Game 3 (Wednesday, 1:10 p.m. CST)
Jake Peavy (9-10, 3.28 ERA) vs. P.J. Walters (2-2, 5.40 ERA)
Jose Quintana: Look for the rookie to bounce back after a couple of rough starts. Although, that may not matter since the White Sox offense has basically fizzled out.
Joe Mauer: The All-Star Catcher is starting to tear it up again. He came up big in the last series against Kansas City, including a grand slam and a great defensive play over the weekend.
Robin Ventura: A lot of the decisions he’s been making have been questionable at best over the last week, i.e. DeWayne Wise batting third, and playing rookie pitchers in big situations. If you want to look at a dud player, pick anyone else on the roster except Quintana. You pretty much can’t go wrong.
Brian Duensing: Was just asked to go back to the bullpen this past weekend, especially since he hasn’t looked too great over his last seven outings, where he’s gone 2-4 with a 5.82 ERA.