I joked a couple of months ago that it would be wild if the White Sox and Cubs’ respective pennant races collided in the second and final installment of this year’s crosstown series, and just like they drew it up in Hollywood, that unprecedented scenario has come to fruition before our eyes.
With the both the American League and National League Central coming down to the wire, each Chicago team will have the opportunity to win their division, and lose the division for their crosstown rival at Guaranteed Rate Field this weekend.
The White Sox, who trail Minnesota by one game after a brutal 1-6 road trip will need some help from the Cincinnati Reds who play the Twins, while the Reds coincidentally will need some help from the White Sox to overtake the Cubs in the Central.
Let’s hope that both sides can help each other out.
After coming up limping after a slide into home plate in the seventh inning of Thursday night’s loss to the Cleveland Indians, White Sox skipper Rick Renteria expects Eloy Jimenez to miss the entire weekend series with the Cubs before he’s reevaluated on Monday.
Eloy had been one of the only bats not sleepwalking as of late, so losing him for a series of this magnitude hurts, but the hope is that a weekend of rest will have Jimenez’s foot feeling up to task when the White Sox open their playoff run on Tuesday.
After being taken by the White Sox in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft this past June, former Tennessee Volunteers’ southpaw Garrett Crochet made his major league debut last weekend against the Cincinnati Reds.
Crochet came out of the gates throwing straight gas, hitting 100 miles per hour on multiple occasions as he struck out two in his one inning of work in a Friday night loss to the Reds.
In addition to throwing 30 pitches of 100 mph or more in his four innings of work (third among all MLB pitchers), Crochet has seen himself inserted into high-leverage situations by the White Sox. His success in those situations (5 K, 0 BB, 1 H, 0 ER) has cemented him in the White Sox playoff
As Xavier Sanchez pointed out in his detailed look at this weekend’s series, the White Sox hit .186 in 231 at-bats with just 20 walks and a staggering 81 strikeouts during their seven-game trip to Ohio.
Even more concerning, In 44 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Sox hit .181 while leaving 41 on base during their road trip.
With Luis Robert in a massive slump, Eloy Jimenez’s status for next week uncertain, and Yoan Moncada scuffling all season as he feels the effects of his bout with COVID-19, the White Sox will need the likes of Yasmani Grandal, James McCann and other to flip the switch this weekend or the White Sox will be in grave danger of being a one-and-done playoff team in 2020.
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