Because the Tigers are coming in for the final weekend, tonight is the last time the White Sox will be facing a major league team this year. Add to that the fact they can get a dribble of fun out of the miserable season by reducing their opponent’s chances of making the playoffs from 13% to win-the-lottery range, and it’s a special occasion.
Given that, I invited a special guest to tonight’s Gamethread to discuss the status of the Sox, noted baseball analyst Edward Lear.
Welcome to South Side Hit Pen, Eddie. I’m thrilled to have you as a guest, because I’ve been a fan ever since you wrote that immortal line, “There once was a team from Nantucket.”
Thanks, Leigh, a pleasure to be here. Always enjoy a good ball chat, especially about the Sox.
Let’s start with the big picture. What’s your take on the White Sox at this point?
There once was a team called the Sox, see?
Stuck in a blah orthodoxy,
A seven-year blight
With no end in sight,
Giving their fans apoploxy.
Hard to disagree with that. Let’s break it down, starting at the top.
There once was an owner named Jerry,
Who thought wins came from the tooth fairy,
The crafty old miser
Knew fans none the wiser,
And grabbed all the loot he could carry.
Harsh, but fair. Let’s move on down.
There once was a pair, Ken and Rick,
The two of them equally thick,
They promise to you
In a decade or two,
They’ll really get something to click. (honest!)
I’m not sure they’ve put off success for more than one decade more, but who knows? What about the honchos wearing funny outfits?
Some say as the world’s end approaches,
The last things alive will be roaches,
But Sox fans all know
That just isn’t so –
They’ll never outlast old Sox coaches.
Guess that’s what they mean by “working the bugs out.” What about players? Let’s start with the offense.
The Sox have a handful of batters
Who can smash a baseball to tatters,
They would be good if
They didn’t so often whiff,
And hit the damned ball when it matters.
The whiffing is a problem, all right.
There are games we’re all left in a daze
Of more double-digit Sox K’s,
And yet they all balk
At the thought of a walk,
Though getting on base really pays.
It sure seems like an institutional problem, but, then, so does playing defense.
Yolmer’s really good, Yoan is okay,
James and Adam sure know how to play,
The rest are so porous
A lame stegosaurus
Could lumber right through them all day.
Which gets us to pitching.
It certainly would be neat-o
To have more than Giolito,
But all of the rest
Are an unproven mess,
For whom the best grade’s “incompelete-o.”
Pleasure though this chat has been, we better move on to tonight’s game. It’s a big one for Cleveland, if not the Sox.
The White Sox are hosting the Tribe,
Whose hopes are still barely alive,
This game is a must
Or their season’s a bust,
With Chicago a cause to ascribe.
Time to get to the lineups. Can you take it player by player?
That might be a little space and time consuming. Besides, I have no rhymes for Palka.
How about just our starting pitcher?
On the mound for the Sox is D. Cease,
And one hopes that his skills will increase,
But his name is so punnable
Even bad games are funnable,
Since you’ve got such a humor release.
Why don’t you just do that picture thingy for the rest.
Okay. Here it is. Eloy out again.
Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease is 4-7 with a 5.79 ERA. In his only appearance against the Indians he struck out 11 in 6 2/3, but gave up four earned and got no decision. His last outing was against Detroit, so that doesn’t count.
The Indians counter with rookie righty Aaron Civale, 3-3 with a 1.82 ERA (that’s not a typo). One of those wins was over the Sox September 2, when he got the win, giving up three runs – just one earned. His last outing was against Detroit, so that doesn’t count.
As for the Tribe lineup:
- Francisco Lindor (S) SS
- Oscar Mercado (R) CF
- Carlos Santana (S) 1B
- Yasiel Puig (R) RF
- Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
- Franmil Reyes (R) DH
- Mike Freeman (L) 2B
- Roberto Perez (R) C
- Greg Allen (S) LF
Thanks again Eddie. Want to do the technical points?
Thanks again for having me.
Gametime is at seven ten,
Radio is WGN
The TV cohorts
Are on NBC sports,
And the weather looks perfect again.
Any last word?