The White Sox and Tigers will play a make-up game Monday afternoon in Chicago; it will be the final meeting of the regular season between the two teams vying for the AL Central crown. The White Sox come into the game two games ahead of the Tigers after sweeping the Twins in Minnesota over the weekend.
The Tigers took two out of three in Cleveland this weekend, but missed out on a sweep when Jose Valverde blew a 1 run lead in the 9th and lost the game on Lonnie Chisenhall’s bases loaded hit. The Sox Magic Number is at 16 and can be dropped by another two with a win on Monday.
The original pitching matchup for the game last Thursday was Justin Verlander vs. Chris Sale. That is not what we will see Monday afternoon at US Cellular. Gavin Floyd was initially announced as the starter for the game but the White Sox once again shuffled the rotation and finally decided on Jose Quintana (6-4, 3.52 ERA). Quintana will be opposed by Doug Fister (9-8, 3.49 ERA).
This will be the third time Fister has faced the White Sox this year, and third time facing the Sox in his last 4 starts. Last Tuesday Fister dominated the White Sox allowing 2 runs on 2 hits in 7 innings. He allowed two solo home runs early and then settled down and the Sox couldn’t do anything with him.
Fister got the win as the Tigers won 5-3. Overall on the season Fister has allowed 5 runs (4 earned) against the Sox in 12 innings. He has struck out 8 and walked 6 and has allowed 3 home runs. With the exception of a bad start at Baltimore where he allowed 7 runs Fister hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in a start since July 7th against Kansas City.
Quintana was brilliant his last time out against the Tigers a week ago when he held them to 1 run on 7 hits over 7.2 innings. He also struck out 7 and walked just to in earning the win against Detroit, the Sox only win of the series. That was his first and only start against the Tigers this year and the Sox will hope he can duplicate it. It will be a full week of rest since his last start and the Sox are hoping that the extra rest will keep Quintana sharp.
Dunn returns: Adam Dunn returned to the White Sox lineup on Saturday and his return has made an immediate impact. In the final two games in Minnesota Dunn was 4-for-7 with a walk, a home run, a double, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. The oblique seems to be fine as he put one into orbit Sunday afternoon off of Twins lefty Scott Diamond. It was Dunn’s 39th home run of the year and his 15th against a left handed pitcher.
Having Dunn back in the lineup will help against the Tigers right handed starter Doug Fister. Dunn is 3-for-4 lifetime against Fister with a double and a walk.
Jackson’s ankle: Austin Jackson was scratched from the Tigers lineup on Sunday with a sore ankle. Jackson hurt the ankle Saturday while trying to make a catch against the wall to preserve Anibal Sanchez’s no hit bid in the 7th inning. If Jackson cannot play it would be a huge break for the Sox.
Jackson has pounded Sox hitting this year and throughout his career. This year Jackson is hitting .379 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI against the Sox. Lifetime he has more homers and RBI against the Sox than any other team and has more homers and RBI at the Cell than at any other visiting ballpark.
Posted by GSB! Contributor, Matt Hoeppner.