Notebook 9/16: Flip the Switch in the Windy City
Image courtesy of Mike Dinovo- USA TODAY SportsYesteday's Game Recap
CHW 6, MIN 2: White Hot-White Sox
Twins (30-20) @ White Sox (32-16), 7:10 pm CDT
Twins Starter: Jake Odorizzi, RHP 8.10 ERA
Rocco Baldelli announced Tuesday night that Odorizzi will return from the 10-day IL to start Wednesday night’s game against Chicago. Odorizzi was placed on the IL after taking a liner off the chest on August 21 against the Royals. It’s been a year of injuries for ‘Odo,’ as he missed the entire month of July with a back injury and has only made three starts all season.
All of Odorizzi's starts have come against the Royals, who split the season series with the Twins at five a piece. Odorizzi has a clean slate against the Sox this year and hopefully tonight;s game will provide an opportunity for him to find some sort of rhythm for the first time this year. Last year Odorizzi posted a 2-2 record against the Sox in four starts.
White Sox Starter: Lucas Giolito RHP 3.43 ERA
Giolito has played an integral role to the success story of baseball across the Windy City this summer. Not only did Giolito record his first no-hitter on August 25, he did it in dominant fashion, striking out 13 and only walking one batter against the Pirates. That performance combined with Alec Mills’ no-no on August 13 for the Cubs marked the first time both Chicago teams have recorded a no-hitter in the same season.
While Giolito has posted a 4-2 record on the season his two starts against Minnesota have been rocky. In the season opener the Twins shelled Giolito as he exited the game after just 3.2 innings, giving up 7 runs on 6 hits and 2 homers. And even though the Twins lost their August 31 matchup to the Sox they were able to post 4 runs on 4 hits in Giolito’s five innings on the mound.
Twins Starting Lineup:
White Sox Starting Lineup:
What to Watch for:
- Max Kepler has a career .364 average against Giolito in 22 at-bats. Nelson Cruz has a .353 average in 17 at-bats, including three home runs. Expect these two sluggers to carry the heavyweight for the Twins offense against the White Sox ace.
- Byron Buxton is faster than Jimmy John’s delivery service. He proved that last night, banking his third career inside the park home run on a line drive he clubbed to left center field. Buxton has batted .304 in his last seven games and will need to find ways to get on base for the Twins to find success.
- Jake Odorizzi hasn’t made it past 4 innings yet this year. And after a game where the Twins’ bullpen was heavily utilized they will need him to put up a quality start.
- In addition to Odorizzi, the Twins have activated Alex Avila from the Injured List. As a result, the team has optioned Travis Blankenhorn and Randy Dobnak to the team's alternative site in St. Paul.
Around the AL Central
Chicago White Sox 32-16
Minnesota Twins 30-20 (3 GB)
Cleveland Indians 26-22 (6 GB)
Detroit Tigers 21-26 (10.5 GB)
Kansas City Royals 20-29 (12.5 GB)
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