Series Preview: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox

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Pitching Matchups:

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Game one is an interesting matchup. The Indians will send Jeanmar Gomez to the mound to face off against Jose Quintana. Gomez has been exactly what the Indians needed him to be thus far in 2012. He’s shown flashes of dominance in his few call ups prior to this season, but now, with a full time role on the staff, Gomez is really starting to shine. He pounds the strike zone and doesn’t beat himself. The results speak for themselves and after Derek Lowe he’s been the Tribe’s most consistent pitcher.

As for the White Sox, Quintana is making his first Major League start and tonight’s game will be just his second MLB appearance. In his one relief appearance—against the Indians—he threw 5.2 effective innings. The question is, how will he respond when all the lights are shining on him from the get-go against a team that’s on a roll right now? The overwhelming lack of experience could pose a problem should he get in trouble early. Combine that with a low-90′s fast ball and a dependency on fly ball outs and it could be a good day for the Tribe.

Game two is the marquee match-up of this series. Derek Lowe and Jake Peavy, both of whom have a history of success, have bounced back in a big way in 2012. For Peavy, it all comes down to being healthy. It seems like an eternity since he’s been able to simply take the mound every fifth day and do his thing. The funny thing is, Peavy is finally pitching rather than relying simply on a dominating fastball. He’s hitting his spots, mixing up his pitches, and seems to have broke through the door and into the next stage of his career.

Meanwhile, what else can I say about Derek Lowe that I haven’t said already? He’s been fantastic for the Indians. Even when he loses, he still pitches great (as he did last Sunday against Miami). Expect a lot of ground balls if he’s on his game. Just don’t be surprised if he’s on the short end of the stick yet again. Last time out Josh Johnson got the best of him, and this time around it could be Peavy.

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In the series finale we draw Gavin Floyd. Floyd is an interesting case. He’s only 29 years old, but it feels like the Indians have been going up against him forever. Every year, every series it feels like we get to see Floyd take the mound. He’s had an up-and-down year so far, but he has a solid arsenal of pitches that can cause serious issues for any lineup.

Finally, we’ll get our weekly dose of Ublado Jimenez. Just when I’m ready to give up on the guy, he pulls me right back in. Despite the walks and the high ERA, he’s somehow managed a record of 5-3 on the year. I don’t know how. Honestly, I don’t think I want to know how. All I want is for him to find his groove and get on a roll. I don’t feel like that’s a lot to ask from someone who’s billed as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. It’s time for Ubaldo to turn it up a notch. What better way to do it than by putting up a dominant performance against the team chasing you in your own division?

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Tags: Adam Dunn Brent Morel Chicago White Sox Derek Lowe Jake Peavy Jason Kipnis Jeanmar Gomez Jose Lopez Jose Quintana Orlando Hudson Paul Konerko Ubaldo Jimenez