Players to Watch: White Sox
- Adam Dunn: Adam Dunn has bounced back quite nicely after a horrendous 2011. So far he has 14 home runs and 33 RBI despite an average of only .239. But the White Sox aren’t paying him to hit for average. They’re paying him hit homers and drive in runs. So far so good. If the Indians want to win this series, keeping Dunn’s impact to a minimum should be the primary goal.
- Paul Konerko: I have a new level of respect for Paul Konerko. For those of you who aren’t aware, Konerko was hit in the face by an wild pitch from Jeff Samardzija. He was back in the lineup four days later. Yes, you read that right. On top of that, he’s having another great year with 10 homers and 27 RBI while leading the White Sox with an OPS of 1.111. He also has a knack for killing the Indians, so pay close attention to what he does or doesn’t do over the next three days.
Players to Watch: Indians
- Jose Lopez: I know, I can’t believe I’m putting Jose Lopez here either, but the fact remains that he’s on fire right now. Over his past 10 games, Lopez is hitting .353 with 4 doubles, a home run, and 8 runs batted in. Supposedly, Jack Hannahan will be good to go either tonight or tomorrow so that begs the question, what to do with Lopez? Can they afford to take his bat out of the lineup right now? Will Manny Acta consider putting him in left field? Will Hannahan stay on the bench for the time being? It’s going to be interesting to see how Acta handles this.
- Jason Kipnis: Kipnis has been struggling to find his stroke of late; luckily for the Indians they’re headed to his hometown. Last time the Tribe traveled to Chicago, Kipnis erupted and went on a tear at the plate for a solid two weeks. Could this Chicago series be the catalyst to get him going again? Hopefully, the answer is yes.
Series Trivia: This series will be the 10th, 11th, and 12th times the Indians have played the White Sox so far this season. In an odd scheduling quirk, they won’t meet again until September 24th. Meanwhile, the Indians have played the Tigers just three times in the first two months and the Twins just twice.