Series Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago White Sox

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Pitching Matchups

Hector Santiago (4-9, 3.53 ERA, 4.27 SIERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9, 3.39 ERA, 3.88 SIERA)

Santiago has proven to be a nice little find for the White Sox. Seems like they keep pulling pitchers like this out of the ether, young lefties with good stuff that keep the ball in the park. It’s a tough job at the Cell but maybe Kenny Williams was a better GM than we give him credit for. Santiago’s last start was against Cleveland, back on the 13th when the Tribe used an “octopus-like effort” to defeat the Sox. Worst headline ever. Hector got beat, only lasting four innings allowing six hits and three runs. Ventura pulled him a bit early if you ask me (I was in attendance) but he’s the manager. He walks too many people, 4 per nine, and it’s led to his demise against Cleveland this year. He’s started two games but lasted only 6.1 innings with six walks and eight earned runs. Like Jose Quintana, if Santiago can take another step in development, they could form a formidable rotation with Chris Sale atop it in the years to come. But not this year.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

I am running out of ways to say how wrong we all were about Ubaldo, and how great he’s been. His last start against Houston dropped his ERA to 3.39 on the season and .60 in September. The only real knock on him is he doesn’t go super deep into games all the time and since the bullpen has been shaky lately it presents a problem, but he lasted seven against the Astros and has been murdering the Sox all year, a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings with 16 K’s and five walks. Don’t look now, but he could very realistically figure to be the starter in the event the Indians make it to the Wild Card game. And that’s okay.

Andre Rienzo (2-2, 5.04 ERA, 5.11 SIERA) vs. Danny Salazar (1-3, 3.09 ERA, 2.88 SIERA)

Nobody’s announced it yet, but with the Sox starting Erik Johnson on Sunday against the Tigers, Rienzo should be the starter if his hand blister has healed. I don’t think they’ll pitch Chris Sale on short rest, even if that would be fine since Cleveland has killed him this year. Rienzo hasn’t had much better luck against the Indians, two starts lasting 11 innings with a 6.55 ERA and only 8 K’s. Plus the Indians’ Brazillian, Yan Gomes, has owned him a bit, 2-for-4 along with a walk and a K.

Danny had nine strikeouts and lasted 3.2 innings when last facing the Sox, and while the pitch count reared its ugly head, he’s got to be a bit more efficient. Still the stuff is so nasty. It’s likely to be his last start of the year so perhaps the kid gloves will be off and he can go a strong six, striking out 17 or so. But more probably not.

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