Losing Streaks Are Bad – Game Preview & Lineups 4/18

What is a streak? I’ve always required a third event to constitute a streak. One loss is a loss, the second is two in a row, and with a third you’ve unlocked the losing streak badge. Having staved off such an event (achieved in game three last season!) the White Sox are tasked tonight with trying to avoid it a bit longer. A win this evening would ensure the longest start without a losing streak since 2008 when they did us all a solid and waited until the 27th game of the season to put together a prolonged stretch of ineptitude.

In anticipation of his last start, I made a comment about Carlos Rodon concerning his control; more specifically, the link between his success and his ability to not walk batters in his starts. He responded by throwing five innings and walking six batters (one of which was intentional) while managing to keep Twins from turning any of their free baserunners into runs. The already selective use of his changeup went to nearly non-existent in that start, which seems to have allowed hitters to size up his four-seam fastball and kept him from getting swings and misses there, where he was able to find them in his season debut. Control is still of utmost importance to the young lefty, because as the count ages, he needs to be able to deliver his slider with confidence that hitters will be in a defensive state, and as a result, dead.

Old friend alert! Hector Santiago has faced the White Sox once before, making the return to U. S. Cellular Field last season to take on his old mates. It didn’t work out terribly well for him or the Angels, who came up short in the middle game of what turned out to be a White Sox sweep. A solid first half helped propel Santiago to his first All-Star Game appearance, but he would ultimately finish 2015 posting a cFIP just below league average. There was a time when discussions were being had about whether the White Sox should retain Hector Santiago or Jose Quintana, and between Quintana’s performance and that of Adam Eaton, who the Sox received in return for Santiago, Rick Hahn can be credited with a positive exchange.

Any time you play the Angels, you’re facing greatness. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols definitely exist, but fortunately both players are off to slow starts, with the former not yet leading the league in anything, and the latter experiencing the decline that comes with age — but definitely has enough skill to remind you that he’s Cooperstown-bound if pitchers get careless. The Angels are also arriving in Chicago fresh off of a sweep at the hands of the Twins. Yes, those Twins.

The White Sox offense … well a player or two at a time have been productive, perhaps after each has had their opportunity to prove a pulse they’ll all get into common rhythm and we’ll see some sustained production.

White Sox Lineup:

  1. Adam Eaton – RF
  2. Jimmy Rollins – SS
  3. Jose Abreu – 1B
  4. Todd Frazier – 3B
  5. Melky Cabrera – LF
  6. Brett Lawrie – 2B
  7. Avisail Garcia – DH
  8. Dioner Navarro – C
  9. Austin Jackson – CF

Angels Lineup:

  1. Yunel Escobar – 3B
  2. Craig Gentry – LF
  3. Mike Trout – CF
  4. Albert Pujols – 1B
  5. Kole Calhoun – RF
  6. Andrelton Simmons – SS
  7. Geovany Soto – C
  8. C.J. Cron – DH
  9. Johnny Giavotella – 2B

Lead Photo Credit: Kim Klement – USA Today Sports Images

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