Going to the Mat – Game Preview & Lineups 4/19

Some losses we just put behind us and move on. Presumably the players do the same and will show up for tonight’s contest without spending too much time mumbling quietly to themselves about the way things have been going. It’s important not to do that because things are going poorly. Runs are at a premium – it was more than a week ago that they last scored four runs in a game. Their 8-5 record belies their actual on-field production. They’ve allowed exactly as many runs as they’ve scored, and continuing down that trail is going to yield less than impressive game results.

Mat Latos had never started a season with consecutive starts allowing one or fewer runs prior to 2016. In fact, should he go a third game accomplishing that same level of run prevention it will be the first three game stretch of that nature for him since April of 2013. How is he doing it? Cat took a deeper look following his first start, and an oversimplified summary is: pitch selection. It’s definitely worth noting that he has a lot of confidence in Dioner Navarro, who caught both of his starts this season. It may also be worth noting that this will be his first start on regular rest this year.

The start to Matt Shoemaker’s season hasn’t been as productive as Latos’, but he did also recently throw multiple innings of one-hit ball in Oakland. It came on the heels of a six-run, three-inning performance in his first start, and both outings pointed to walks being his bugaboo. Unfortunately for the White Sox, they are dead last in the majors in walk percentage, and ill-equipped to take advantage of erratic pitching.

Player-turned-television analyst CJ Nitkowski hypothesized that the Angels think the White Sox are signaling signs from second base to the hitters at the plate. The problem with this is how hard I had to think about whether or not to use the plural of hitter in the statement. If the Sox are stealing signs, at least through that method, they have to get somebody to second base to carry out the mission. The offense, it would seem, is not currently good enough for some light cheating.

Despite their 13-hit attack last night, only one of the Angels hits went for extra bases – a double by Andrelton Simmons. Surely they’re eager to supplement that tonight. Latos missed a few extra bats against Minnesota but he’s still probably not looking to turn back into a strikeout pitcher. The Angels have struck out at a lower rate than any team in the league thus far, and will be attempting to make some hard contact against the man they were able to call their teammate for about a week in 2015.

The beneficiary of last night’s demotion of J. B. Shuck has been announced as Erik Johnson. Johnson has struck out 12 batters over his two starts in Charlotte so far this season but he’s also allowed 11 hits over that time.

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. Austin Jakcson – CF
  8. Avisail Garcia – DH
  9. Dioner Navarro – C

Angels Lineup:

  1. Yunel Escobal – 3B
  2. Rafael Ortega – LF
  3. Mike Trout – CF
  4. Albert Pujols – DH
  5. Kole Calhoun – RF
  6. Andrelton Simmons – SS
  7. C.J. Cron – 1B
  8. Carlos Perez – C
  9. Cliff Pennington – 2B

Lead Photo Credit: Kenny Karst – USA Today Sports Images

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