Monday, June 30, 2014
Series preview: Angels at White Sox
By Doug Padilla
CHICAGO -- Despite coming off a road trip that was an overall struggle with a 4-7 record, the Chicago White Sox managed to gain a little momentum heading into a six-game homestand.
They will open a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field against the Los Angeles Angels having won each of the last three games at Toronto, including a 4-0 victory Sunday against former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle, who entered the contest with 10 victories, one off the American League lead.
The White Sox have fought inconsistency all season while compiling a 39-44 record, not uncommon for a team that had a roster rebuild in the offseason. The White Sox have had stretches where the offense was strong, the pitching staff was dominating and the bullpen was solid, but have yet to put all phases of their game together at the same time.
Of concern for a second consecutive season is a defense that is 27th out of 30 major league teams with 58 errors, and 25th in fielding percentage (.982).
Even when the bullpen was having success it was never completely settled in the closer’s role. Matt Lindstrom struggled early and when he finally started to turn things around, he was lost for an extended period with an ankle injury. Ronald Belisario, who was shaky as Lindstrom’s replacement, has been removed from the role.
The White Sox are set to go with a closer-by-committee situation, but that is a delicate proposition since it pulls pitchers like Zach Putnam, Daniel Webb and Jake Petricka from spots where they have been able to establish themselves.
Despite losing two out of three games at Kansas City this weekend, the Angels have won eight of their last 11.
HEAD TO HEAD
Adam Dunn has a home run against every Angels starter in the upcoming series. ... Dayan Viciedo is 2-for-2 against Angels starter Garrett Richards in his career. ... Paul Konerko doesn’t start often these days, and he certainly isn’t expected to play Tuesday against Angels starter Jered Weaver since he is 2-for-22 (.091) against the right-hander. ... Members of the White Sox roster are a combined 9-for-23 (.409) with three doubles and a home run against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker. ... No Angels batter has a home run off White Sox starter Hector Noesi in 47 at-bats, while Albert Pujols is just 1-for-9 against the right-hander. ... White Sox pitcher Scott Carroll gave up just one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings in an extended relief outing June 6 against the Angels. ... The Angels’ Erick Aybar is just 3-for-23 (.130) against White Sox starter John Danks, but Josh Hamilton is 7-for-16 (.438) with a home run in the lefty-lefty matchup.
When the Angels swept a three-game series in California, June 6-8, they outscored the White Sox 19-11. ... A total of 10 of the last 12 White Sox games have been decided by two runs or less. ... The White Sox are 21-18 in home games, but have gone 18-26 in games on the road after posting a 4-7 mark on their just-concluded three-city road trip to Minnesota, Baltimore and Toronto. ... The White Sox are just 3-9 against American League West teams this season. ... The White Sox are an even 13-13 during the first game of a series this year and are 9-14-2 in overall series this season. ... Pujols has a swollen lymph gland in the area of his right groin, but is expected to be in the lineup. ... The Angels have won six of their last eight games at U.S. Cellular Field. ... Richards, who will start for the Angels on Monday night, is 4-0 in five June starts with a 1.05 ERA.
Monday: White Sox RH Hector Noesi (2-5, 5.07 ERA) vs. Angels RH Garrett Richards (8-2, 2.76), 7:10 p.m. CST
Tuesday: White Sox RH Scott Carroll (2-4, 4.76) vs. Angels RH Jered Weaver (8-6, 3.33), 7:10 p.m. CST
Wednesday: White Sox LH John Danks (7-6, 4.26) vs. Angels RH Matt Shoemaker (5-2, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. CST