Found June 18, 2013 on
Grab Some Bench:
Alejandro De Aza
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox start the second leg of their ten game road trip on Tuesday when they start a three game series with the Twins in Minnesota. The Sox dropped three out of four in Houston and have lost four of their last five. The Twins are wrapping up a nine game homestand and have split the first six games against the Phillies and Tigers. The two teams sit at the bottom of the AL Central with the Twins a game and a half up on the Sox.
Tuesday night’s matchup will have Dylan Axelrod (3-4, 4.26 ERA) taking on Mike Pelfry (3-6, 6.12 ERA).
The Sox beat Pelfry about a month ago in Minnesota in their only meeting with him this season. In that start Pelfry lasted just 4 innings and gave up 5 runs on 8 hits, including 2 home runs.
The Sox hit three homers total in the game en route to a 9-4 win. Pelfry has not won a start since May 5th, dropping his last three decisions. He has given up at least three earned runs in six of his last seven starts. Opponents are hitting .316 against Pelfry this year. Adam Dunn has seen Pelfry the most of any of the Sox hitters and is hittng .286 with 2 homers and 3 doubles. Dayan Viciedo also has a homer off Pelfry.
Dylan Axelrod will be looking to bounce back from what was arguably his worst start of the season last time out when he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in just 4 innings of work to the Jays. Axelrod surrendered a season high three home runs in the game. Despite the poor start the Sox actually won the game 10-6. This will be the second start of the year against Minnesota for Dylan.
He beat the Twins back on May 15th for his first win of the season. In that start he went 5.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. Axelrod has been pretty solid all season but the walks have started to give him trouble the last few times to the bump. He walked four in his last start against the Jays and five the time before that against Seattle.
The nine walks matched his total in his previous eight starts combined. Axe has been a master of getting out of jams this year but it will be much harder if he is issuing free passes. Joe Mauer (.750) and Justin Morneau (.750) have had success against Axelrod in limited plate appearances.
Wednesday night it will be Chris Sale (5-5, 2.43 ERA) going up against Kevin Corriea (5-4, 3.97 ERA).
The Sox beat Corriea back on May 14th in Minnesota. In that game Corriea went 7 innings allowing 4 runs on 9 hits, including home runs to Viciedo and Dunn. That game marked the beginning of a tough stretch for Corriea who would see his ERA climb more than a run over his next five starts. He was 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA in that stretch and opponents were hitting .339 and slugging .661 against him. Last time out against Philly Correia seemed to figure things out and allowed just 1 run over 5 innings with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk.
Jeff Keppinger (.357, HR) and Adam Dunn (.333, 2 HRs) have had success against Corriea and are the only Sox hitters with more than five at bats against him.
Chris Sale continues to take it on the chin when it comes to wins and losses. He has lost each of his last three starts but his numbers in those starts look like this: 21.1 innings, 14 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 4 walks, 25 strikeouts, 2.11 ERA, .179 opponent’s batting average. Most pitchers would be 3-0 in a stretch like that. His latest effort was an 8 inning complete game against the Astros where he became the first pitcher in 100 YEARS to lose a game when striking out 14 batters.
Sale is among the league leaders in most pitching categories but has not had much to show for it in the win column. This will be the first start of the year for Sale against the Twins. In his career against the Twinkies Sale is 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in 11 games (3 starts) and Twins batters have hit just .163 off the lanky lefty. The heart of the Twins order has had little success against Sale with Mauer, Morneau and Willingham a combined 5-for-32 (.156) with 13 strikeouts.
The finale of the series will be a Thursday matinee and will see John Danks (1-3, 4.50 ERA) opposing Scott Diamond (4-6, 5.29).
Diamond defeated the White Sox back in Chicago on April 21st for his first win of the season. In that start Diamond went 6 innings allowing 2 runs (1 ER) on 4 hits with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. That turned out to be one of the few good starts Diamond has had this year. Since May 12th Diamond has made 7 starts and is 1-4 with a 7.12 ERA. Opponents are hitting .346 and slugging .542 against him in that span and he has a strikeout to walk ratio of 1.25. He has not worked into the 7th inning in any of those 7 starts.
He has really struggled at Target Field where he is 1-5 with a 6.40 ERA and opponents are hitting .348 off him. Alex Rios (.368, HR), Dayan Viciedo (.438, HR) and Alejandro De Aza (.500, 2 doubles) have fared well against Diamond.
Danks will be looking for his second win of the year when he takes the mound against the Twins. His last time out Danks was tagged for 4 runs on 5 hits (2 home runs) in 6 innings against the Astros. The good news for Danks is that he has walked just 4 batters in his five starts. The bad news is that he has allowed 3 or 4 runs in four of his five starts. The home run has been the killer for Danks.
Opponents are only hitting .225 against him but he has given up six home runs which have accounted for 9 of the 16 runs (57%) Danks has allowed. Danks is 6-9 with a 5.00 ERA all time against the Twins and is 1-2 at Target Field. Joe Mauer (.375) and Justin Morneau (.314, 3 HRs) have given Danks fits over the years.
Keys to the Series
Adam Dunn has done very well against the Twins pitching this year. Overall he is hitting .263/.333/.947 for a 1.281 OPS. He has 4 home runs against the Twins, most against any opponent this year, and has driven in 7 runs. Dunn has especially liked hitting in Target Field.
In the Sox last trip to Minnesota Dunn was 4-for-11 (.364) with 3 homers and 6 RBI. While Dunn’s season has been a disappointment overall, he has actually had a pretty decent month of June with a triple slash of .273/.379/.636 with a 1.015 OPS. He has scored 11 runs, knocked in 12 runs and drawn 10 walks in 15 games in June.
Despite the Sox abysmal record overall, the club is just 7-9 against the AL Central including 2-3 against the Twins. Outside of the Tigers the rest of the division is not good and the Sox would do well to figure out a way to beat the other teams in the division if they want to claw their way back towards the .500 mark. The Sox have handled the Twins the last few years and have fared pretty well at Target Field.
If the Sox want to salvage this road trip they need another solid performance against a group that no longer has their number.
Twins Pitching Woes
Twins pitchers have surrendered the second most hits of any group in the American League. They have also struck out the fewest number of batters of any AL staff. Their starters have a combined 5.14 ERA and opponents hit them at a .319 clip.
Their bullpen on the other hand has a 2.84 ERA and holds opponents to a .221 average. Bottom line is to get to the starters or you might not have a chance to get anything against the bullpen.
This remains one of the most frustrating teams to watch/predict in a while. They are so wildly inconsistent the only consistency is that they lose more games than they win. When the team hits well, the pitching disappears.
When the pitching is good, the team couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag. The Sox had a brutal series in Houston but at least avoided the sweep. I would like to hope they can take a series from the Twins but at this point who knows.
BEST OF MAXIM
The bus of a Minnesota Twins minor-league affiliate was involved in a fatal crash early Tuesday morning in Florida, according to Jacksonville.com.
The bus, which was taking players from Fort Myers, Fla., to Elizabethton, Tenn., collided with a car driving the wrong way on the interstate in Jacksonville. Both vehicles swerved to avoid the collision, according to the report, but the...
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins announced Wednesday that they have signed first-round pick Kohl Stewart, the fourth overall pick in this month's Major League Baseball Draft.
According to Jim Callis of Baseball America, the Twins signed Stewart for 4,544,400, which was right around the slot value for the fourth pick.
Stewart, a right-handed pitcher from St. Piux X (Texas) High...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kohl Stewart is a multi-sport athlete, and it turns out he's pretty good at both sports.
That's evident by the fact that the Texas prep pitcher was not only taken by the Minnesota Twins with the No. 4 overall pick in this month's Major League Baseball draft, but he also has a scholarship to play quarterback at Texas A&M. Many high schoolers would love...
Minnesota Twins outfielder Josh Willingham has been hampered by a sore left knee for the entire season. The ailment held him out of Sunday's lineup, but Willingham is hoping to return Tuesday after the Twin's off day today, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com.
Willingham received a cortisone injection on Saturday to help him with the pain he's experiencing in...
The Chicago White Sox's Chris Sale took another hard-luck loss last week despite delivering one of his most dominant performances.
He hasn't needed much run support against the Minnesota Twins.
Looking to snap a career-worst three-start losing streak, Sale tries to win a fourth consecutive outing versus Minnesota on Wednesday night.
While Sale (5-5, 2.43 ERA) ranks among...
Just as they were when these teams last met about a month ago, the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox are battling to stay out of the AL Central basement.
These slumping division foes begin a three-game set Tuesday night with the Twins badly struggling at the plate and the White Sox looking to end their road woes.
Chicago was in last place and 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota after...
The White Sox traveled to Minnesota on Tuesday, and continued on what appears to be yet another abysmal road trip for the southsiders. They have now dropped 13 of their last 15 road contests, and five of their last six. Once again, falling back to ten games below .500.
Axelrod Gets Knocked Around Early
Dylan Axelrod came into today's start on seven days rest...
Micah Johnson, Chicago White Sox prospect with the Class-A Kannapolis Intimidators, ”stole” the show in Tuesday’s South Atlantic League All Star Game in Lakewood, New Jersey (home of the Lakewood Phillies), leading the Northern Division in a 2-1 victory over the Southern Division that was shortened to seven innings due to inclement weather.In the third inning, Johnson stole...
Dayan Viciedo's bases-loaded triple in a four-run sixth inning sent the Chicago White Sox to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the White Sox and allowed them to avoid being swept in a four-game series for the first time since 2008.
Chicago trailed 2-0 before Alejandro De Aza singled in the sixth and went to...
Justin Morneau homered for the first time in almost two months, a two-run shot that helped the Minnesota Twins to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
Morneau's third homer of the season followed an RBI single by Josh Willingham in the sixth off Deunte Heath after White Sox ace Chris Sale's night ended after five shaky innings. Morneau last went deep...
Let the below video be a lesson to all you fans who think that catching a foul ball is a pretty harmless task.
During Monday's Astros/White Sox game, one fan attempted to make a diving catch of an Alexei Ramirez foul ball that was heading towards the seats near left field.
After not coming up with the ball, the fan tries to get up but can't and provides us with the...
Taking interim bouts over the weekend in their native homelands before their showdowns on Friday, August 16 at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, Home of the Chicago White Sox, heavyweight contender Artur "The Pin" Szpilka and former light heavyweight champion Gabriel "EL Chico Guapo" Campillo were both victorious in dominant fashion.
"Szpilka and Campillo...
Adam Dunn is riding a stellar hot streak. (Photo credit)
Update from last week:
Matt Carpenter continues to be consistent and still plays every day. He is an on-base machine.
Gerrit Cole pitched well in his first starts and sports an ERA of 3.75 with two wins.
Hector Santiago disappointed against the lowly Astros, but still racks up strikeouts and should be owned in most leagues...