2011 Series Preview: Twins vs White Sox (5/3-5/4)


As I start this preview, game 1 of this two game series is already in the 4th inning. By the time I finish, the first game will probably be over, or at least in the final stages. Due to this and due to the fact that I didn’t have time to collaborate with our White Sox staff from Southside Showdown, this will probably be the shortest and most compact preview I wind up doing all year.

Also adding to my brevity here is the fact that I constantly struggle to evaluate the White Sox objectively. Given my allegiances to the Twins and Royals, I can’t stand the Chicago White Sox. I won’t go so far as to say I hate them – as I can’t really hate any team that plays baseball – but the Pale Hose come really, really close.

I would take a lot of joy in Chicago’s early season struggles were it not for the fact that the Twins have the worst record in all of baseball. It’s a two game battle of underachievers. The way things have gone for both teams in 2011 this will probably end up a split.

Chicago White Sox

2011 Record: 11-19, 4th in the AL Central (9.5 GB)
119 Runs Scored (t-8th in the AL) / 151 Runs Allowed (14th in the AL)

Minnesota Twins

2011 Record: 9-18, 5th in the AL Central (10.0 GB)
85 Runs Scored (14th in the AL) / 149 Runs Allowed (13th in the AL)

Pitching Matchups

May 3rd (8:10 pm EDT): LHP Francisco Liriano (1-4, 9.13 ERA) vs RHP Edwin Jackson (2-3, 5.86 ERA)

Liriano’s career against the White Sox: 50.2 IP, 5.51 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 1.52 SO/BB

There aren’t many teams out there that have given Liri more trouble than the White Sox and he’s started against them 8 times to the sample site is legit. Given the way his season has gone thus far, maybe the two will cancel each other out.

Jackson’s career against the Twins: 26.2 IP, 7.76 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 1.35 SO/BB

May 4th (2:10 pm EDT): RHP Nick Blackburn (1-4, 5.14 ERA) vs LHP John Danks (0-4, 3.92)

Blackburn’s career against the White Sox: 82.0 IP, 3.95 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 2.00 SO/BB

Danks’ career against the Twins: 115.2 IP, 5.06 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 1.63 SO/BB

Injury Update

Chicago White Sox

15-Day DL: RHP Jake Peavy (shoulder tendinitis)

Minnesota Twins

Day-to-Day: DH Jim Thome (oblique)

15-Day DL: C Joe Mauer (bilateral leg weakness), 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka (fractured fibula), RHP Kevin Slowey (shoulder strain), LF Delmon Young (sore oblique)

Final Thoughts

As everyone in the baseball world is already aware, the Twins and White Sox have little margin for error thanks to their slow starts. No matter the results, I can’t say that these two games will change that but it sure would be nice to see Minnesota win a close one and then have a laugher and blow the Sox out in the other game. I think both types of wins would go a long way toward rebuilding the psyche of this team.