It’s the close of a brief two-game interleague set in the Steel City in a mid-week matinee contest. The Chicago White Sox finish up their interleague action with the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday afternoon. Chicago snapped a seven-game losing skid by rallying to beat the Cubs 5-3 in the finale of that interleague set Sunday. Pittsburgh took two of three from San Francisco at home over the weekend, losing the finale 5-0 Sunday. The pitching matchup for Tuesday’s series opener saw Reynaldo Lopez take the hill for the White Sox against the Pirates’ Trevor Williams. First pitch was set for 7:05 pm ET.
Chicago White Sox Try to Pick Up Rare Win
Chicago has had a rough go of things this season though they managed to salvage the finale of their Crosstown Cup set with the Cubs on the road Sunday. The White Sox improved to just 10-26 on the season with the win and entered Tuesday 8.5 games off the pace in the AL Central. Matt Davidson (run, two RBI) was the lone player with two hits for Chicago in the win: Nicky Delmonico, Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez each drove in a run. Lucas Giolito (2-4) earned the win despite being wild: he threw 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on two hits with seven walks, three strikeouts and three wild pitches. Bruce Rondon pitched the ninth for his first save.
Carson Fulmer gets the call for his ninth appearance, eighth start, of the season for the White Sox in this contest. He comes in 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA, a 1.747 WHIP, 19 walks and 27 strikeouts over 30.1 innings of work. Fulmer took the loss in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Cubs. He lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing five runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts in an 11-2 White Sox loss. Fulmer is 1-2 with a 6.57 ERA, a 1.86 WHIP, nine walks and 12 strikeouts over 12.1 innings in his last three starts. In his 24th major league appearance and 13th start, he faces the Pirates for the first time in his career. As a result, this marks his first big league outing at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh Pirates In Thick of NL Central Jumble
Pittsburgh dropped the finale of their three-game weekend set against the Giants but are in the thick of the NL Central, which has four teams separated by just two games right now. The Pirates were 23-17 entering Tuesday, one game behind the Brewers in the division. Pittsburgh got two hits each from Jose Osuna and Starling Marte in the loss: they were unable to generate any offense, going one for 11 with runners in scoring position. Ivan Nova (2-3) took the loss as he allowed four runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts over 5.2 innings.
Jameson Taillon is projected to get the ball for his ninth start of the year for the Pirates, provided he can overcome a finger laceration that cut his last outing short. He is 2-3 with a 4.08 ERA, a 1.235 WHIP, 12 walks and 35 strikeouts over 39.2 innings of action this season. Taillon recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came against the Giants at home Friday. He threw three innings, allowing no runs on one hit with one walk and five strikeouts in the Pirates’ 11-2 win. Taillon is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP, five walks and 11 strikeouts over 14 innings of work in his last three starts. In his 52nd major league start, he faces the White Sox for the first time in his career. Taillon is 8-8 with a 4.02 ERA, a 1.243 WHIP, 40 walks and 147 strikeouts over 165.2 innings of work in 30 career starts at PNC Park.
- White Sox are 5-21 in their last 26 interleague games vs. a team with a winning record
- White Sox are 3-13 in their last 16 interleague road games vs. a team with a winning record
- Pirates are 5-0 in their last 5 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- Pirates are 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Pirates are 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter
Chicago has struggled to find quality starting pitching, something that will hamper a rebuilding effort for certain. The White Sox have some quality young arms but they have had difficulty with the adjustment to the big league level as major league hitters are a bit more selective and will make a pitcher work to get them out. Pittsburgh may have to adjust their pitching for this one if Taillon can’t go but the bottom line is that they’re a better team than Chicago: that should be enough to get them the win.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates
Of course, the biggest injury issue surrounding this contest is whether Taillon will take the mound or not. His last start was cut short by a laceration on his pitching hand and all the news outlets have made a big fuss about how he’s talked about letting teammates urinate on it if it helps heal the cut faster. Let’s be honest: Taillon is not the first player in big league history to even consider this as an option: Moises Alou and Jorge Posada both stated that they did it during their careers to toughen up the skin on their hands since they didn’t wear batting gloves. For the White Sox, this could be Fulmer’s last stand in the rotation as Rick Renteria didn’t give him an overly solid vote of confidence after his last outing. Another rough showing and he may be shuffled to the bullpen or the minors. In good news for the White Sox, they activated Yoan Moncada off the DL, which should help the lineup a bit.
The over is 4-1 in the White Sox’s last five overall, 4-1 in their last five on grass, 4-1 in their last five interleague games against teams with a winning record, 4-1 in their last five against the NL Central and 4-1 in the second game of their last five series. Pittsburgh has seen the over go 7-0 in their last seven on Wednesday, 3-0-1 in their last four against a right-handed starter, 7-1 in their last eight interleague games and 4-1-1 in their last six overall. The teams have gone over the total in five of their last six meetings in Pittsburgh: with uncertainty on the mound for both teams, this one should go over the total.