The Tribe swept away Detroit placing them in first place for the near future. If the Indians can continue to win series, especially in the Central Division, they will have no problem keeping their position for the rest of the season. With the sweep the Tigers are now firmly in third and the new second place team is the Chicago White Sox, who the Indians will play in Chicago next.
This will be the 4th series between these two teams already this season the most the Indians have faced any team thus far (they have played Seattle twice and will play the Royals for the third time next series). This time around the pitching will match-up a little different than the last few times as John Danks, who has pitched against Justin Masterson in each series so far, has been recently placed on the disabled list. In his place will be Jose Quintana, a call up from AAA Charlotte.
Indian killers Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski are coming into this series super hot as they each have hit multiple home runs in the last week and Konerko is batting .615 over his last 4 games (over his last 25 games he is hitting a paltry .419).
May 25th, 8:10 PM EST, Jeanmar Gomez, RHP, 3-2, 3.19 ERA vs Jose Quintana, RHP, 1-3, 2.77 ERA (AAA)
Jose Quintana will be making his first Major League start and his second appearance in this series opener against Jeanmar Gomez. Quintana’s only MLB experience to this point came in a single game in the May 7th game against the Indians when he pitched 5.2 innings in relief and didn’t allow a single run. Gomez was destroyed later in that same series by the White Sox to the tune of 8 earned runs.
A blast from the past, this pitching match-up could belong in the NL West in 2008. Back then Lowe was pitching well for the Dodgers and Peavy was unhittable for the Padres. Since then they both have gone through their rough patches, but have seen a resurgence in 2012. The last time out Jake Peavy only allowed a single run against Cleveland as the White Sox earned a split of the 4 game series. In Lowe’s last three starts he is 2-1 with an ERA of 1.71. This looks to be a pitching match-up of epic proportions that will make the game between Justin Verlander and Justin Masterson look like a barn burner.
Jimenez has had two decent starts in a row giving him 3 quality starts in his last two games. This looks like some progress and is enough to place him firmly as the sixth best starting pitcher in the Indians rotation. He has only faced the Sox once this season and did not fair very well. He will look to turn things around in this key AL Central game.
Gavin Floyd has been on the White Sox roster all season and is yet to pitch against the Cleveland Indians. This madness needs to end now and it will as Floyd will start the final game of this three game series. While he has been strong all season, going into the 6th in every game this year, he just had his worst game of the season against the cellar dwelling Minnesota Twins. Floyd was unable to get out of the 4th as he allowed a season high 9 earned runs.
With the way the White Sox go back and forth on everything and their tendency to give up at the first sign of difficulty, an Indians sweep could lead to Chicago trading their entire roster away. The Indians need to try to sweep as it is the best way to never see Paul Konerko again. In related news, Chris Sale is currently a starter again.