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Friday, August 13, 2004
Series Previews

I haven't done a series preview on this blog because there's unlimited resources when it comes to these things, but with the Sox 5 back of Minnesota, and 2 back of Cleveland, and those two teams facing off this weekend, it's a golden opportunity for the Sox to gain some ground in the central. So I thought I'd do a combined series preview, Minnesota/Cleveland and Chicago/Boston.

Minnesota @ Cleveland

Game 1: Carlos Silva (10-7, 4.21 ERA, 56/24 K/BB) vs. Scott Elarton (1-8, 7.19, 67/46)
Game 2: Kyle Loshe (5-9, 5.17, 74/54) vs. Jake Westbrook (10-5, 3.61, 79/43)
Game 3: Terry Mullholland (3-6, 5.14, 34/19) vs. Chad Durbin (5-4, 5.88, 33/16)

Game 1: Carlos Silva is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in one career appearance vs. the Tribe. Elarton. Elarton Has pitched better of late than his 7.19 ERA indicates. He's a career 2-1 with a 6.28 ERA vs. the Twinkies. Silva's peripheral numbers leave something to be desired. He has a 18-8 career record, but in his first season as a starter, opponents are hitting a robust .314 against him. Elarton has just a .233 BAA since arriving in Cleveland. This match-up is a lot closer than it initially appeared.
Andvantage: Twinkies

Game 2: Kyle Loshe is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA this season vs. the Tribe. His career numbers are only a little better, 5-4 with a 5.37 ERA. Westbrook is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA vs. the Twinkies this season. On his career, he's 2-3 with a 3.93 ERA. This appears to be the most lopsided match-up of the weekend. Westbrook, who earlier this season threw a hidden perfect game, should keep the Twins bats in check, and Lohse should be his usual back-of-the-rotation self.
Advantage: Tribe

Game 3: Mulholland is ancient, and he's only pitched 28.1 innings in his career vs. the Indians, posting a 1-2 record with a 3.81 ERA. Chad Durbin is 2-3 with a 5.58 ERA on his career versus the Twinkies. Who knows what to expect out of this match-up, both starters are inconsistant. Mulholland pitched in relief just 2 days before his last start, this game should show if he's recovered.
Advantage: Hitters

Who's Hot/ Who's Not(last 20 games)
Minnesota
Hot
Joe Nathan (0 ER in 10IP)
J.C Romero (0 ER in 10IP)
Carlos Silva (2-0, 3.14 ERA)
Justin Morneau (19 RBI, .277 AVG)
Michael Cuddyer (.361 AVG)
Shannon Stewart (.324 AVG)

Not
Kyle Lohse (2-2, 6.85 ERA)
Terry Mulholland (1-3, 6.75 ERA)
Jesse Crain (6.23 ERA in 4.1IP)
Aaron Fultz (6.00 ERA in 6IP)
Juan Rincon (5.56 ERA in 11.1IP)
Matt Lecroy (.160 AVG)
Luis Rivas (.196 AVG)
Corey Koskiw (.206 AVG)

Cleveland
Hot
Bob Wickman (1.12 ERA in 8IP)
Bobby Howry (1.32 ERA in 13.2IP)
Chad Durbin (2-0, 2.28 ERA)
David Riske (2.79 ERA in 9.2IP)
Casey Blake (.350 AVG, 16 RBI)
Ben Broussard (.348 AVG, 12 RBI)
Ronnie Belliard (.324 AVG, 11 RBI)

Not
Betancourt (5.19 in 8.1IP)
Westbrook (3-0, 4.97 ERA)
Rick White (4.91 ERA in 11IP)
Matt Lawton (.212 AVG)

Prediction: Cleveland beats up on Silva, Tribe takes game 1; Lohse battles Westbrook, but Cleveland takes the game in a close one; Durbin outpitches Mulholland, Tribe pen blows game; Cleveland wins series 2-1

Chicago @ Boston

Game 1: Jose Conteras (9-5, 5.17 ERA, 94/44 K/BB) vs. Tim Wakefield (8-6, 4.48, 41/20)
Game 2: Jon Garland (8-8, 4.70, 79/52) vs. Curt Schilling (13-6, 3.61, 140/26)
Game 3: Mark Buehrle (10-6, 3.83, 118/32) vs. Bronson Arroyo (5-8, 4.14, 102/34)

Game 1: Jose Contreras has a well documented history of being terrible against the BoSox. I'm not even going to get into the numbers because they are painful to look at. He has apparently correct a flaw in his mechanics and is no longer tipping his pitches. Tim Wakefield is 4-8 with a 5.07 ERA in his career vs. the White Sox. This is the hardest game to handicap because you don't know what you're going to get from either pitcher.
Advantage: Draw

Game 2: Just by looking at the names (Garland vs. Schilling) this looks like a lop-sided affair in the making. However as documented in the "Hot or Not" portion Schilling is having a little bit of trouble lately. Garland is 2-2 with a 5.14 ERA in his career versus Boston. He will be working on short rest(3 days) for the first time I can remember. Schilling has a career 3.86 ERA against the Sox, though he's only pitched 7 innings against them.
Advantage: BoSox

Game 3: Mark Buehrle is a career 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA against the BoSox. He, like Garland, will be working on 3 days rest. From my recollection,(I don't know where to find this info) Buehrle has thrown well on short rest in the past. Bronson Arroyo has a career 6.00 ERA in 3 IP agianst the White Sox. I don't know anything about Arroyo, and niether do our hitters.
Advantage: ChiSox

Who's Hot/Who's Not (last 20 games)
Chicago
Hot
Ben Davis (.400 AVG)
Jose Contreras (1-0, 1.93 ERA)
Jon Adkins (2.25 ERA in 12IP)

Not
Jose Valentin (.145 AVG)
Joe Crede (.180 AVG)
Cliff Politte (7.27 ERA in 8.2IP)
Jon Garland (1-2, 5.54 ERA)

Boston
Hot
Kevin Millar (.433 AVG, 21 RBI)
David Ortiz (.370 AVG, 15 RBI)
Jason Varitek (.345 AVG, 15 RBI)
Kieth Foulke (2.25 ERA in 8 IP)

Not
Mike Timlin (8.22 in 7.2IP)
Curt Schilling (1-2, 6.49 ERA)
Manny Ramirez (.224 AVG)

Prediction: Contreras pitches much better, White Sox take game one; Garland pitches well, but takes loss as Schilling finds the magic again; Buehrle outduels Arroyo; White Sox take series: 2-1