The day so many White Sox fans have been waiting for is finally here! Yes, my fellow magpies, one of the young sensations we have been getting reports from the wilderness about is finally here. Michael Kopech is debuting for the White Sox tonight. I don't want to put too much pressure on the kid, but well, we've had a whole bunch of nothing* to root for around here. So even a glimmer of hope, a spark of genius would be much appreciated.
*That's not all together true, now is it? Carlos Rodon has been a treat to watch and though he cooled off quite a bit, Jose Abreu is still having a strong year. On a more philosophical note, as fans we are in a more, "day at a time" approach. We know the overall season was lost long ago, but for that one game each night, it's fun to cheer on the team. A win is great, a loss is no big deal. Also, much of the team really isn't very good, a lot of AAAA and career AAA players getting a chance to play in the bigs. But, damn are they playing hard to stick around as long as possible. Keep the dream alive Daniel Palka!
It might seem a little stacked against Kopech to give him his first start at home, but considering the White Sox have the fourth worst attendance in baseball, there probably won't be a big crowd to add to the pressure. I did, however, see that 4,000 additional tickets were sold for tonight's game. If the weather breaks, maybe the walk-up is good as well and the White Sox top that magical 25K mark for the game.
As far as what we are going to see? Hell if I know. I'm no scout. Looking at his numbers in AAA I'm trying to temper my expectations. He does get a lot of strikeouts, but also a lot of walks. Looking at other control issues, he's hit 13 batters and has 12 wild pitches. That seems like a lot. I Kopech will be amped up and will either throw his first pitch at 105 mph (maybe to the backstop) or bounce it in at about 58 feet. I do think he'll settle down, but don't be surprised if he has 8 strikeouts and 4 or five walks. The win or loss doesn't matter, neither do runs allowed really, as long as by his last start, sometime in September, those things have all shown progress.
Unfortunately I won't be able to make it down to The Rate. I'm launching my political career this evening. Have fun if you go. That's what this is all about.