Previously, I was under the distinct impression that the White Sox season was over. Kaput. Donezo. Finito Santiago.
However, this is not the case. If the White Sox win all three of their games against the Indians, and Tigers lose all three of their games against the Royals, then it forces a one-game playoff for the division.
That's excellent news, because that is what is going to happen. Don't believe me? Well, jeez, there's probably not much that can be done to convince you.
Monday, October 1st
Indians-White Sox: Corey Kluber vs. Hector Santiago
Robin Ventura is offering the fourth start of young Mr. Santiago's career on Monday, in a move that would seem to say "Screw it, nothing matters anymore. Go get 'em, young fella." However, consider this statement from Mark Teixiera about Chris Sale.
"It’s like facing a closer three times."
Hector Santiago used to be a closer. And he may just be able to get through the Cleveland lineup three times before breaking the 150-pitch mark.
Ergo, it's like Chris Sale is starting Monday. I feel better already.
Tigers-Royals: Rick Porcello vs. Bruce Chen
While I am aware that the White Sox have not been eliminated yet, Jim Leyland is not, and will throw out a Quentin Berry, Brennan Boesch, Don Kelly outfield. This one is over before it starts.
Tuesday, October 2nd
Indians-White Sox: Justin Masterson vs. Jake Peavy
Masterson has yet to have fully recover from a brutal, self-inflicted neck injury suffered while still in Boston.
With his head still parallel to his shoulders, the tall right-hander has seen his walk rate drift toward four per nine innings this season, and he has a devil of a time against lefties, for he generally cannot see where they are standing. Probably best to go for Dewayne Wise over Dayan Viciedo in left field for this one. Dewayne has been around and seen some stuff we can't imagine, so this won't faze him.
Tigers-Royals: Doug Fister vs. Jeremy Guthrie
Just last week, Doug Fister struck out 10 Royals' hitters over 7.2 innings, including nine in a row. That means that for the other 4.2 innings, he only struck out a single batter.
That kind of miserable strikeout rate is just why Fister isn't going to last long in this league.
Jeremy Guthrie, on the other hand, is a clean-living mormon, and thus has a life/career expectancy of another 125 years.
Wednesday, October 3rd
Indians-White Sox: Gavin Floyd vs. David Huff
David Huff was lower on the Indians' starter totem pole (horrible pun not intended) than Masterson, Ubaldo Jiminez, Josh Tomlin, Derek Lowe, Jeanmar Gomez, Zach McAllister, Kluber, and Roberto Hernandez-Heredia.
Gavin Floyd on the other hand, has been known to throw a pitch that start out straight, but curves suddenly near the end of its flight. Cleveland does not stand a chance against someone like this.
Tigers-Royals: Max Scherzer vs. Luis Mendoza
Scherzer is 28 years old, which is three years older than me. Starting from that point, I can only image the amount of physical decline he's undergoing. At the very least, repeated impact on his left foot will quickly result in an in-grown toenail, he'll sweat profusely if the temperature is above 70 degrees even if he's not doing anything, and he's in real trouble if he tries to start exercising less than an hour after he ate something.
Luis Mendoza, on the other hand, turns 29 at the end of the month, and his every action drips with his superior experience.
Thursday, October 4th
White Sox - Tigers: Chris Sale vs. Justin Verlander
Hmm, well...this will be tough. It might take some rare personal intervention...
JF: Hey Justin Verlander, want to go to the movies?
JV: Well, you didn't identify yourself, and oddly addressed me by my full name, but sure. I'm in a good mood, let's do this. What are we seeing?
JF: Trouble with the Curve. It's supposed to be an egregious mockery of baseball. It'll be hysterical!
JV: Cool, when are we going?
JF: You free Thursday?
JV: Haha, it's looking like I will be.
JF: Good. I'll buy nonrefundable tickets.
JV: They have those for movies?
JF: We're flying out to Istanbul and watching a bootleg copy in a hostel
JV: Makes sense.