The Yankees are 4-3 against the White Sox thus far this season and most recently took three of four from the Chisox in Chicago in early June. This week's three-game series marks the Sox's only visit to the Bronx on the season. Since the Yanks were last in Chicago, the Sox have gone 22-27 (.449), which is a pretty close match for their overall winning percentage of .457. That's just what this team is. The Sox have won three of their last four series, losing to Boston, but beating the Indians, Tigers, and Blue Jays, still, they're a mere 8-7 over that stretch. One thing that has changed is that the Sox are finally scoring some runs, scoring 5.21 runs per game in July after scoring just 3.90 per game over the first three months of the season. Of course, they've started allowing runs too, giving up 6.11 per game in July after allowing 4.68 per game through the end of June.
And so it goes for the White Sox, who have tossed in the towel by flipping free-agent-to-be Tad Iguchi to Philadelphia where he'll fill the second base hole vacated by Chase Utley's broken hand. Twenty-four-year-old lefty Danny Richar, whom the Chisox picked up from the Diamondbacks in a swap of minor leaguers back in mid-June, and veteran backup Alex Cintron will look to fill that hole for the Pale Hose now. The Sox were unable to deal fellow pending free agent Jermaine Dye, however, or tonight's starter Jose Contreras.
No surprise about Contreras, who has been awful since the end of May. After posting a 3.71 ERA in his first nine starts, six of which were quality starts, Contreras has posted a 8.27 ERA and a 1-9 record over his last 11, only three of which have been quality starts. Limit it to his last eight starts and that ERA swells to 9.32, and 11.05 over his last five (all loses). Things have just taken a nose dive from there. Here's Contreras's line in his last two starts combined:
12 IP, 22 H, 19 R, 6 BB, 5 K, 3 HR
El Titan de Bronze has actuall pitched fairly well against his former team in two starts this year (14 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 11 K, O HR) despite losing both, but one assumes some correction will occur to that line tonight.
Mike Mussina's two starts against the White Sox have been more of a mixed bag, but in his last he locked horns with Contreras and hurled six innings, allowing just one run on four hits, no walks, and no homers. Chances are Moose, who will looking for his first quality start in three tries, won't be quite that sharp tonight, but it shouldn't take much to outpitch Contreras.
Note: I'll update this post with news of the roster changes resulting from the Betemit deal when I have them. Peter Abraham reports that Phil Hughes is in the Bronx and will pitch on Saturday, but he doesn't say that Hughes has been activated yet. The Yanks could just let Betemit replace Proctor and let Hughes replace Chris Basak on Saturday, but I'd imagine they'll farm out Basak for a stop-gap reliever before game time.
Update: No moves today. Proctor is gone, but Betemit isn't here yet and the Yanks will play a man short for tonight as a result.
Manager: Ozzie Guillen General Manager: Kenny Williams
Home Ballpark (2007 Park Factors): U.S. Cellular Field (103/102)
Who's Replacing Whom?
Danny Richar replaces Tad Iguchi
Josh Fields (minors) replaces Joe Crede (DL)
Scott Podsednik (DL) replaces Rob Mackowiak
Darin Erstad (DL) replaces Luis Terrero (DL)
Charles Haeger replaces Nick Masset (minors)
Gavin Floyd replaces Dewon Day (minors)
Ehren Wassermann replaces Bret Prinz
1B Paul Konerko (R)
2B Danny Richar (L)
SS Juan Uribe (R)
3B Josh Fields (R)
C A.J. Pierzynski (R)
RF Jermaine Dye (R)
CF Jerry Owens (L)
LF Scott Podsednik (L)
DH Jim Thome (L)
S Alex Cintron (IF)
L - Darin Erstad (CF)
R Andy Gonzalez (IF)
R Toby Hall (C)
L Mark Buehrle
R Javier Vazquez
R Jose Contreras
L John Danks
R John Garland
R Bobby Jenks
L Matt Thornton
L Boone Logan
R - Ryan Bukvich
R - Charles Haeger
R - Ehren Wassermann
R - Gavin Floyd
15-day DL: R Luis Terrero (OF), R - Mike MacDougal
60-day DL: R - Joe Crede (3B), R - Pablo Ozuna (UT)
L Jerry Owens (CF)
R - Josh Fields (3B)
L - Jim Thome (DH)
R Paul Konerko (1B)
L A.J. Pierzynski (C)
R Jermaine Dye (RF)
L Scott Podsednik (LF)
R Juan Uribe (SS)
L - Danny Richar (2B)