Red Sox at White Sox in ChiTown 8:10
, September 27 : Empathy My Ass
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BOS @ CWS
Monday, Sep 27
8:10 PM E MLB.comCall it the Empathy Bowl, a four-game series featuring two teams that completely understand each other's position. Both the White Sox and Red Sox had legitimate postseason aspirations this season, an ambition thwarted by worthy foes in their own division. Boston is still mathematically alive for the American League Wild Card, but it needs to win out while New York goes winless over its final six games.
Both teams -- the Red Sox and White Sox -- have struggled against their opponent's division. Boston is just 14-15 against AL Central opponents this season, while Chicago is 14-17 against the AL East. And while the Red Sox have played to a 42-34 record on the road, the White Sox have played to a roughly similar 40-34 mark at home.
And that's where they'll stand on Monday, when they meet for the opener of a four-game series in Chicago. Boston will start AL Cy Young Award contender Clay Buchholz, who currently stands second in the AL ERA charts. Mark Buehrle, Chicago's starter, has been doggedly consistent, posting a 4.24 ERA in the first half and a 4.30 mark since the intermission.
If Buehrle has been reliable, Buchholz has been sublime. The 26-year-old right-hander went 10-4 with a 2.45 ERA before the All-Star break, and he's come back to go 6-3 with a 2.32 mark in his past 12 starts. Buchholz hasn't shown much of a home-road split either, posting a 7-4 record and a 2.20 ERA at home and a 9-3 record with a 2.57 mark on the road.
Buchholz has allowed more than one home run in just one start all season, and he's had more walks than strikeouts in just two of his past 12 starts. Buchholz started against the White Sox earlier this month, though, and took the loss.
Buehrle, meanwhile, has gone six starts without a victory. The veteran left-hander has completed at least six innings in nine of his past 10 starts, but he's also allowed at least four earned runs four times in his last six outings.
The White Sox have won four consecutive games, but they'll likely remember this as a season of extremes. Chicago went 25-5 to close out the first half and seize control of the AL Central, but it couldn't keep up that withering pace all season. The White Sox rose to 17 games over .500 and a 3 1/2-game lead in the division, but they've gone 6-12 since to fall out of contention.
Red Sox: Martinez getting it done at plate
Boston catcher Victor Martinez drove in a run against the Yankees on Sunday night and took over the Major League lead for RBIs by a catcher with 72. He leads Atlanta backstop Brian McCann by one. Martinez is tied with McCann with 19 homers, tops among big league catchers. The Boston veteran has hit safely in 11 consecutive games, batting .409 (18-for-44), with four home runs and 12 RBIs in that span. ... All 28 of Adrian Beltre's homers have come as a third baseman, tops among AL players at the position and second in the Majors behind Arizona's Mark Reynolds (32).
White Sox: Alexei a Silver Slugger?
Alexei Ramirez is threatening to go where no White Sox shortstop has gone before. Ramirez, who went 2-for-4 on Sunday, is batting .281 this season and making a case for the league's Silver Slugger Award. Ramirez leads all AL shortstops in batting average, is tied for the top spot in home runs (17) and ranks third in RBIs (66). His top competition, former Toronto shortstop Alex Gonzalez, was traded to the Braves, perhaps damaging his candidacy. ... Another Chicago veteran, center fielder Alex Rios, is nearing club records for his position. Rios ranks second all-time in home runs (21) and RBIs (86) for a Chicago center fielder, and he can overtake both marks with three homers and nine RBIs.
The White Sox went 43-38 on the road this year, the fourth-best record in the league. ... The Red Sox enter Monday with 109 home runs on the road this season, tops among all Major League teams. Boston is also 34-25 on the road since May 22, which is the top record in the Majors over that span. ... The Sox lead the Majors with 84 extra-base hits in Sept
"We run-prevented the hell out of them" - Dustin Pedroia on scoring 13 runs in Toronto in 2013
"I was used to leaving bewilderment [and] confusion … in my wake, as well as some wonder and awe." Pedro
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