Blue Jays at White Sox, June 8-10
Tuesday, June 08 2021 @ 05:00 PM EDT
Contributed by: Magpie
Let us, however grudgingly, congratulate Tony LaRussa who has now managed his team to more wins than any man in major league history who didn't actually own the team he was managing.
I've never exactly liked the guy, or thought all that highly of the way he managed his teams. And I've always held him responsible for the plague of relief pitchers who have swarmed all over the game like so many locusts these last thirty years. But he's one of the very, very few men in history who was able to keep being successful with the same team for a period longer than the usual five year shelf life. He's won three championships, and he has a very real chance of winning a fourth this year. I think a lot of people anticipated some conflict between LaRussa's somewhat old school attitudes and the young, modern athletes on his current roster. And those opportunities have certainly arisen, but no one - neither the players nor LaRussa himself - seems particularly troubled. Tony goes "these damn kids" and the players go "that's old Tony" and they just get on with winning the next game.
So many things are easier when you're playing .610 ball.
This is a really good team, folks. There's an excellent chance that they're going to leave the rest of the division in the dust and sew up their spot in the post-season before August is even over. They've had some very tough luck with injuries, losing outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert with long-term afflictions. The Sox will be happy if even one of them is back by September. As a result, this year's outfield has been a revolving door of mediocrities - Adam Eaton (hey, he used to be good), Billy Hamilton (now on the IL himself), Andrew Vaughn, Leury Garcia. All this is the main reason they have what is merely a good offense, rather than one of the very best in the league (as they did last year.)
They've compensated by becoming the hardest team in the league to score runs against. Dallas Keuchel - 4-1, 4.25, ERA+ 96 - has been their fifth best starter. The Jays will see him - you know, a former Cy Young winner - after they face a couple of guys with ERAs below 2.00. Their bullpen might be a little shallow, but the front end of it - Hendriks, Ruiz, Crochet, and Bummer - has been outstanding. And when your starters have gone 26-12, 3.04 you probably don't need quite as much from your bullpen.
I can't wait until we see Jays hitters taking swings against a guy named Crochet. And another guy named Bummer. The jokes, I trust, will be writing themselves.
Tue 8 June - Ray (3-2, 3.57) vs Rodon (5-2, 1.98)
Wed 9 June - Manoah (1-0, 3.86) vs Lynn (7-1, 1.23)
Thu 10 June - Ryu (5-3, 3.23) vs Keuchel (4-1, 4.25)
This is going to be a challenge.