White Sox

Jake Peavy vs. Justin Verlander: Tale of the tape

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Jake Peavy vs. Justin Verlander: Tale of the tape

Justin Verlander and Jake Peavy will each take the mound for their respective teams when the Chicago White Sox open a three-game weekend series against the Detroit Tigers tonight. Here's a tale of the tape on what could be quite the pitchers duel in Comerica Park this evening.
-- Each pitcher has a Cy Young Award to his name: Peavy won the award in 2007 after going 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA in 2007 with the Padres; Verlander won the award last year, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA
-- Peavy has pitched in three All-Star Games (2005, 2007, 2012), while Verlander has appeared in five (2007, 2009-2012)
-- Both pitchers have led their respective leagues in strikeouts twice, Verlander in 2009 and 2011; Peavy in 2005 and 2007
-- Twice Peavy has led his league in ERA (2004, 2007), while Verlander has done so once (2011).
-- Verlander was named the American League MVP in 2011, the first pitcher to do so since 1992
2012 splits
Verlander and Peavy are both having impressive regular seasons in 2012. Verlander sits at 10-5 with a 2.43 ERA, while Peavy has bounced back nicely from last season with a 7-6 record and a 3.12 ERA.
Peavy is 1-0 with a 5.15 ERA in three starts against the Tigers this year. Verlander is yet to face the White Sox.
Both pitchers were selected to the American League roster for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City. Verlander, the team's starter, allowed five earned runs in 1.0 inning, while Peavy did not pitch.
Both pitchers have made one start since the All-Star break. Verlander threw eight shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles to pick up the win, while Peavy allowed six earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Royals.
Career splits
Peavy made one start against the Tigers with the Padres, but became well-acquainted with Detroit shortly after his trade to the White Sox. Two of his first three starts for the White Sox came against Detroit, where Peavy threw for a combined 15 innings of shutout ball, striking out 13 while picking up wins in both starts.
For his career, Peavy holds a 3-2 record and a 4.26 ERA in eight career starts against the Tigers. He took the loss in his one start with the Padres, surrendering 5 runs (3 earned) through six innings in an 8-4 loss.
It has been a tale of two careers for Verlander, and his statistics against the White Sox are no exception. In 25 career starts, he is 12-10 with a 4.13 ERA against Chicago.
But in the past three seasons, Verlander holds a 10-1 record with a a 2.32 ERA in 11 starts against the South Siders. That stretch of play includes three All-Star games (including one start), a Cy Young Award and an American League MVP for Verlander.
The two have faced each other one time in their careers, on July 26 of last season in Chicago. Verlander picked up the win, going eight innings and allowing four runs (both two-run homers from Dunn and Konerko).
Peavy took a no-decision, allowing four earned runs in six innings before being pulled after 111 pitches. The Tigers would plate a run in the top of the 8th inning, a Wilson Betemit RBI single, off Jesse Crain to take a 5-4 lead they would not surrender. Verlander, of course, would go on to win the American League MVP that year.

Daily White Sox prospects update: Gavin Sheets hits his first homer of 2018

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Gavin Sheets hits his first homer of 2018

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Class A Winston-Salem

Gavin Sheets hit his first home run of the season in a 12-4 loss. While it's taken him this long to hit his first ball out of the park, Sheets has a .380 on-base percentage and his 24 walks make for one of the top 10 totals in the Carolina League. Blake Rutherford doubled in this one, while Sheets, Rutherford, Alex Call and Luis Alexander Basabe combined to draw five walks.

Class A Kannapolis

Luis Gonzalez and Evan Skoug each had a hit in a 9-3 win.

Triple-A Charlotte

Charlie Tilson had two hits in a 9-3 loss.

James Shields is having a stellar May and making comeback wins possible for the White Sox

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USA TODAY

James Shields is having a stellar May and making comeback wins possible for the White Sox

If you haven’t checked in with what James Shields is doing in a while, your opinion of the veteran pitcher’s performance might need some updating.

Shields didn’t exactly win the confidence of White Sox fans during his first two seasons on the South Side. After arriving in a midseason trade with the San Diego Padres in 2016, he posted a 6.77 ERA in 22 starts, during which he allowed 31 home runs. He followed that up with a 5.23 ERA and 27 home runs allowed in 2017.

And the 2018 season didn’t start out great, either, with a 6.17 ERA over his first five outings.

But the month of May has brought a dramatic turn in the vet’s production. In five May starts, he’s got a 3.27 ERA in five starts, all of which have seen him go at least six innings (he’s got six straight outings of at least six innings, dating back to his last start in April).

And his two most recent starts have probably been his two best ones of the season. After allowing just one run on three hits in 7.1 innings last Thursday against the Texas Rangers, he gave up just two runs on five hits Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles.

The White Sox, by the way, won both of those games in comeback fashion. They scored four runs in the eighth against Texas and three in the eighth against Baltimore for a pair of “Ricky’s boys don’t quit” victories made possible by Shields’ great work on the mound.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said after Tuesday’s game. “It’s our job as starters to keep us in the game as long as we possibly can, no matter how we are hitting in a game. At the end of the game, you can always score one or two runs and possibly win a ballgame like we did tonight.”

The White Sox offense was indeed having trouble much of Tuesday’s game, kept off the scoreboard by Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. Particularly upsetting for White Sox Twitter was the sixth inning, when the South Siders put two runners in scoring position with nobody out and then struck out three straight times to end the inning.

But Shields went out and pitched a shut-down seventh, keeping the score at 2-0. Bruce Rondon did much the same thing in the eighth, and the offense finally sparked to life in the bottom of the inning when coincidentally presented with a similar situation to the one in the sixth. This time, though, the inning stayed alive and resulted in scoring, with Welington Castillo, Yoan Moncada and Yolmer Sanchez driving in the three runs.

“I’m out there doing my job,” Shields said. “My job is to try to keep us in the game. And we had some good starters against us that have been throwing well. If I can keep them close, we are going to get some wins and get some wins throughout the rest of the year like that. That’s the name of the game.”

Shields’ value in this rebuilding effort has been discussed often. His veteran presence is of great value in the clubhouse, particularly when it comes to mentoring young pitchers like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, among others. Shields can act as an example of how to go about one’s business regardless of the outcomes of his starts. But when he can lead by example with strong outings, that’s even more valuable.

“I’m trying to eat as many innings as possible,” he said. “We kind of gave our bullpen — we taxed them a little bit the first month of the season. We are kind of getting back on track. Our goal as a starting staff is to go as deep as possible, and in order to do that, you’ve got to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters.

“Not too many playoff teams, a starting staff goes five and dive every single game. My whole career I’ve always wanted to go as deep as possible. I wanted to take the ball all the way to the end of the game. And we’ve done a pretty good job of it of late.”

It’s a long time between now and the trade deadline, and consistency has at times escaped even the brightest spots on this rebuilding White Sox roster. But Shields has strung together a nice bunch of starts here of late, and if that kind of performance can continue, the White Sox front office might find that it has a potential trade piece on its hands. That, too, is of value to this rebuild.

Until that possibility occurs, though, the team will take more solid outings that give these young players an opportunity to learn how to come back and learn how to win.