Series Preview: Cleveland Indians

(Coutesy of Ian Martin)

The way the White Sox season has gone, this series, like every other from here on out, is of high importance. The key three-game series against the Royals is coming soon so the Sox need to get within striking distance and gain momentum starting here.

Opponent: Cleveland Indians
Record: 41-57, .418, Fourth Place, 14 GB (AL Central)
Place: U. S. Cellular Field
Time & TV: Game 1: 7:05 p.m. (WCIU); Game 2: 1:05 p.m. (WGN)
2002 Record vs Sox: 10-9
2003 Record vs Sox: 8-6

THE LATEST
The Cleveland Indians are coming off of a four-game sweep at the hands of the new York Yankees and have only won one of their last seven games. Milton Bradley leads the team with a .320 average, while Matt Lawton leads in the power department with 15 homers and 47 RBIs. However, Lawton is on the disabled list, so Casey Blake and Jody Gerut will be the ones to watch out for. Cleveland's starting rotation has been suspect most of the year as they have had ten different starters this year. C.C. Sabathia leads the rotation in wins with 8, but he misses the Sox in this short series. When the game gets into the later innings, Cleveland can depend on Dan Miceli and Carl Sadler with their sub-2.00 ERAs. Danys Baez leads the team with 21 saves, but he also six blown saves.

WHO'S HOT (Last 7 days)
Coco Crisp, RF: .375, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
--Crisp is the best candidate on this team for the hottest player, but no one really deserves this title. Cleveland has been getting drubbed as of late. Crisp was just not getting drubbed as bad as everyone else.

WHO'S NOT (Last 7 days)
Ryan Ludwick, OF: . 100, 1 hits, 4 K
--Ludwick was just acquired for outfielder Shane Spencer, and since being called up recently, he has yet to perform like a major leaguer.

PITCHING PROBABLES
Game #1:
Mike Porzio (0-1, 4.76, 6 K) vs. Terry Mulholland (1-2, 4.36, 20 K) / Brian Tallet (0-1, 3.77 ERA)
--It is unclear who is going to be going up against Porzio in this game. First it was Billy Traber, than Brian Tallet, then it was officially given to Terry Mulholland and then back to Tallet. With that, it is a duo of five-and-out lefty starters anyway you look at it. One problem, Tallet is someone new to the Sox, and we all know what happens in these cases.

Game #2:
Bartolo Colon (6-9, 4.36, 101 K) vs. Jason Davis (7-7, 4.54, 61 K)
--Davis has been consistent in most of his starts so far this year, including a strong seven-inning performance against the Sox earlier. He has been striking out more batters as of late, but he has also given up numerous homers. On the Sox side of the table, Colon has looked weak and very beatable of late, making this a very important start for him.

KEY TO THE SERIES Carry the momentum from the last three games of the Tigers series. If the Sox can play like they did in the late innings of Saturday's game, and the entire game on Sunday, they can come out with a sweep.

Mario Scalise contributed to this piece

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