I got more emotions coursing through my body than a menopausal cougar right now. All week leading up to this game I've been cool as a cucumber. I have been very on the record as saying I think this team is going to click at the perfect time and steam roll through the playoffs. Just an eery feeling I have that I've never had in my life about one of my teams. It's weird.
Now though? We got a few hours until first pitch and I'm nervous as fuck. What if Lynn bombs? What if Abreu is still sick and doesn't pull off an MJ flu game? What if Lu and TA shit the bed and make me look like an asshole? I would like to make this loud and clear:
I expect this series to be a gutter war against two very, very evenly matched teams. It is going to be a GUTTER war.
That said, I stayed up half the night thinking about the possibilities I laid out above. And then something occurred to me, and I fell into a deep, peaceful sleep. The Astros and their fanbase are all thinking the same shit. The real ones know that they didn't see the White Sox at their best this season and that a lineup that features Grandal, Robert, and Jimenez is much different than one that features Zack Collins, Jake Lamb, and Brian Goodwin.
I'm not going to give some long ass preview blog. I'll give a couple of bullet points but I've spoken ad nauseam all season about how the White Sox RIGHT NOW are FINALLY fully healthy, Abreu's flu bug aside. They played ten (!!!!) games with Anderson, Eloy, Robert, Grandal and Madrigal (prior to his trade) all season and ZERO games with Engel added to those 5 players.
What I do know is I'll roll with this roster and be confident in my chances any day of the week:
No Keuchel is no surprise. One of these guys not named Abreu, Anderson, etc. is going to have a huge moment. Someone that nobody would have guessed in a million years comes out and makes a huge defensive play, swipes a big bag, or has a big single late. My money is on Mendick. Call it a sneaky suspicion. That's my pick.
As far as Lynn goes.... in spite of his success (or lack thereof) against Houston, I'd trust that big bastard Lance Lynn in a big game 1 all day every day.
I do want to make special note of Luis Robert, however; this is a kid, and I am not embellishing, has a multiple MVP ceiling. He makes everything look absurdly, absurdly easy. He missed ~90 games due to injury this year, but in about a half season's worth of plate appearances he put together this slash line:
He's a freak of nature. It sounds like a bomb goes off when he makes contact. Take a look at these videos and listen to them with the volume up:
And he plays ++ defense and swipes bags. The entire country will hopefully watch this series and leave it thinking "holy shit that guy's good".
I will note the Astros are good. Really good. Their lineup is chucked, their starting pitching is solid and McCullers has historically given the White Sox fits. They HAVE to be patient against him. He will be trying to induce weak contact/ swings and misses with sliders off the plate. It is IMPERATIVE for the White Sox lineup to lay off that shit and make him work over the plate with fastballs. He's a big time ground ball pitcher and the White Sox have a tendency to hit the ball hard and down. Can't have that today. Need to hit gaps and drive the ball in the air. Ball go far, team go far. Lay off the shit out/off, drive the shit he leaves over the plate.
I will end with this. Getting to know this team has made me love them all that much more. They are VERY easy to root for. Tim Anderson is a total bad ass, Eloy is the most lovable dude ever, Giolito is as smart and personable as anyone, and the personalities on the roster 1 through 40 on their 40 man are great. Just a great mix of dudes who have an insatiable appetite to go on a LONG run this October.
Let's ride. White Sox win 4-3 in a nail biter today. I am so fucking pumped for this. Let's have some fun with it
Tim Anderson is gonna rise to the occasion today and throughout October. He shines brightest when on the big stage.
Tim Anderson 2+ hits in a White Sox win boosted from +340 to +380