CHICAGO – The White Sox won’t necessarily be throwing a curveball at the Cleveland Indians when a two-game series starts against the division leaders Wednesday, they will merely be exchanging one effective one for another.
Instead of having Jake Peavy pitch against the Indians on Wednesday and coming back with Phil Humber on Thursday in a brief two-game series, it will be Gavin Floyd instead on Thursday.
No reason was given for the switch, but the move allows Floyd to pitch on the regular compliment of four days of rest, while Humber now gets six days of rest between starts for the second consecutive week.
Pushing Humber back a day each week could become a regular occurrence. He has never pitched more than 148 innings in a season, doing that between Triple-A Rochester and the Twins in 2008.
Peavy and Floyd will have their hands full up against Justin Masterson and Fausto Carmona respectively. When play started Tuesday, the Indians had a 10-game lead in the American League Central over the White Sox.
At the very least, the White Sox will need a sweep with the upstart Indians to avoid dropping further out of sight. Cleveland had the best record in baseball when Tuesday’s games began at 25-13 and were one of two teams with a win percentage better than .600.
Manager Ozzie Guillen did say during the opening eek of the season, when the White Sox were winning two of three at Cleveland, that the Indians could be tough. But he’s always complimentary to opponents.
“I don't know about the best record, but I know they were going to play better than people thought,” Guillen said. “It's funny because when I said that people were laughing, people were making jokes. I predict that for a few teams in my career as a manager. I predicted that with Detroit once, Tampa Bay once, Minnesota. A lot of people, I don't know if for some reason or another did not believe that ... maybe it's because I've only got 30 years in the big leagues.”
Guillen’s ideal scenario that it would take for the Indians to be successful has happened just as he predicted that it could.
“I said that if those guys pitch a little bit, they're going to be dangerous because those guys are pretty athletic,” Guillen said. “They have a lot of speed. If you get good pitching and you put a good bullpen out and you add all those things together, you're going to have a chance to win. They're pitching well, the bullpen is throwing the ball well, they've got clutch hitting, they are what they are. Right now they're playing very well and I don't blame them to be up there because they're playing with confidence.”