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MLB Preview: Chicago White Sox (57-93) at Washington Nationals (66-84)


he Chicago White Sox have lost seven of the last nine games, 12 of 16, 24 of 34 and 36 of 52 as they begin their final trip of the season tonight at Washington. rHP Mike Clevinger is scheduled to start tonight’s game for the White Sox, who are 36 games under the .500 mark and have been officially eliminated from postseason contention. The Sox went 2-5 on their last homestand, which concluded Sunday with 4-0 loss vs. Minnesota … they began the week losing two of three games to last-place Kansas City. Following this three-game series at Nationals Park, Chicago will conclude its road schedule with three games this weekend at Fenway Park … it will conclude the 2023 season with a six-game homestand vs. San Diego (9/25-27) and Arizona (9/29-10/1). The Sox went 2-4 on the last trip from 9/4-10 at Kansas City (1-2) and Detroit (1-2).

The White Sox are trying to win their first series since 8/7-9 vs. the Yankees, and first on the road since 8/4-6 at Cleveland. Sox starters have allowed three runs or less in eight of the last 11 games, including one or less four times. Chicago is 4-9 and has been outscored by an 86-54 margin over its last 13 road games. The White Sox and Nationals are playing for the first time since the 2019 season … the Sox went 1-3 (1-1 at home; 0-2 on road). Mike Clevinger is 4-5 with a 2.94 ERA (22 ER/67.1 IP), .228 (56-246) opp. average, 1.07 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in his last 12 starts since 6/1 … he has allowed one run or less seven times. Yoán Moncada has reached safely in 22 of his last 24 games with a plate appearance, batting .330/.366/.523 (29-88) with four homers, 16 RBI, fi ve walks, six multihit eff orts and an .889 OPS. Andrew Vaughn is 15-45 (.333) with three doubles, three homers, six RBI and a .948 OPS over his last 12 games. Bryan Shaw (12.2 IP over 10 games) and Tanner Banks (10.2 IP over seven games) both own scoreless streaks.

Mike Clevinger owns a 2.94 ERA (22 ER/67.1 IP), .228 (56-246) opp. average, 1.07 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in his last 12 starts since 6/1 … he has allowed one run or less seven times. Clevinger’s 2.94 ERA is the fourth-lowest in the American League and 10th-lowest in MLB since 6/1 (minimum 65.0 IP) … the only AL pitchers with a lower ERA during that span are Baltimore’s Grayson Rodriguez (2.59) and Kyle Bradish (2.82) and the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (2.74).

Mike Clevinger owns a 2.29 ERA (9 ER/35.1 IP), .203 (26-128) average, 0.96 WHIP and a .626 OPS over his last six road starts. He has allowed three earned runs or less in all six outings and zero runs three times … the span has included outings at Yankee Stadium, Dodger Stadium and Wrigley Field. Clevinger’s 3.65 overall road ERA (23 ER/56.2 IP) this season would rank 11th in the American League with the necessary IP.

The White Sox rank third in the American League and fourth in MLB with 1,392 strikeouts this season. Sox pitchers have struck out 10-plus 70 times in 2023, including 14-plus 12 times (1-11 record). The 70 double-digit strikeouts games are the second-most in franchise history (81 in 2021), and are tied for the fourth-most in MLB in 2023 … only Minnesota (71), Toronto (72) and Atlanta (76) have more such games. Dylan Cease ranks third in the American League in strikeouts per 9.0 IP (10.69) and fifth in strikeouts (196). Cease needs four strikeouts to join Chris Sale (2013-16) and Ed Walsh (1910-12) as the only White Sox to record three-plus consecutive seasons of 200 or more strikeouts.

Chicago and Washington are playing for the first time since 2019 … the Nationals won three of four games in 2019, including sweeping a two-game set at Nationals Park on 6/4-5. The Sox have lost nine of the last 11 contests since 6/26/11. The White Sox are 6-10 all-time vs. the Nationals, going 3-5 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 3-5 in Washington, D.C.

Chicago is 13-24 vs. the National League in 2023 (2-10-1 series mark), going 4-13 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 9-11 on the road … both series wins have come on the road (CIN and ATL). The White Sox have lost eight of the last 10 and 17 of the last 24 interleague games … 19 of the last 24 contests have been Decided by four runs or less. Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .331/.376/.700(43-130) with 12 doubles, 12 home runs, 31 RBI and a 1.076 OPS in 34 games vs. the N.L. … he ranks among the MLB interleague leaders in slugging pct (1st), OPS (4th), and home runs (T4th).


Is scheduled to make his 22nd start of the season, 11th on the road and first against Washington. Five of his last seven starts have been quality efforts. Has gone 4-5 with a 3.18 ERA (22 ER/62.1 IP), .232 (53-228) opponents average, 15 walks and 55 strikeouts over his last 11 starts. Limited opponents to three earned runs or less in nine straight starts from 5/11-8/22, his longest streak since 7/22-9/28/22 (13 games). Has appeared in just 52 games (51 starts) since the start of the 2020 season … missed the entire 2021 season to continue his recovery from his second Tommy John surgery … also underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012. Was originally drafted by the Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB Draft … was traded to Cleveland in August 2014 … made 101 major-league appearances (88 starts) with Cleveland from 2016-20 … was traded to San Diego in August 2020, appearing in just 27 games (16 starts) from 2020-22.

Suffered the loss on 9/13 vs. Kansas City after allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over 6.0 IP. Exited the game in the seventh inning with the White Sox trailing, 2-0 … Chicago lost, 7-1. Owned a 73.9 first-strike percentage and 13.4 swinging-strike percentage (12 swing and misses) vs. 23 batters … threw 82 pitches (58 strikes) with the following pitch breakdown: 40 four-seam fastballs (94.8 mph avg; 97.4 mph max), 16 sliders (78.9 avg; 81.7 max) 12 changeups (87.1 avg; 88.9 max), 12 cutters (85.5 avg; 87.1 max) and two sinkers (94.7 avg; 93.0 max).

Went 4-3 with a 2.24 ERA (14 ER/56.1 IP), .204 (41- 201) opponents average, 20 walks and 50 strikeouts in 10 starts (four quality) from 5/18-8/27. His 2.43 ERA during that stretch ranked second-best in the American League and fifth in the majors (minimum 50.0 IP). Is 4-5 with a 2.94 ERA (22 ER/67.1 IP) in 12 starts since 6/1, the fifth-lowest ERA in the American League (minimum 50.0 IP). Allowed three runs from 6/2-7/29 (20.1 IP), the fewest across a four-start span since 8/18-9/3/19 when he allowed three runs across 25.2 IP with Cleveland.

Is holding opponents to a .212 (36-170) average with 48 strikeouts the first time through the lineup, compared to a .292 (49-168) the second time through. Owns a 3.14 ERA (22 ER/63.0 IP) from the first-third innings this year, compared to a 4.18 ERA (24 ER/51.2 IP) from the fourth-seventh … allowed four runs in the first inning on 9/2 vs. Detroit after allowing five runs in the first inning in his previous 18 starts this year.

Is 3-4 with a 3.65 ERA (23 ER/56.2 IP), .234 (50-214) opponents average, 17 walks and 44 strikeouts in ten road starts this year. Is 1-2 with a 1.84 ERA (6 ER/29.1 IP), .215 (23-107) opponents average, six walks and 23 strikeouts in his last five road starts (two quality) with three scoreless efforts.

Is limiting opponents to a .223 (39-175) average with runners on base, .162 (16-99) average with RISP and .130 (6-46) average with RISP/two outs this season. His opponents average with RISP/two outs is the fourth-lowest in MLB (min. 50 PA) and his opponents average with RISP is the third-lowest (min. 100 PA).

Will make his third career start against the Nationals and first this season. Last faced Washington on 8/12/22 at Nationals Park as a member of the San Diego Padres … earned the win after allowing just one run on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts in 5.0 IP. Is 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA (7ER/10.2 IP), .250 (10-40) opponents average, six walks and seven strikeouts lifetime. Has gone 4-10 with a 4.49 ERA (55 ER/110.1 IP), .242 (100-414) opponents average, 42 walks and 93 strikeouts in 21 career starts (six quality) in interleague play


The Nationals and White Sox will play three times this season…Washington last faced off against the White Sox in Chicago in 2019…Dave Martinez had his three most productive Major League seasons (1995-97) as a member of the White Sox, including the 1996 season in which he hit .318 with 20 doubles, eight triples and 10 homers…Alex Call was drafted by the White Sox (3rd rd., 2016).

The Washington Nationals open their final homestand of the 2023 season on Monday night against the Chicago White Sox…Following that three-game series, the Atlanta Braves will return to Nationals Park for a four-game series starting on Thursday.

Washington beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1, in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon…Patrick Corbin tossed 6.0 innings of one-run ball while Hunter Harvey (2.0 IP, 2 SO), Kyle Finnegan (1.0 IP, H, BB, SO) and Robert Garcia (Win, 2.0 IP, H, 2 BB, SO) offered scoreless relief…It was Garcia’s first career Major League win. The Nationals are 6-2 (.750) in extra innings this season, the fourth-best win percentage in Major League Baseball and the third-best in Nationals history (2005-pres) behind the 2015 Nationals (9-2, .818) and 2020 Nationals (4-1, .800). Washington is 25-20 (.556) in one-run games, the fourth-best winning percentage in team history behind the 2017 Nationals (30-21, .588), 2016 Nationals (26-19, .578) and 2012 Nationals (27-21, .563). LUIS LUIS Luis García has homered in back-to-back games for the second-time this season (also: May 31-June 2)…He has never homered in three straight games…He is 4-for-7 (.571) over this two-game streak.

Joey Meneses is 10-for-29 (.345) with two doubles, three RBI, two walks and three runs scored over his last eight games…He has hit safely in six of the eight and has reached safely in seven of eight. He ranks in the National League in average with runners in scoring position (4th, .366), doubles (T6th, 34), hits (T9th, 157) and average (12th, .280).

Keibert Ruiz (3rd, .369) and Joey Meneses (4th, .366) each rank in the top four in the National League in batting average with runners in scoring position this season…The Los Angeles Dodgers (Mookie Betts/Freddie Freeman) are the only other club to have two players in the top 10 in the National League.

Some notes on a few Nationals relievers:

  • Jose A. Ferrer has pitched to a 0.00 ERA (9.1 IP) with a .103 opponents’ average (3-for-29) over his last 10 outings…He’s issued just two walks with 13 strikeouts over his last 18 outings (17.0 IP)…This comes after walking nine batters in his first 15 games (13.1 IP) of the season…Opposing left-handed batters are 1-for-15 (.067) in his last 11 outings. Robert Garcia has allowed just two hits with seven strikeouts in his last five outings (6.1 IP)…He’s posted a .105 opponents’ average (2-for-19) over this stretch. Hunter Harvey ranks among National League relievers in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5th, 4.92) and WHIP (7th, 0.95). Kyle Finnegan ranks seventh in the National League with a career-high 25 saves.

Lane Thomas ranks in the National League in doubles (T6th, 34), total bases (T7th, 272), extra-base hits (T9th, 62) and hits (T9th, 157). Thomas’ 34 doubles and 62 extra-base hits are tied for third among National League outfielders…His 25 homers are tied for fifth. He is first in Major League Baseball with a career-high 17 outfield assists…His 17 outfield assists rank second in Nationals history (2005-pres.) behind Alfonso Soriano (22 in 2006). With two more stolen bases, he would record the sixth 20 home run – 20 stolen base season in Nationals History (2005-pres.) and the first since 2016.

CJ Abrams’ 30 stolen bases since moving to the leadoff spot on July 7 are the most in Major League Baseball ahead of Ronald Acuña Jr. (25)…On the season, Abrams is tied for fifth in Major League Baseball (T3rd in the NL) with 41 stolen bases. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Abrams is one of eight shortstops in Major League history (done 11 times) to hit at least 15 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season…He is the second-youngest to do so behind Hanley Ramirez (17/51 in 2006; 22.282 years old) and ahead of Alex Rodriguez (42/46 in 1998; 23.063), per Elias.

LET’S GO TO THE TAPE The Nationals lead Major League Baseball with a 73.1% overturn rate on challenges…Led by Kenny Diaz, Washington’s replay operation is 19-for-26 in overturned challenges this season…The Nationals lead the Miami Marlins (20-for-28, 71.4%), Arizona Diamondbacks (25-for-38, 65.8%), Kansas City Royals (19- or-30, 63.3%), New York Yankees (17-for-27, 63.0%) and Houston Astros (16-for-26, 61.5%).

Right-hander climbed to the No. 7 prospect in Washington’s system per Baseball America entering the 2022 season…Began his professional career as a reliever but converted to the starting rotation for the 2019 season…In 2021, became the 21st pitcher drafted/signed and developed by the Nationals (2005-pres.)… Did not start playing baseball until he was 14 years old.

Allowed four earned runs on eight hits, walked six and struck out four in 4.0 innings on September 12 against Pittsburgh at PNC Park …He took the loss in the Nationals’ 5-1 defeat.

Faces the White Sox for the first time in his career.

Adon is 2-1 with a 3.50 ERA (7 ER/18.0 IP) in four road games (three starts)…He has taken no-hitters into the sixth inning of two road starts (8/5 at CIN; 8/25 at MIA).

Adon has allowed three earned runs or fewer in four of his seven starts this season…He has a .276 opponents’ average, 29 strikeouts, 14 walks and a 1.55 WHIP in seven Major League starts in 2023.

In his best start of the season, Adon retired 18 of 22 batters he faced on August 25 at Miami…He allowed just three hits and logged three strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work to earn the win.

In his last two starts with Triple-A Rochester, Adon was 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA (4 ER/11.0 IP) with 13 strikeouts and five walks…Those starts include a scoreless 6.0-inning outing in which he allowed just two hits and struck out six on July 21 against Durham (TBR)…In all, Adon went 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA (45 ER/87.2 IP) with 80 strikeouts and 40 walks in 17 starts in Triple-A this season.

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