Saturday, September 23, 2023
2023 National Football League Schedule, Book 1

MLB Preview: Chicago White Sox (58-93) at Washington Nationals (66-85)


The Chicago White Sox have won two of the last three games but lost seven of the last 10, 12 of 17, 24 of 35 and 36 of 53 as they continue their final trip of the season tonight at Washington. RHP José Ureña is scheduled to start tonight’s game for the White Sox, who are 35 games under the .500 mark and have been officially eliminated from postseason contention. The Sox opened the trip with a 6-1 win last night at Nationals Park, losing a shutout bid with two outs in the ninth inning. Following tomorrow’s series finale and Thursday’s off day, Chicago will conclude its road schedule with three games 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 2-5 on their last homestand from 9/11-17 vs. Kansas City (1-2) and Minnesota (1-3) and 2-4 on the last trip from 9/4-10 at the Royals (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 nine of the last 12 games, including one or less five times. Chicago is 5-9 and has been outscored by an 87-60 margin over its last 14 road games. The White Sox and Nationals are playing for the first time since the 2019 season … the Sox are looking for their first win vs. Washington since 6/18-20/10 at Nationals Park. José Ureña is trying to snap his six-game losing streak .. he has not won a game since 8/30/22 at Atlanta with Colorado. Yoán Moncada has reached safely in 23 of his last 25 games with a plate appearance, batting .333/.367/.538 (31-93) with four homers, 16 RBI, five walks, seven multihit efforts and a .905 OPS. Andrew Vaughn is 17-49 (.347) with three doubles, three homers, seven RBI and a .964 OPS over his last 13 games. Relievers Bryan Shaw (12.2 IP over 10 games) and Tanner Banks (10.2 IP over seven games) both own scoreless streaks.

Luis Robert Jr. snapped a scoreless game with a game-winning, three-run homer in the fifth, and Mike Clevinger threw his third career complete game to lead the White Sox to a 6-1 win. Tim Anderson (single) and Andrew Benintendi (walk) reached base with two outs in the sixth to set up Robert Jr.’s 36th homer … he snapped a 0-18 stretch and a 12-game homerless streak. Andrew Vaughn, Elvis Andrus and Benintendi added RBI singles in the seventh to extend the Sox lead. Clevinger surrendered one run on six hits with zero walks and seven strikeouts for his first complete game since 2020 … he lost his bid for a shutout on Dominic Smith’s solo homer in the ninth. Clevinger extended his streak of starts without a walk to four, the longest by a Chicago starter since José Quintana also went four straight from 6/26-7/12/15. Tim Anderson matched his career high with four hits.

Mike Clevinger last night threw his third career complete game, and second of 9.0 IP (also 4/21/18 at Baltimore). The last White Sox to throw a CG was teammate Dylan Cease on 9/3/22 vs. Minnesota … Lucas Giolito threw the Sox last road complete game on 8/21/19 at the Twins. Chicago became the 19th team in MLB to throw a complete game this season.

Mike Clevinger owns a 2.71 ERA (22 ER/67.1 IP), .222 (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 eight times. Clevinger’s 2.71 ERA is the third-lowest in MLB since 6/1 (minimum 75.0 IP) … the only pitchers with a lower ERA during that span are Blake Snell (1.38) and Kodai Senga (2.69).

Chicago ranks third in the American League and fourth in MLB with 1,399 strikeouts this season … Sox pitchers have struck out 10-plus 70 times, including 14-plus 12 times (1-11 record). The 70 double-digit strikeouts games are the second-most in a season in franchise history (81 in 2021), and the fifth-most in MLB in 2023 … Atlanta leads MLB with 77 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 12 contests since 6/26/11. The White Sox are 7-10 all-time vs. the Nationals, going 3-5 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 4-5 in Washington, D.C.

Washington manager Dave Martinez played for Chicago from 1996-97, including a career-high 12 home runs in 1997. Nationals OF Alex Call was selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2016 draft out of Ball State (Ind.) University … he played three seasons (2016-18) in the Sox system.

Chicago is 14-24 vs. the National League in 2023 (2-10-1 series mark), going 4-13 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 10-11 on the road … both series wins have come on the road (CIN and ATL). The White Sox have lost eight of the last 11 and 17 of the last 25 interleague games … 19 of the last 25 contests have been recided by four runs or less. Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .326/.370/.704 (44-135) with 12 doubles, 13 home runs, 34 RBI and a 1.074 OPS in 35 games vs. the N.L. … he ranks among the MLB interleague leaders in slugging pct (1st), home runs (T3rd) and OPS (T4th).

Is scheduled to make his eighth start of the season, third with the White Sox, second on the road and second against the Washington Nationals. Was recalled from Class AAA Charlotte on 9/9 … went 1-1 with 3.38 ERA (8 ER/21.1 IP), .282 (22-84) opponents average and 20 strikeouts over four starts with the Knights. Signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox on 8/7 after being released by Washington on 8/3 … made 15 starts with Class AAA Rochester in the Nationals system. Made the Colorado Rockies opening day roster … went 0-4 with a 9.82 ERA (20 ER/18.1 IP), .346 (27-78) opponents average and nine strikeouts over five starts before being released by Colorado on 4/27. Has gone 39-66 with a 4.90 ERA (445 ER/817.0 IP), four saves and 548 strikeouts in 195 career games (139 starts) over nine major-league seasons with Miami (2015- 2020), Detroit (2021), Milwaukee (2022) and Colorado (2022-23) … ranks among active Dominican pitchers in starts (4th), IP (5th) and wins (8th). Was originally signed by the Marlins as an international free agent on 8/29/08 out of the Dominican Republic. Last name is pronounced oo-RAIN-yuh.

Suffered the loss on 9/14 vs. Minnesota, allowing six runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts over 6.1 IP … recorded season highs in punchouts and IP … threw 90 pitches (66 strikes). Retired the first nine batters faced before allowing a solo home run to Edouard Julien in the fourth inning … allowed just two runs through the first six innings before allowing four runs in the the seventh, including two-run homer by Kyle Farmer. Departed the game in the seventh with the Sox trailing, 6-0 … Chicago lost 10-2. Owned a 73.1 first-strike percentage and 17.8 swinging-strike percentage (16 swing and misses) vs. 26 batters … threw 27 sinkers (94.7 avg; 97.1 mph max), 26 changeups (87.3 mph avg; 89.8 mph max), 23 sliders (84.9 avg; 87.4 max) and 14 four-seam fastballs (95.3 avg; 96.4 max).

Has limited right-handed batters to a .247/.319/.395 (389-1,574) slash line and 49 home runs in his career … has struck out righties 339 times. Righties are batting .239/.315/.383 (326-1,364) vs. him lifetime as a starter … has allowed 42 homers while striking out 297.

Has gone 26-25 with a 4.97 ERA (219 ER/403.1 IP), .257 (391-1522) opponents average and 267 strikeouts over 100 career games (67 starts) on the road. Went 1-3 with 4.08 ERA (24 ERA/53.0 IP), .271 (55- 203) opponents average and 32 strikeouts in 11 games (nine starts) in 2022. Is 1-8 with 5.99 ERA (51 ER/76.2 IP), .288 (87-302)
opponents average and 47 strikeouts in his last 16 starts on the road.

Went 1-1 with 3.38 ERA (8 ER/21.1 IP), .282 (22-84) opponents average and 20 strikeouts over four starts with Class AAA Charlotte. Allowed two runs or less in three of four starts with the Knights, tossing 5.0-plus IP in each of the three starts. Earned the win in his last start on 9/1 at Jacksonville, allowing just one run on five hits with one walks, one hit batter and four strikeouts. Made 15 starts with Class AAA Rochester in the Nationals organization, going 1-3 with a 6.31 ERA (47 ER/67.0 IP) and 56 strikeouts.

Is scheduled to make his ninth career start (17 appearance) vs. the Washington Nationals. Has gone 4-2 with a 3.76 ERA (17 ER/40.2 IP), 29 strikeouts and a .222 (32-144) opponents average over his last seven starts against Washington. Suffered the loss on 4/7 at Coors Field as a member of Colorado, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits with three walks and one strikeout over 2.2 IP. Is 16-26 with a 4.86 ERA (158 ER/292.1 IP), .251 (280-1,115) opponents average, 1.29 WHIP and 196 strikeouts over 71 career games (49 starts) against the National League East.


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

The Nationals recalled outfielder Blake Rutherford from Triple-A Rochester and placed outfielder Travis Blankenhorn on the 10-day Injured List with plantar fasciitis on Tuesday. Rutherford returns to Washington for his second stint with the club..In his last six games for Triple-A Rochester, he was 8-for-23 (.348) with four doubles, a home run, six RBI and four walks.

Lane Thomas ranks in the National League in doubles (T6th, 34), total bases (8th, 273), extra-base hits (T10th, 62) and hits (T9th, 158). Thomas’ 34 doubles and 62 extra-base hits are tied for third among National League outfielders…His 25 homers are tied for fifth. He leads 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 one more stolen bases, he will record the sixth 20 home run – 20 stolen base season in Nationals History (2005-pres.) and the first since 2016.

CJ Abrams’ 31 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 fifth in Major League Baseball (3rd in the NL) with 42 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.

Joey Meneses is 10-for-33 (.303) with two doubles, four RBI, two walks and three runs scored over his last nine games…He has hit safely in six of the nine and has reached safely in seven of nine. He ranks in the National League in average with runners in scoring position (6th, .361), doubles (T6th, 34) and hits (T11th, 158).

Keibert Ruiz (3rd, .366) and Joey Meneses (6th, .361) each rank in the top six 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.

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).

Some notes on a few Nationals relievers:

  • Jose A. Ferrer has pitched to a 0.90 ERA (1 ER/10.0 IP) with a .182 opponents’ average (6-for-33) over his last 11 outings…He’s issued just two walks with 13 strikeouts over his last 19 outings (17.2 IP)…This comes after walking nine batters in his first 15 games (13.1 IP) of the season…Opposing left-handed batters are 2-for-17 (.118) in his last 12 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 (6th, 0.95). Kyle Finnegan ranks seventh in the National League with a career-high 25 saves.

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 (20-for-31, 64.5%),
New York Yankees (17-for-27, 63.0%) and Houston Astros (17-for-27, 63.0%).

Tall right-hander was added to Washington’s 40-man roster following the 2022 season…Is the No. 7 prospect in Washington’s system, according to Baseball America…Has been cited as having the “Best Fastball” (2021, 2020) and “Best Slider” (2021) in Washington’s system, per Baseball America…In 2019, his 0.87 ERA led all of NJCAA Division I, while his 134 strikeouts were good for second…He was named a semi-finalist for the Golden Spikes Award (top amateur baseball player)…Was the only semi-finalist from a Junior College and was just the fourth Junior College player to be named a semi-finalist in the award’s history.

Allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits, walked one and struck out two hitters in 3.2 innings of work on September 13 against Pittsburgh at PNC Park…It was his Major League debut.

Rutledge went 8-4 with a 3.71 ERA (49 ER/ 119.0 IP) in 23 Minor League starts with Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Harrisburg this season…He opened the season with Double-A Harrisburg where he went 6-1 with a 3.16 ERA in 12 starts…He struck out 62 batters while posting a .209 opponents’ batting average…He was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on June 27 and went 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA in 11 starts for the Red Wings…In his last start on Sept. 1 vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY), Rutledge tossed 5.0 innings of two-hit, shutout ball with seven strikeouts.

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