That means it is time to brace ourselves for more Chicago media fiction about how having four left-handers in the rotation is somehow a detriment to a team.
When you read that tripe, don't buy into it. Instead, just reflect back on this past week's results as evidence that this is a nonissue.
The Sox threw two lefties back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Here were the results:
Sale: 8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 11 Ks, 1 BB
Quintana: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 10 Ks, 1 BB
Does it seem to you that facing Sale on Tuesday gave the Brewers any tactical advantage when they went up against Quintana on Wednesday? Doesn't look like it to me. Quintana was every bit as effective as Sale was.
Let's go back even earlier. Rodon pitched the second game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night. Less than 24 hours later, the Reds faced another Sox lefty, Danks. Under the prevailing media theory, the Reds should have been at an advantage against Danks, having faced another lefty in Rodon the previous game. Let's take a look at results:
Rodon: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 8Ks, 4 BBs
Danks: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4Ks, 3 BBs
Look at that. The Reds didn't do much against either of the two lefties, despite facing them in back-to-back games.
This is why Sox fans should ignore this invented "concern" about having too many left-handers. The Sox's 2005 World Series team had four right-handed pitchers in the rotation, and that never seemed to be an issue. So why would four left-handers be a detriment? Someone is going to have to explain that to me.
Handedness doesn't matter that much. Just give me guys that can pitch. As it stands right now, ironically enough, the one Sox pitcher who is struggling is the lone right-hander, Jeff Samardzija.
Samardzija hasn't been able to get his fastball inside to righties, and as a result, he's allowed 13 extra-base hits to right-handed batters this season (8 doubles, 1 triple, 3 home runs).
Right-handed hitters are slugging .505 against Samardzija for the year. By way of comparison, right-handers slugged just .359 against him last season, and have slugged .378 against him in his career.
That's something to watch when Samardzija takes his next start Sunday, and isn't it interesting that the Sox only righty is having more trouble with right-handed hitters than any of the lefties in the rotation?
The Sox will play a three-game series in Oakland this weekend. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday: Rodon vs. Jesse Hahn
Saturday: Danks vs. Jesse Chavez
Sunday: Samardzija vs. Scott Kazmir