Dylan Cease hasn’t gone deep into the game in any of his four appearances this season. The Chicago White Sox right-hander has one advantage entering his start on Thursday — he’s facing his favorite opponent.
Cease has posted nine wins in 30 career starts and five of them have come against the Detroit Tigers. He’ll start against them at home on Thursday, most likely in the nightcap of a doubleheader.
The second game of the three-game series was postponed on Wednesday due to inclement weather. The teams will make up that game before their regularly scheduled game on Thursday. Detroit won the opener on Tuesday 5-2.
Cease has four no-decisions and a 4.15 ERA to show for his four starts this season. He hasn’t gone more than 4 2/3 innings and his last outing was his shortest to date this year. He gave up two runs on three hits and walked three batters in 3 1/3 innings against Texas on Friday.
Cease attributes his issues this season to nibbling too much, rather than trusting his pitches.
“At the end of the day, I’m going to switch my focus a little bit more to kind of aim small, miss small, and just basically have that as my mindset and attack with my pitches,” Cease said. “I’ve been very mechanically focused since last year, trying to fix the cut and all that, and I think I’m ready to take the next step and not worry about that and just compete.”
Matthew Boyd (2-2, 1.82 ERA), Detroit’s top starter, will make his sixth start of the season. Boyd has only given up eight runs, seven earned, this season while working into the seventh inning or later in his last four outings.
Boyd was a tough-luck loser in his last start when he held Kansas City to two runs (one earned) on three hits with no walks in eight innings on Saturday. The Tigers only scored one run for him.
“These games happen,” he said afterward. “We will be on the other side of them soon.”
He has started 16 times in his career against the White Sox, posting a 4-8 record and a 5.16 ERA. He’s struggled against White Sox leadoff hitter Tim Anderson, who has batted .357 with three homers in 42 at-bats against him, and slugger Jose Abreu, who’s hitting .371 with two long balls in 35 at-bats.
In the other pitching matchup, Detroit’s Casey Mize (1-2, 5.23 ERA) will square off against Carlos Rodon (3-0, 0.47 ERA). Mize has lost his last two decisions, while Rodon will be making his second start since tossing a no-hitter against Cleveland on April 14.
For his career, Mize has faced the White Sox twice, failing to get a decision in either start last season with a 4.66 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. Rodon is 2-2 in six career starts against the Tigers with a 6.82 ERA.
The Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak on Tuesday by hitting three homers, including a solo shot by Miguel Cabrera. It was his first long ball since recovering from a biceps strain and coming off the 10-day injured list.
“It was really bad the first weeks of the season,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t know what happened. I was feeling really good (in spring training), but I felt something in the second game of the season. It was bothering me game to game and we decided to stop and take care of it. The last five years I’ve been injured a lot. It’s no fun to play like that.”
–Field Level Media