Tagged: Orioles

July 19th Postgame – Orioles blowout Sox

Well, there’s a reason why I need a day job, and there’s a reason no team has ever won a championship “on paper”. Today, all the cards were aligned for the Sox to complete the sweep…and the Orioles kicked their butt. Everyone stunk today. I wonder if the Sox had the same mindset I did and took the game too lightly…This season the team has given up too many games that they should have won. This is something the Sox can not afford to do, especially with their 2nd half schedule. The Sox have an extremely difficult schedule coming up, and have two very hard stretches which will tell the story of the season. Who knows, if the Sox blow it early in this tough stretch, they may turn into sellers, but as it stands now, the Sox will need to hang tough during these games if they seriously want another division title. I will be posting more on the schedule in the coming days. Right now, both the players and fans need to forget this one and enjoy the rest of their Sunday.

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July 19 Pregame – Sox Go For Sweep Against Orioles

The only change for today’s lineup is Ramon Castro playing for Pierzynski. Ever since Jose Contreras came back from the minor leagues, he has used Castro as his personal catcher and it has worked out great for him. It’s also a move that gives A.J. a chance to take a day off, even if he hates doing it. Contreras has been excellent since being sent down to the minors. His overall stats still don’t show it because of how terrible he was before the Sox sent him down (and according to the broadcasters, Jose ASKED to be sent down), but Jose is looking like the pitcher the Sox could depend on 3-4 years ago. A decent effort from Jose should give the Sox the sweep. The Sox offense faces Guthrie today, who already lost to the Sox this year. He does not have great stats, and the hot Sox offense shouldn’t have a problem with him.

July 18th Postgame – Sox squeak by Orioles

The Orioles’ rookie pitched himself a good game today, but one has to think that his psyche was rattled by the error in the 5th inning. Bergesen was cruising along until the error occurred. Sox hitters then followed with 6 straight hits (7 if you count the next half inning, since the 5th ended with a play at the plate). The 4 runs proved to be just enough. Bobby Jenks made things interesting, but saved the game. Mark Buehrle was his usual self, getting himself into a little trouble early, settling down, and then finding his rhythm to work to be both effective and efficient.

Today’s questionable Ozzie decision regards his use of the bullpen. Why in the world would you bring in Scott Linebrink to face Adam Jones after that matchup resulted in a home run last night? Even when you ignore the fact that Linebrink has been less than trustworthy during crucial moments, it’s a weird decision.
Other than Linebrink, there’s not much to complain about today. Good teams make the opposition pay for an error, and the Sox did that in this game. It may have not been pretty at times, but in the end, the team scored more runs than it gave up and Sox fans will take a win any way they can get it.

July 18th Pregame – Sox vs Orioles on FOX

We’ve got a great matchup today. Sox fans might remember Brad Bergesen. Bergesen made his first start against the White Sox earlier this year and shut them down. At the time, Sox fans were pretty upset. “Oh great, another rookie comes up and embarrasses us!” Looking back, it doesn’t look so bad, because Bergesen has been putting together a damn good season. His 3.54 ERA is better than any of the starters in the Sox rotation, and unlike last night’s starter, he has no problem going deep into games. On July 1st, the kid held the Red Sox to 1 run in 8 innings of work. You get the picture, the kid can pitch, and Sox are hoping they learned something from his first start, where he went right after Sox hitters. The good news is that Bergesen has yet to win on the road (although the O’s have won a road game that he started), and the Sox offense has been hot in July. 

Mark Buehrle is starting for the Sox. Buehrle got roughed up in his last start in Minnesota, but was dazzling in his inning at the All-Star Game. In typical Buerhle fashion, if you took a bathroom break, you missed it. Baltimore’s offense put up an 8 spot last night, so Buehrle knows he can not take them for granted. 
We have two very good pitchers facing two good offenses…enjoy it! Same lineup as yesterday, per an ‘Inside the Sox’ Twitter update ( http://twitter.com/InsideTheSox/statuses/2707855973 ):
Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Getz – 2B
Beckham – 3B
Wise – CF
Buehrle -SP
If you’re like me, you’re wondering why Dewayne Wise is still getting a chance to play…the leash has been much shorter on guys like Josh Fields and Brian Anderson. Wise had a miserable performance last night and is a career minor leaguer (over age 30), while the other two I mentioned are younger and guys that were supposed to play a role in the future of the White Sox. The platooning will definitely end when Quentin comes back, but I think Anderson has earned the starting spot until then. He is a much better defender, his offensive numbers are better, and he still brings speed to the table. For those reasons, the change should be made, and Anderson needs to stay on the team when Quentin does come back. Quentin coming back means Podsednik will be moving to center field, and Anderson will provide a great option as his defensive replacement. 

July 17th Postgame – Jim Thome edition – Sox take series opener

The story of the night is Jim Thome. The big man had 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, and 11 total bases   (EDIT: Thome had 8 total bases. I thought walks and advancing on the basepaths were included in that stat. I could’ve sworn an old box score I once looked at included both, but thanks to amick7 for the correction, looks like it’s just bases from hits) , and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy! The offense did its job and has really picked it up in July. This is a great sign considering Carlos Quentin has been out and should return soon. Scott Podsednik continues to be an amazing pickup, getting on base (5 times in 5 at-bats tonight) and setting the table for the big boys in the middle. 
John Danks was a bit disappointing tonight. Danks works himself into trouble way too often with walks. Even if he gets out of the trouble, it hurts his pitch count, keeps him from going deep into games, and taxes the bullpen. Danks clearly has the stuff to be a great pitcher, which implies his problems are mental. As I said in one of my first blog entries, I HATE it when the bullpen has to start the 6th. Tonight was a little more understandble since Danks had thrown a lot of pitches and the bullpen just had four days off. The pitching staff gave up too many runs tonight, but let’s not discredit the Orioles. Offense is not Baltimore’s problem, They have a nice mix of young talent (with guys like Markakis and Jones) and veterans (like Roberts and Scott). 
…Excuse me one second, Jim Thome’s grand slam just landed outside my window….
Back to Danks…tonight he gave up 2 leads very quickly. This is a good question for any fans of other teams that are reading: Do you feel like your pitchers often give up leads quickly (like the next half-inning)? I’m sure there’s a stat on giving up leads…I’ll have to find it. I’m just not sure if it’s a normal fan feeling (do those moments stick out since it’s such an annoying thing?) or if the Sox starters really do have a problem whenever the offense gets them a lead. Again, this could be another mental issue for pitchers. Most players who make it to the big leagues have the physical aspect down, but need to conquer the mental aspect of the game to succeed. Momentum also plays a big role, and shutting down the other team after scoring is a crucial point during a game. 
One more Sox lowpoint: Dewayne Wise. Wise was 0-5 and had a terrible defensive play where he almost knocked himself out by running into the wall. Dewayne Wise, you are no Aaron Rowand. 

July 17 Pregame, Baseball’s Back! – Sox vs Orioles

Welcome back White Sox baseball. Tonight’s lineup, per Scott Reifert’s blog ( http://whitesoxpride.mlblogs.com/ ):

Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Getz – 2B
Beckham – 3B
Wise – CF
and Johnny Danks on the mound. No surprises in the lineup tonight. Anderson vs. lefties and Wise vs. righties seems to be a given until Quentin comes back (and it will be VERY interesting to see what the Sox do with these two when Carlos does come back).
Tonight the Sox get to face their biggest fear, a rookie they’ve never seen before. Jason Berken’s stats aren’t great this year, but he has had a good July, and even though he hasn’t gone deep into games, he has put a string of decent starts together. If the Sox are patient enough, they’ll be able to see that Baltimore bullpen, which is the most overused in the AL.