Tagged: pregame

July 22 Pregame – White Sox look to recover against Rays; Torres makes debut, Poreda sent down

As we learned yesterday, John Danks is missing his start tonight. Luckily it doesn’t seem to be anything serious and this should be the only missed start. The Sox have called up Carlos Torres to face the Rays tonight. Torres has nice numbers in AAA, going 8-4 with a 2.20 ERA. It’s only AAA, but those are solid numbers considering he pitches in a hitter’s park in Charlotte. He will have a tough test against the Rays lineup. Hopefully he can have some sort of edge by this being a last minute change and the Rays not knowing much about Torres. 

The Sox sent down Aaron Poreda to make room for Torres. I thought Poreda should have gotten a shot at the 5th starter spot, but he was taken away from pitching regularly and was being used too sparingly. For this reason, I like the move of him going back down and starting again. 
Tonight the Sox face James Shields, who is starting to rack up multiple good years in the majors. Shields will throw strikes and he doesn’t give up a ton of walks, so the Sox will have to be able to put a few hits together and play smart to score tonight. The same lineup as last night per beat writer Mark Gonzales’ blog on the Tribune website: 
Podsednik – CF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Quentin – LF
Getz – 2B
Beckham – 3B

July 21 Pregame – Sox and Rays back at it again

Has everyone recovered from last night’s game? Well, it doesn’t matter, because baseball has a short turnaround and players better be ready to go the next day. Tonight’s lineup, per Mark Gonzales’ Twitter update ( http://twitter.com/MDGonzales/status/2762568463 ):

Podsednik – CF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Quentin – LF
Getz – 2B
Beckham – 3B

Clayton Richard – SP

With the exception of any injuries, trades, a 2nd base platoon and maybe a few spots in the order, this is the Sox lineup for the rest of the year, and I have to say, it looks pretty damn solid. Today the offense has a tough test in Jeff Niemann. Niemann is coming off a complete game shutout against Oakland. The Sox may be lucky to score 3-4 runs tonight. The Rays clearly have the edge tonight, as they face Clayton Richard. Richard wasn’t bad against the Rays in the playoffs last year, but he is starting to show he is not a reliable starting pitcher. Richard last started on July 9th against Cleveland, and couldn’t register more than one inning. The Sox really need to hope for the unexpected tonight.

Back to last night…who happened to see the Oakland-Twins game? The Twins blew a huge lead and ended up losing on a questionable call at the plate. Former Sox prospect Gio Gonzalez gives up 11 earned runs and comes away with a no decision. Check out the box score:

So, a wild Sox win and a crazy game blown by the Twins leads to great night for the Palehose, who are now 1 game back of Detroit. Let’s hope the Sox can ride some sort of momentum wave into tonight’s game.


July 20th Pregame – White Sox bring up Quentin, send down Anderson; Rays come to town

The Carlos Quentin is back…and it comes at the expense of Brian Anderson. Let’s start off with Quentin. Obviously, sticking Quentin in the middle of the order is going to help both the entire lineup and the bottom of the order. It’ll be interesting to see how Carlos does. The general belief is that he is still banged up, but the only way he’ll be able to play is to tough it out and play through pain. Because of this, Sox fans probably shouldn’t expect the MVP performance of last year, but he is still a welcome addition. 

Mark Gonzales, White Sox beat writer, has the lineup today per his Twitter account (http://twitter.com/MDGonzales/status/2743867038): 

Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Quentin – LF
Beckham – 3B
Getz – 2B Nix – 2B (Update: Not sure if Getz was scratched or if Mark just had it wrong)
Fields – DH
Floyd – SP
Quentin starts off hitting 6th, which is a nice move since the Sox offense has been doing well recently and too much pressure isn’t thrown onto Carlos. I am a little surprised he isn’t a DH tonight. Thome is sitting against a lefty (even though he is red hot. Ozzie loves those %s…). Tonight the Sox face the talented David Price, who showed everyone what he had during last year’s playoff run. Price hasn’t won a game on the road this year, and has been roughed up in a few of his starts, but is coming off a good start. 
Let’s face it, the Sox offense has been fine recently. If the Sox want to win games, the pitching has to step it up. Floyd beat the Rays in Tampa this year, but has had his share of struggles. He has been good at home, and his great June showed hope of a return to last season’s form, but he has been average in his two starts in July (though his last start in Minnesota was better than his stats lead on). 
Now, back to Quentin…there has been speculation these past weeks about who would be the roster casualty, and it’s Brian. For many Sox fans, this is a tough pill to swallow. The move makes me wonder about Ozzie playing favorites and having some personal problem with Anderson. Since Anderson, a great defender, was slated to be the CF heir in 2006, he has battled Rob Mackowiak, Darin Erstad, and an older Ken Griffey Jr. for playing time. The problem with Anderson has always been his offense, but he has never really gotten a chance to prove himself. He had a tough start at the plate, just like Gordon Beckham when he came up, but Beckham got time and came out of his hitting woes in a fury. Now if you compare Dewayne Wise to Brian Anderson, you start to really wonder why this decision was made. Here are their stats this year:
Career numbers tell the same story. Anderson is also a good base runner and a much better defender. In fact, he has been used as a late game defensive replacement many times since 2005. Remember, Quentin in LF also moves Podsednik, who is not the strongest defender, to CF. Wouldn’t it be smarter to keep a guy like Anderson on the team…? Something’s not right here…

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 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 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. 

July 12th Pregame, Sox in Minnesota

Quite simply, this is a game the Sox should win. Baker is a pitcher the Sox should light up, and Buehrle is an All-Star. 

Again, Ozzie puts Podsednik in center, which worries me since Buehrle loves to rely on his defense. I’m sure Ozzie is testing this alignment for when Quentin returns, but the Dome seems to be the worst place for a test run. Also, with Anderson’s great game yesterday, one would hope he’d earn another start and more playing time. Hopefully the offense scores enough to ease the Sox into victory. 
Lineups: