Tagged: White Sox

July 24th Postgame – Sox Blow Golden Opportunities, Go 0-2 in the DH

The Sox follow ecstasy with disappointment today after losing both games of the double-header. They now sit 2 games behind Detroit in the standings.

Bartolo Colon did his job tonight. Colon delivered a quality start, but the offense couldn’t pay him back. The Sox had no situational hitting tonight while facing a pitcher they should have hit. This was a blast from the past that Sox fans did not want to see: hit a home run or two, take yourself out of innings (seen when Ozzie entrusted Wise with a hit and run early in the game) and sputter until the end of the game. Castro also hurt the Sox when he couldn’t bring in runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs late in the game. 
I have another gripe with Ozzie and his handling of the bullpen, AGAIN. Like I said last week, Scott Linebrink has proven that he can not be trusted. Why in the world would he be the first guy you go to in a tie game in the 8th inning? Let them beat your best! Let’s go back in time:
– July 17th – Sox vs. Orioles – Linebrink is brought into a 6-3 game. He gives up a hit to Roberts and a HR to Jones to make it 6-5. Linebrink gives up another hit, but gets out of it. The next day, July 18th, the Sox lead 4-1, Buehrle gives up a couple hits in the 8th, Adam Jones is up, and who does Ozzie bring in? Linebrink. Jones quickly singles, Linebrink is pulled, and Thornton comes in to save the day with the bases loaded. So Linebrink was brought in to face Adam Jones, who had homered off of him the night before?
– July 20th – Sox vs. Rays – Sox lead 4-3 in the 8th. Linebrink is called upon to relieve Gavin Floyd. Linebrink gets an out but gives up a hit and a walk, and again, Thornton is called upon to save Linebrink and Ozzie (and he is successful). 
-Tonight – Sox vs. Tigers – Linebrink is called on in the 8th to relieve the starter against the top of the order. He gets an out and then proceeds to load the bases. Again, Thornton is called upon to save the day, but is not perfect this time, and walks in the deciding run before getting out of the inning.
These are examples of Ozzie using Linebrink in big situations. Why? These are situations that used to go to Dotel, Thornton, or both. Dotel has his faults, but I trust him much more than Linebrink. I know that Dotel was used in Game 1 today, but honestly, I would have much rather wasted Linebrink in Game 1 once it was known that Contreras turned in a decent outing and you had no idea what you were going to get from Colon in a big game for the Sox. Linebrink has now suffered his 5th loss of the year. 3 of those losses have come against the Tigers…

Sox Lose Game 1 of Double-Header, Look To Colon In Game 2

Game 1 Postgame

Verlander takes care of the Sox with a complete game today. He was on the ropes a few times during the game but got himself out of it. The Sox did not have a very good approach this afternoon. There were way too many quick innings by the offense. Verlander is very good at home and the Sox should’ve been a little more patient later in the game to get to the bullpen (Rodney has been good but the rest of the bullpen has 17 blown saves). Verlander is a freak, however, and again showed he can get stronger late in the game (with the gun coming in over 100 m.p.h. in one of the last pitches of the game). On the other side, it was a positive outing for Contreras. He stayed long enough in the game to rest the bullpen in case it is needed tonight.

Game 2 Pregame

The Sox lineup for Game 2, per Mark Gonzales’ Twitter account ( http://twitter.com/MDGonzales/status/2825311919 ):
Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Beckham – 3B
Wise – CF
Castro – C
Colon – SP
Castro catches Colon in game 2. Quentin gets a break as well. The lineup should be okay tonight with Detroit starting Eddie Bonine. This is Eddie’s first start of the season (and 6th in his career). Bonine pitched out of the bullpen in April and did not fare that well. The question mark is Bartolo Colon. I really have no idea what to expect from him and the Sox are hoping for a quality start to salvage the double-header.

July 24 Pregame – Sox in Detroit – Game 1

The Sox have a quick turnaround from their dramatic afternoon as they fly to Detroit to take on the Tigers. The timing on this series is great from a baseball fan’s perspective since the Tigers and White Sox are now tied for first place. Including the doubleheader today, neither team wants any worse than a split in the 4 game series. 

The White Sox lineup for game 1 from Scott Reifert’s Twitter account ( http://twitter.com/InsideTheSox/status/2818991502 ): 
Wise – CF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Quentin – LF
Getz – 2B
Beckham – 3B
Contreras – SP
The big surprise in this lineup is Wise leading off. Wise was one of the hottest topics in baseball after his amazing catch yesterday; we’ll see if he can ride that momentum into today. I am also  surprised that Castro is not catching Contreras. Castro, who caught Buehrle’s perfect game yesterday, has been Jose’s personal catcher since Contreras returned from the minors. For the most part, Jose has found success with Castro, but was roughed up last time out against Baltimore. You figure Castro will play in Game 2 (it could also be possible that Colon requested him), but I’m also surprised since Ozzie is picking the lefty against Verlander. A.J. is hitting over .300 against Verlander, so it’s nice to see Ozzie straying from an obsession with playing the percentages. 
Sox fans know Verlander well. Justin has a stellar 1.34 E.R.A. with a 6-0 record at home this year. He doesn’t give up a lot of home runs or walks, and figures to be a tough customer for the Sox today. The Sox should have some hope going into this game. In the past the Sox have given Verlander a tough time, even when the rest of the league has trouble with him. Verlander has a 3-9 career record and 5.44 E.R.A. against the Sox. That is Verlander’s worst career E.R.A. for any team he has faced over 3 times.
One quick note for Game 2, Bartolo Colon will be making the start, and to make room for Colon, the Sox sent rookie Carlos Torres back down to AAA. Torres had a quality start in his major league debut against the Rays.

Mark Buehrle, White Sox legend

You can’t say enough about the things Mark Buehrle has done for this franchise. 

On The Field

– Career record: 132-90
– Since 2001, he has pitched more than 200 innings and won at least 10 games every year
– 4 All-Star game selections (1 start)
– Started Game 2 of the 2005 World Series (which the Sox won) and got the save in the wild Game 3 which went 14 innings  
– 2007 no-hitter against Texas (one walk to Sosa was the only blemish. Sosa was then picked off and Buehrle still faced the minimum) 
– Hit his first career home run this year in Milwaukee
– And now, a PERFECT GAME
Mark Buehrle’s style is something that makes this accomplishment even more special. For years, baseball “analysts” speculated he would never pitch a no-hitter. They would give him the benefit of the doubt for being a great pitcher, but said he’d never do it since his stuff is not overpowering and he’s a guy who relies on things like location and his defense. Never say never because Mark has made all those people look foolish. 
Mark is also a great defender and says one of his goals is to win the Gold Glove. Besides that, 20 wins (he had 19 in 2002) and the Cy Young, there isn’t much left for Mark to achieve. That’s saying a lot for a guy who really flies under the radar considering what he has accomplished. 
Off the Field

The best part of Buehrle’s success is that he’s a great guy. He has fun with the game and appreciates the fans. He is as close as an athlete can get to being a regular guy. He is very modest and humble. From spending times with the fans to sliding on the tarp during rain delays, Mark is one of the good guys in this game. Just like in his 2007 no-hitter, Buehrle spent most of the game talking to his teammates in the dugout, jokingly asking them “did you know I’ve got a no-hitter going on?”. His teammates love him for his personality, but also appreciate his traits on the field. The defense must love playing behind one of the quickest workers in baseball. Mark appreciates the White Sox and showed his loyalty by taking a favorable deal a couple years ago. He could’ve been traded at the time, gone on to make a lot more money, and pitched for teams like Boston (who were rumored to be the favorites to land Buehrle in a possible trade), but he took less and accepted an extension in Chicago.
Game Tidbits
There have been a lot of fun facts coming out from the game today. 
– The Sox offense today? 5 runs on 6 hits. That 5-6-0 looks just as special as the Rays’ line on the box score (A great job by Josh Fields today to take advantage of his start)
– The umpire, Eric Cooper, also called Buehrle’s last no-hitter. The real ironic part? Cooper’s number is 56, the same as Buehrle.
– Dewayne Wise, who had the amazing game saving catch, was a member of the 2004 Atlanta Braves. That is the team that Randy Johnson threw a perfect game against. I can’t say enough about Wise (and by the way, Wise robbed Gabe Kapler. Last year Chris Young had a perfect game in the 8th inning until Kapler hit a home run). I have given him and the Sox a beating regarding their decision to keep Wise on the major league team, but I will gladly eat crow today. Does history change if Wise was sent down this week when Quentin came back? The ground that Wise covered, the timing, holding on to the bobble, the circumstances…WHAT A CATCH
– The fact that it was done against the Tampa Bay Rays makes it even more impressive. The defending A.L. champs currently have the 3rd best batting average and 2nd best on-base percentage in the A.L.
– 1st place! This win put the Sox in a tie for first place with the Detroit Tigers. The Sox now go to Detroit for a huge 4 game series, including a double-header tomorrow. 
And I will finish this post with a cool little story Mark told after the game. Mark and A.J. Pierzynski have a running joke about personal catchers whenever someone else catches Buehrle. Today it was Ramon Castro (who actually caught Buehrle for the first time ever. Castro was acquired from the Mets this year. I guess there’s another fun little connection, since the Mets have never had a no-hitter in their history). Before the game, Mark and A.J. were joking with each other about it, and had a conversation that went something like this:
A.J: Come on, you never go deep into games anymore, you’ve got your own catcher, throw a complete game
Mark: I don’t know, I think I’ve past the point where I can finish my own game (something the Sox post-game crew joked with Buehrle about on July 2nd in KC. Buehrle pitched into the 9th but had to be pulled for Jenks to close the game)
A.J: Come on…just go out there and throw a no-hitter
Mark: But I’ve already got one of those
A.J: Alright, then throw a perfect game…
CONGRATULATIONS MARK BUEHRLE

July 23rd Pregame – Sox face Rays this afternoon in series finale

Very quickly, the lineup (Scott Reifert Twitter update http://twitter.com/InsideTheSox/status/2801850600 ) :

Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Konerko – DH
Quentin – LF
Beckham – 3B
Nix – 2B
Castro – C
Fields – 1B
Buehrle – SP
A bit of a diluted lineup today. Thome gets the day off and Fields seems to be getting a little more of a chance lately. Piezynski gets the day off after the night game, which was expected. It’s good to see Quentin in the lineup today. He had a nice sliding catch last night, and it’s good to see that an ailment is not keeping him out of the lineup. Other than Podsednik, every hitter is right handed, which feeds into Guillen’s matchup obssesion (even though, again, the opposing pitcher, a lefty, gives up hits at a higher rate against lefties). 
Today the Sox face Scott Kazmir who is having a rough season (and battling injuries), though he has been much better on the road this year. He is coming off a good outing in KC. Tampa Bay also has its second highest winning percentage when Kazmir starts games.
So, we end this great series with a rematch of Game 2 of the 08 ALDS, let’s hope for a different result!

July 22nd Postgame – Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cuban

The Sox rebound nicely after last night’s disaster and set themselves up for no worse than a split heading into the series finale. Alexei Ramirez and Jermaine Dye save the Sox offense with the help of some terrible CF defense by B.J. Upton. Even more unlikely then the Rays’ gaffes this series was the home run by Scott Podsednik. Carlos Torres kept the Sox in the game, and you can’t say enough about his effort. A quality start with 6 IP and 3 ER in his major league debut against a very good lineup comes up big, followed by D.J. Carrasco’s quick inning of holding down the Rays were part of a great effort in the win. 

Ozzie Guillen had Matt Thornton go 2 innings to close out the game. I normally don’t like relievers being stretched out when not used to it, but it worked tonight. There can be a few different schools of thought towards not going to your closer tonight, but I have no problem with Jenks getting the night off. Jenks will get a chance to redeem himself, but returning to the scene of the crime too soon could’ve led to another meltdown. One thing that troubled me tonight was the performance of Jim Thome, who is now 0 for 9 since sitting in the series opener. At the time, Thome was red hot and coming off a ‘Player of the Week’  award. Even if he would’ve faced a lefty, you shouldn’t really mess with what’s working, especially when dealing with a future hall-of-famer. 

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

Jenks blows brilliant outing for Richard – July 21st Postgame

There is no other way to put it. This loss rests entirely on the shoulders of Bobby Jenks. It’s one thing to get hit around. It’s another thing to hit batters and give up walks in critical spots. Unfortunately, the unbelievable outing by Clayton Richard gets lost in the shuffle.

More to come later in the night…I need a break after a game like that

Alright, Clayton Richard deserves some more attention. 8 IP, 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 K’s and 1 earned run. His fastball really had some action tonight. I’m not sure if the extra rest helped him. It could also be a matchup factor with the Rays, who Richard performed well against in last year’s playoffs (1.42 ERA in 6 and a third, out of the bullpen). His mentality may have also helped him. This was a big start for both Clayton and the team, and he probably gained some confidence after the Rays came out of the 3rd inning with just one run. Bottom line, Clayton came up huge for the Sox tonight. It’s a shame his start was wasted and the Sox threw away a possible win with such an unlikely performance.

Like I said, all the blame goes to Jenks. Could the Sox offense have done better? Sure, they squandered some opportunities, but Niemann is a great pitcher and in the end, it was a Sox lead in the 9th and Jenks did not do his job. As a fan, I can only hope that this type of game doesn’t have a carryover effect.


A blog post wouldn’t be complete without complaining about an annoying Ozzie Guillen tendency. Again, I hate a pinch hitter being used against a closer, and I hate Ozzie’s obsession with avoiding R/R and L/L matchups. This happened when Nix pinch hit for Getz, even though Getz, a lefty, has a better average against lefties, and Howell, a lefty, has a higher batting average against stat against lefties.

Also, an important note for tomorrow’s game. John Danks has been scratched because of a blister and the Sox have called up Carlos Torres to make his debut and start in his place. http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090721&content_id=5980586&vkey=news_cws&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws


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