Results tagged ‘ Dailies ’

A Win Would Be Nice

60938320.jpgIt was a wet, sloppy, messy night at the Cell. I’m talking about the weather AND the Sox performance on the field in the 4-3 loss to the Angels. Granted, there was no blown save and no extra inning heartbreaker, but it also didn’t do anything to inspire confidence that this is a special team.
On the positive side, Phil Humber was decent in his five innings. Jeff Gray was a welcome sight out of the pen holding the Halos at bay until Will Ohman got a key out in the eighth and Sergio Santos, the closer in waiting, shut the door in the ninth to give the South Siders a glimmer of hope. But in the end, the Sox failed to deliver with the potential tying and winning runs on base in the eighth and ultimately haunted by Brent Morel‘s earlier error that caused two unearned runs to score. 
With the way the Sox have been playing at home, it’s a little scary to think they’ll soon be off on an 11-game road trip to Tampa Bay, Detroit and New York. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing that they’ll be leaving their comfort zone and the boo birds who have been so critical of the bullpen and the porous defense.
No, I didn’t forget the Adam Dunn two-run homer off of Sox nemesis Jered Weaver on my list of positives. It was nice, but simply not enough.

Ozzie: “I Might Call Bobby Thigpen”

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With the White Sox bullpen situation at a crisis level, Ozzie sarcastically suggested that Bobby Thigpen, who once held the single-season save record with 57, might be his next option.

Sox Pen Implodes, Thornton Fails Again

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I really don’t know what to say. As I was getting ready to celebrate our eighth victory and a series win over the A’s, the roof fell in. What else is new?
Another blown three-run ninth inning lead, Matt Thornton‘s fourth blown save without recording one and poor performances by Chris Sale and Jesse Crain proved to be too much to overcome as we lose, 7-4. For the record, we lead the major leagues in allowing 12 ninth inning runs. Not good, not good at all.
I really don’t feel like extolling the virtues of John Danks‘ outstanding eight-inning performance and recapping any of our offensive exploits. The bottom line is that we blew another one and we look nothing like a contender.
Even though his new team is having its own struggles, somewhere Bobby Jenks is laughing.
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A’s Endure Cuban Missile Crisis as Sox Prevail

60857660.jpgIt was the Missile’s night. Alexei Ramirez‘s three-run second inning homer gave the Sox a 3-1 lead and his 10th inning walkoff blast sent the fans home happy with a 6-5 victory. And, by the way, we’ll forgive him for his error in the fifth that prompted Ozzie to yank Edwin Jackson before the Pale Hose starter qualified for the for the “W.” Nobody’s perfect.
It was a satisfying win, especially due to the fact there was still a collective hangover from Matt Thornton‘s blown save and Juan Pierre‘s dropped fly ball Monday night. Those bad memories surfaced again in the sixth inning when Alex Rios‘ dropped the club’s sixth fly ball of the season. Fortunately, no damage was done as a result.
Apart from Ramirez, the most positive news resulted from the four scoreless innings–two apiece–by Sergio Santos and Chris Sale. With the bullpen less than effective in our first several games, it was a welcome sight and gave the Sox the chance to ‘hang in.”
And welcome back, Adam Dunn.

A Blown Save and a Dropped Fly Ball Doom Sox

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The White Sox have started the season of being “All In” with a respectable 6-4 record after their first 10 games, but due to some serious bullpen woes and shoddy defense things don’t feel as good as they may seem on the surface.
Three of the Sox losses have resulted into a trio of Matt Thornton blown saves. The man who would be the successor to the much-maligned Bobby Jenks has yet to save a game. In their losses, the Sox have blown two three-run leads and a one-run margin made even worse by dropped fly balls and other miscues. 
Take last night. Mark Buehrle was magnificent, throwing eight innings of scoreless, two-hit baseball. Then the roof fell in. In the ninth, Thornton gave up a leadoff double to Andy LaRoche and pinch runner Cliff Pennington scored when Juan Pierre (pictured above), for the second time in four days, dropped a very catchable fly ball. That tied the game and Kurt Suzuki hit the game-winning homer in the 10th to give Oakland a 2-1 extra inning victory.
If Thornton or his bullpen teammates don’t find the formula to save games and the defense doesn’t play better in clutch situations, the explosive offense will be negated and the summer of “All In” will be a bust.

Sox Win Again; Ozzie Hints at “Closer by Committee”

60799987.jpgOn a day that saw the White Sox dominate Tampa Bay, 6-1, with an outstanding eight-inning performance by Gavin Floyd, two home runs by Paul Konerko and a solo blast by Gordon Beckham (pictured above), I can’t stop thinking about the status of our bullpen.
My focus is there because of Ozzie‘s comments this weekend that he may approach the closer role a bit more democratically than simply turning to Matt Thornton. Earlier this spring when the manager announced that Thornton would be the main guy, he did leave the door open a bit by saying the tall lefty would get most of the save opportunities. But his recent comments, perhaps a result of Thornton’s two blown saves without recording one, seem like he’s getting closer to creating a “committee” with Thornton perhaps the primary option.
In most circumstances I wouldn’t be in favor of having multiple closers, but the flexibility of this year’s pen gives me the confidence that it would work with the situation determining who would close. The candidates are Thornton, Chris Sale, Jesse Crain and Sergio Santos. There are no guarantees, but I would feel comfortable with any of them appearing in a save situation. And at this point, Santos is the hottest of the four with a 0.00 ERA.
For those of you who think the lack of closer stability would be a detriment, think back to 2005. The South Siders started out with Shingo Takatsu, followed with Dustin Hermanson and won a World Series with Bobby Jenks. Granted, it was a very different situation, but I think you see my point. It can work.

Sox Move On From Friday Meltdown as Humber Impresses With His Wicked Curve


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A.J. Pierzynski, whose two-run double in the seventh proved to be the difference in today’s 4-2 White Sox victory, modestly told Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone in the post-game interview that the story of today’s game was fifth starter Philip Humber (pictured above). 

Amen.

Humber’s outstanding performance was just what the Sox needed after last night’s ninth inning meltdown. The former No. 1 draft pick of the Mets, Humber allowed just one run, four hits and two walks with four strikeouts in his six innings of work. Pierzynski added that Humber’s curveball is one of the best he’s seen and rivals Gavin Floyd‘s hook as the best on the Sox staff.
SOX NOTES OF NOTE: Sergio Santos, who pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth inning still hasn’t allowed an earned run since the start of spring training. One of the charter members of my Sox posse is convinced Santos will be the Pale Hose closer by the All-Star break. Could be…Will Ohman seems to be back on track with a clean seventh and Chris Sale, despite giving up a ninth inning homer to Felipe Lopez, earned the save…For those of you that watched the game you witnessed one of the greatest catches you’ll ever see when rightfielder Sam Fuld robbed Juan Pierre of at least a triple and maybe an inside the park grand slam (see below). If you didn’t see it, make sure you find it on the highlight shows. Like Mark Buehrle‘s Opening Day, between-the-legs play last year, Fuld’s grab could very well be voted the outstanding catch of the year even though it happened so early in the season.

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When a Good Win Turns into a Loss

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It was all shaping up so nicely last night. The Sox built an early lead, added on as the Rays got closer and entered the ninth with a 7-4 advantage. All Matt Thornton and his teammates had to do was shut the door on a team which had yet to reach the win column in this young season. 
Not so fast.
A shaky Thornton, sloppy errors by Alexei Ramirez and Juan Pierre and a three-run homer by the mediocre Dan Johnson turned a Sox victory into a demoralizing 9-7 defeat and gave Tampa Bay its first triumph.
As unsettling as Thornton’s “closing” performances have been, it’s still early. Same goes for the Sox defensive meltdown last night so I’m resisting the urge to overreact. I just hope it doesn’t have an effect going forward–both on the South Siders and the now-rejuvenated Rays in the last two games of the series.
Silver Lining: Despite the tough loss, it’s only fair to point out a few positives…As the DH, Mark Teahen went 3 for 4 wth a homer and three RBIs…Jesse Crain pitched two perfect innings and looked great doing it…Paul Konerko collected two hits and an RBI and is very quietly hitting .393…Gordon Beckham‘s three hits, which included his first homer, elevated his BA to .355.

An Explosive Offense, a Thrilling Comeback and an Opening Day Gem Highlight Early Going

60732994.jpgHaving been missing in action, blog-wise, for close to a week, I have tons of thoughts about the beginning of the season.
There were enormous highs from the first two games in Cleveland and the downer that we couldn’t sweep. Then, the “so close, yet so far” 12-inning loss in the K.C. opener and the thrilling come-from-behind extra inning triumph the next night. Yesterday’s home opener was a joy and showcased Edwin Jackson, the man who could turn out to be the ace of the staff in 2011.
All in all, we have to be happy with the 4-2 mark and an offense that seems to be living up to the offseason hype.
Some more opinions and observations:
* Have to admit I was beside myself when the Sox fell behind 5-0 against the Royals in the game they would eventually win. For six innings they looked like the lackluster team from spring training. And I was thinking that maybe the Sox brass needs to rethink how they approach the time that’s spent in Glendale. But then came the rally and my blood pressure returned to a normal level.

* Carlos Quentin has been a monster. As I’ve said all along, a great year by CQ and the offense goes from very good to great.

* Speaking of the offense, almost everyone deserves kudos. A special shout-out to rookie Brent Morel, who certainly looks like he belongs.

* After an emergency appendectomy, is it really possible that Adam Dunn can DH this weekend?

* Bullpen has been hot and cold. I’m not really sure about Tony Pena and Will Ohman and how things will play out this season–frankly, it’s a little scary. Chris Sale has been good and bad–with the good coming in his most recent outing. Matt Thornton got his first blown save of ’11 before he recorded one. And Sergio Santos still has a 0.00 ERA that began in spring training.

* The Sox had no choice but to DFA Lastings Milledge. After the two extra-inning affairs another pitcher was needed. Jeff Gray, the former Cub, is the current answer to the 12th man in the pen.

* Ozzie, do me a favor and hide Mark Teahen’s glove. I know he made a fine play at first base in the Royals series, but…there’s an exception to every rule.

* I guess I’ll have to live with Brent Lillibridge, though I still contend he should be a smarter player than he is.

* So happy to see the great Minnie Minoso (below with Ozzie)  throw out the ceremonial first pitch yesterday. One of my all-time favorites and arguably the most popular player in the club’s history, he is one of a kind.
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Big Bats Prevail…Sox Win Again, 8-3


Two games. Two victories. 23 runs. 29 hits.
And did I mention the impressive batting averages?: Carlos Quentin, .625. Gordon Beckham, .625. Adam Dunn, .429, Paul Konerko, .429. Juan Pierre, .375., A.J. Pierzynski, .333. Brent Morel, .333.
All is well so far in SoxWorld. Guess that 11-20-1 spring training mark didn’t mean a thing. John Danks will be on the mound tomorrow as the Pale Hose go for the opening series sweep.
Final Note: I will be off “on assignment” for the next week so Art of the Pale Hose might not appear as frequently. I’ll be back on my regular schedule soon.

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                                            Quentin and Beckham: On Fire

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