Results tagged ‘ Gordon Beckham ’

Speaking of Heroes, Don’t Forget Omar and Alexei

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When the White Sox acquired Omar Vizquel in the offseason, the hope was that he could be a veteran utility presence in the infield and a steadying influence on Alexei Ramirez.
As we sit here today, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers and Twins, I don’t know where we would be without Omar. With Mark Teahen out of the lineup, he has provided a huge upgrade defensively and has been a key contributor to the offense as well. As of this morning he’s hitting .277, more than we could have reasonably expected.
Alexei? Whether it’s been Vizquel’s influence or not, he is on fire, both at the plate where his average is up to .284, and at short where he has been as good as anyone in the league.
There have been many heroes in the Sox revitalization. Vizquel, Ramirez and their buddy Gordon Beckham (all pictured above) are right at the top of the list.
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Sunday’s Heartbreak Now in the Rearview Mirror

55047840.jpgYou have to give it to these White Sox. After Sunday’s ninth-inning meltdown in Minnesota, the third Sox loss in a row, no one knew how the club would react as they headed to Seattle and Oakland. Rest easy Sox fans, at least for now.
There are still five more games remaining on the road trip, but the early signs on the West Coast are very promising. Behind a fine performance by 23-year-old Daniel Hudson and homers by Alex Rios and Andruw Jones, the Sox coasted to a 6-1 victory over the Mariners. In the process they increased their division lead to 2 1/2 games over the Tigers and Twins, who both lost–to the Rangers and Indians respectively.
Some highlights:
* The Pale Hose cranked out 12 hits. Omar Vizquel, Rios, Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham led the way with two apiece.
* Vizquel has been a marvel, at the plate and especially in the field. He’s now batting .271.
* Rios had three RBIs, including the two-run homer, giving him 54  for the season in addition to 16 roundtrippers and a .307 BA.
• Paulie continues to sizzle. His two hits last night raised his average to .303.
* Beckham’s surge has been fun to watch. Once languishing on or near the Mendoza line, GBeck is hitting .571 during his current eight-game hitting streak. He’s now at .241 and 
rising. In other words, he’s back to being the Beckham of a year ago.
* Hudson went 6 2/3, giving up only a lone first inning run. Matt Thornton, Tony Pena and Scott Linebrink closed the door in relief, combining for 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
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                                                 Mr. Hudson to the rescue



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First-Place South Siders Continue to Roll

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All eyes were on the White Sox last night. Could they come out of the break with same fire that saw them go 25-5 in the last 30 games? How would they do against the rival Twins as they aimed for their ninth victory in a row–this coming on the heels of the 11-game winning streak?
Aside from a six-run Twins uprising in the second off of John Danks, which saw Minny take the lead after the Sox scored four in the first two frames, it was all good as the Sox held on in the 8-7 squeaker to increase their division lead to a full game over the Tigers.
There was no lack of positive signs. The gutty Danks bounced back to go six innings after giving up six runs in the second, Juan Pierre went 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored, four players (Omar Vizquel, Alex Rios, Mark Kotsay and Gordon Beckham) pounded out a pair of hits each with Beckham and Rios both going 2 for 3 with two RBIs apiece. And GBeck added a long second-inning homer.
Additionally, the pen did what they had to do with three clutch two-out strikeouts to end Twins rallies–Matt Thornton (Jason Kubel) in the seventh, Bobby Jenks (Orlando Hudson) and Jenks (Jim Thome) to end the game in the ninth.
With  a lot of heroes to choose from, the best part of last night for me was the continuing emergence of Beckham as the same guy we saw in 2009. His bat is perking up, his power is back, he’s been sparkling in the field and his average is up to .221 and climbing. That average might not seem like much, but it’s a big improvement from where it’s been in the early going.
Many folks agree that Beckham is the key to the Sox offense. I’m one of them. His presence in the lineup was enormous last year and adding a vintage GBeck to Rios, Paul KonerkoCarlos Quentin and the rest can only mean good things for The Good Guys.
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Some Musings as First-Place White Sox Begin Second Half of Season Against the Twins

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With the All-Star Game break, the blog has been dark for the past three days. But the Sox are back in action today–and so am I.
Here are a few thoughts as the Sox attempt to continue the surge that moved them into the A.L. Central lead after Sunday’s win against the Royals.
–The Sox have reported that Jake Peavy‘s surgery yesterday could not have gone better. Jake, see you in Glendale.
–The South Siders’ No. 1 draft pick, Chris Sale (pictured below), has been promoted from Class A Winston-Salem to AAA Charlotte after only four one-inning stints. Seems like he’s doing his Daniel Hudson imitation, only quicker. He could be in Chicago before too long.
–Those Adam Dunn to the White Sox rumors continue. Reports are that the Nationals are holding out for Gordon Beckham. If that’s the case, it won’t happen. Beckham’s 2010 struggles aside, Gordo is a keeper and the Sox know it.
–I haven’t seen it reported anywhere, but if the acquisition of Dunn doesn’t materialize–and I think Prince Fielder is out of the question–how about adding Raul Ibanez as a lefty bat in the Sox lineup? I’ve always liked him (actually hated him) because of his great success against the Sox over the years. Word is that the Phils wouldn’t mind parting with Raul.
–The Sox are hoping to start a new tradition tonight at Target Field. A tradition of dominating the Twins on their home field. The pitching matchups for the weekend:
TONIGHT: John Danks vs. Kevin Slowey
TOMORROW NIGHT: Gavin Floyd vs. Francisco Liriano
SATURDAY NIGHT: Mark Buehrle vs. Carl Pavano
SUNDAY: Freddy Garcia vs. Nick Blackburn

–After the four games in Minnesota, the Sox play three in Seattle, enjoy an off day and then travel to Oakland for three before returning home on July 26 vs. the Mariners.
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While Peavy Prepares for Surgery, Hudson Hopes to Keep Sox on a Roll Heading into All-Star Break

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Dan Hudson (above), who was so impressive in his short stint with the White Sox last year and is 11-4 with Charlotte in 2010, takes the mound at the Cell today against Zack Greinke and the Royals as he tries to help the Sox win their eighth in a row.
Hudson’s appearance will follow another gem by a Sox starter. This time it was Gavin Floyd‘s one-run, 7 2/3 inning performance in last night’s 5-1 Sox win. It’s hard to believe how dominating Sox pitching has been. In the last three series–nine games–they have allowed only 17 runs and no more than three in a single game.
The South Siders have also found their homer stroke. Carlos Quentin hit a pair last night, Gordon Beckham slugged his third of the season and A.J. Pierzynski went deep twice the night before. Pitching, power and the recent outstanding defense is a pretty solid combination, right?.
Standings Update:  With the Tigers’ second straight triumph over the slumping Twins, the Sox remain a half-game out of the division lead with the possibility of reaching the top today with a win and a Detroit loss to Minnesota…the Twins are now 3 1/2 games behind the Sox, amazing since the Chicagoans were 9 1/2 behind them as recently as last month…The Pale Hose have won 13 of their last 14 at the Cell.
Paulie an All-Star:  It’s unfortunate that it was a result of someone else’s injury as he should have been selected out of the gate, but Paul Konerko has been named to the A.L. All-Star team to replace concussion-plagued Justin Morneau. He’ll join the entire 25-man Yankee roster in Anaheim (OK, I’m exaggerating).
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     All-Star Konerko congratulates Quentin after No. 20’s second homer last night


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If You Cut Through All of the Clutter, the Sox Should Be the Story of the Day

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In the city of Chicago, the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup hangover, the rumor than Lebron and Bosh are on their way to the Bulls and the Zambrano meltdown are overshadowing something pretty special brewing on the South Side. It was another day and another victory for the surging Pale Hose, making it 10 in a row–the club’s most consecutive wins since 1976–and 14 of 15.
It was simply a great day as…

Jake Peavy stymies Cubs in the 6-0 whitewash…Carlos Quentin hits a first inning three-run homer…Gordon Beckham slugs round-tripper and drives in two…Mets beat Twins…Braves defeat Tigers…The Sox move within a game and a half of the division-leading Twinkies and only a game behind Detroit.
I know, pretty hard to believe.


standings


TEAM W L % GB
Minnesota 40 33 .548 -
Detroit 39 33 .542 0.5
Chi White Sox 38 34 .528 1.5

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There’s Nothing Like a Suicide Squeeze to Lift the Spirits as the White Sox Make Positive Strides

54351342.jpgTime will tell whether or not the White Sox are legitimate contenders to catch and surpass the Twins–or the Tigers for that matter.
But we’re all adults here (most of us anyway) and we can face the reality of not making the postseason. After all, except for nine seasons (1906, 1917, 1919, 1959, 1983, 1993, 2000, 2005, 2008) in the club’s long history we’ve failed to accomplish it.
What I’m saying is that as Sox fans what we really want is something to root for–and the team’s performance in the early going has made it tough. But if the South Siders play an aggressive, exciting brand of ball with more wins than losses we’ll deal with it. We won’t be totally happy because in the past few years expectations have risen, but it’ll be OK and the summer won’t be ruined. Nothing’s worse than a summer without having fun rooting for your favorite team.
The good news is that contender or not the Sox are playing better, having won six of eight including last night’s 6-4 victory over the Pirates. And the best parts of the contest? Gordon Beckham looked like the 2009 Beckham with two hits and three RBI and the starting pitching continued its comeback. And the Juan Pierre-Beckham suicide squeeze (see picture above) was a real bonus.
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Will Morales’ Fluke Injury Fuel a Sox Shakeup?

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You knew at some point a player would be injured in one of those walk-off celebrations at home plate. And it happened yesterday when Angels’ slugger Kendry Morales fractured his leg after hitting a grand slam in the 10th inning to defeat the Mariners.
Unfortunate for the Angels. Unfortunate for Morales. And maybe it’ll be the beginning of the long-awaited Sox shakeup.
It’s purely speculation on my part, but with the Sox in the doldrums, the Angels now in need of power at first base and Paul Konerko‘s contract expiring at season’s end, it’s not out of the question that a deal could be worked out. Considering Paulie almost signed with the Halos after the 2005 season, he lives in relatively nearby Scottsdale and has a good relationship with LA skipper Mike Scioscia, it makes even more sense.
I’m the last one to want to give up on the season before June 1, but it just seems like the handwriting is on the wall that some changes need to be made. The Sox have given no indication that they are going to be a contender, they’re on the old side and their top prospects have been disappointing–from Gordon Beckham with the Sox to Jordan Danks and Tyler Flowers at Charlotte.
Because of what he’s done for the franchise, Konerko’s No. 14 could very well be retired in the years to come. His contributions to the Sox through the years, especially in 2005, won’t be forgotten. But maybe it’s time. Time for the Sox to start thinking about an overhaul–beginning with Konerko.
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We Can’t Blame it on Rios…or Freddy…or Santos…or Thornton

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With the White Sox having the dubious distinction of a league-low team batting average of .235 and a comparable mark with runners in scoring position, their 21-27 won-loss mark is no surprise. In fact, you could make the argument that it should be worse.
Amid the underperforming hitters is Alex Rios, whose .309 batting average is about 60 points more than the next regular, Juan Pierre (.251), and 108 points higher than last year’s rookie sensation, Gordon Beckham. Paul Konerko, whose average has dwindled to under .250, has come through on the power side, but Rios has been the man overall adding 10 homers and 25 RBI. He did it again last night with the key two-run homer off of David Price in the 4-2 victory over the first-place Rays. He’s been a godsend.
That goes for Freddy Garcia as well, who bounced back from his horrendous outing against the Marlins to dominate Tampa Bay last night. He’s been pretty darn good for a fifth starter especially since his fellow starters, for the most part, have underperformed. While we’re at it, we have to add Sergio Santos, he of the 0.50 ERA, and Matt Thornton (1.77) to the mix of stalwarts.
The common denominator here is that all of the above have been significant contributors for the first two months of the season and each had a hand in the win last night.
I don’t know where we’d be without them.
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We’re Well Aware of the Present, How About the Future?

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The spring training of 2009 offered something Sox fans hadn’t seen in a long time–bonafide position prospects. Gordon Beckham, Chris Getz, Brandon Allen, Dayan Viciedo (above), Jordan Danks and Tyler Flowers were among them and offered a glimpse of what appeared to be a bright future for the South Siders.
More than a year later, things have changed. That’s not to say all is lost, but right now the situation is very different and critics are questioning the Sox future.
* Beckham is hitting .194

* Getz, traded to the Royals in the Mark Teahen deal, is batting .188

* Allen, dealt to the D-backs for Tony Pena, is now at AAA Reno hitting .216 with three homers and 11 RBI.

* Viciedo, now 21 and moved to first base, is hitting .297 with 10 home runs and 23 RBI at AAA Charlotte. Certainly promising.

* Danks, who was so impressive in the Arizona Fall League and had a good spring, has a .218 BA with two homers and 19 RBI for the Knights.

* Flowers, the prize in the Javier Vazquez deal and the heir apparent to A.J. Pierzynski, has eight homers and 18 RBI, but is hitting .220 at Charlotte.
So, with the big league floundering with one of the oldest rosters in the majors and some of our top prospects failing to live up to expectations (plus the injury to ’09 top pick Jared Mitchell), where do the Sox go from here?
KW, any comment?
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