Despite the split in Toronto, there were encouraging signs that the Sox might start hitting and playing better baseball overall.
That certainly wasn’t the case last night as Tribe rookie Matt Talbot (pictured above) dominated the South Siders 6-2 . The Sox, the pick of many to win the AL Central, are now 4-7 and in last place four games behind the division-leading Twins.
“Like I keep saying,” a seemingly patient Ozzie told reporters after the game. “When you’re not swinging the bat good, you’re not pitching well, the more you think about it, the worse it gets.”
It’s not that Ozzie won’t be making adjustments. Today, he will move Mark Teahen and AJ Pierzynski up in the order and will put Andruw Jones in left against Cleveland’s Jake Westbrook. It’ll be Jake Peavy, trying to rebound, for the Pale Hose.
As satisfying as it was to watch the White Sox blank the Tribe 6-0 in today’s opener at The Cell, the impressive victory has already been cast aside as an afterthought to Mark Buehrle‘s mind-boggling play to retire Cleveland catcher Lou Marson. It was even more remarkable than Buehrle’s seven shutout innings and Paul Konerko‘s two-run homer in the first which gave the Sox the lead for good.
Here’s what happened. The Sox were leading 4-0 in the fifth inning with one away when Marson struck Buehrle’s foot with a smash back to the mound. Buehrle went after the ball, which went foul, tossed the ball with his glove between his legs and Konerko caught it with his bare hand. My description doesn’t do the play justice–nor does the photo below. You had to see it to believe it.
Buehrle’s effort brought to mind that Sox fans have now witnessed arguably three of the most astonishing defensive plays in baseball history.
Remember this gem by Tadahito Iguchi in April of 2006? Priceless.
And, of course, DeWayne Wise‘s Perfect Game-saving catch last July…
Note of the day: Five years ago, Buehrle faced Jake Westbrook on Opening Day with Buehrle also getting the win on a shutout (1-0). As we know, the Sox went on to win the World Series. I’m just saying…
The long cold winter and six weeks of spring training are in the rear-view mirror. It’s time to play for real. Let’s hope the White Sox take the first step toward an AL Central title and a trip to the postseason.
Today’s Opening Day lineups:
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Grady Sizemore, CF
Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Travis Hafner, DH
Jhonny Peralta, 3B
Matt LaPorta, 1B
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B
Lou Marson, C
Michael Brantley, LF
Jake Westbrook, P
Juan Pierre, LF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Carlos Quentin, RF
Paul Konerko, 1B
Mark Kotsay, DH
Alex Rios, CF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Mark Teahen, 3B
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Mark Buehrle, P