Another nail-biter, another win for the White Sox as they sweep the Mariners. On Friday, it was Andruw Jones‘s walkoff, yesterday it was deja vu with Alex Rios the hero and today it was Paul Konerko‘s eighth inning homer that helped the Pale Hose squeak by, 3-2.
Three one-run victories, three dramatic game-winning homers and the Sox have come back to life. And John Danks has proven to be the early go-to guy on the pitching staff, hurling another gem today and improving to 3-0 with a miniscule 1.55 ERA.
The Sox have now played 19 games–eight have been decided by one run with our record in those games standing at 6-2. If the first three weeks are any indication, I guess we have to accept that they’ll be a lot of close games this season. Be prepared.
Sox notes of note: One of the keys to the Sox sweep of Seattle had to be the fact that Sox pitching held their No. 1 and 2 hitters Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins to a mere five hits in 24 at bats in the three games. Keep those guys off the bases and you’ve got a good chance to do what we did…Terrific feature story on Sergio Santos in today’s New York Times.
It had all the makings of another heartbreaking loss, but Andruw Jones–celebrating his 33rd birthday–made MY wish come true tonight with a walk-off home run in the ninth to give the White Sox a 7-6 victory over the Mariners. It was his second blast of the game.
Going into the top of the seventh, the Sox looked safe with a 5-2 lead as Gavin Floyd was in control and backed up by Jones, Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin homers. But visions of a win faded quickly as Jose Lopez tagged former teammate J.J. Putz for a grand slam to put Seattle up 6-5.
The Sox tied it up in the bottom of the seventh on a clutch double by Alex Rios. They then held the Mariners scoreless in the eighth and ninth thanks to Matt Thornton‘s 2 1/3 perfect innnings, highlighted by five strikeouts. It set the stage for Jones’s two-out heroics.
Andruw, thanks, we needed that. Happy Birthday and many more.
Jake Peavy: 7 runs, 7 hits, 7 walks in 4 1/3 innings. White Sox lose to Rays 10-2 last night.
Mark Buehrle: 6 runs, 9 hits in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday night. Rays beat Sox 12-0.
The Pale Hose Offense: 4 hits Wednesday, 6 hits last night with a total of two runs.
Enough said for now. Mariners at The Cell this weekend.
We all know that preseason predictions mean nothing–nada, zilch, zero. And while we shouldn’t take them seriously, it’s still a lot of fun–especially when the so-called experts pick your team to win.
Historically, it’s very rare when the baseball media elite pick the White Sox to win their division, let alone the AL pennant or World Series. It’s not that much different this year as the Twins seem to be the most common pick to conquer the AL Central. That said, there are a few “big name” media types among those who have picked the South Siders:
* Hall of Fame electee Bill Madden of the New York Daily News and author of the forthcoming bio of George Steinbrenner.
* Fox Sports‘ Ken Rosenthal, who somewhat tongue-in-cheek picked the Sox to win the World Series while referring to them “Team Wacko.” Think that had anything to do with our Ozzie?
* ESPN‘s Tim Kurkjian, who doesn’t exactly wear a Sox jersey on the weekends.
* Jon Heyman, he of SI, SI.com and the MLB Network.
Since I’m drinking the prediction Kool-Aid, I might as well add my two cents. Here are my divisional picks for 2010:
1. White Sox
2. Red Sox
5. Blue Jays
It’s a pretty unusual occurrence, but rain did indeed wash away the Sox-Cubs rematch this afternoon in Glendale.
Jake Peavy, who was set to make his first spring start, will have to settle for working two or three simulated innings to keep him on schedule.
Sox host the much-improved Mariners at Camelback Ranch tomorrow.