Results tagged ‘ Mark Buehrle ’

Familiarity Breeds Contempt as White Sox Lose Series to Bosox; No Last Minute Deals This Year

For anyone who wants to understand the White Sox struggles through the club’s first 106 games just has to look at the last three innings of today’s disappointing 5-3 loss to the Red Sox. It serves as a microcosm of the team’s failure to be better than their 52-54 record.

7th Inning: The Sox lost their 3-2 lead (wasting another Mark Buehrle effort) , largely due to a deflected infield hit and a Tyler Flowers passed ball that moved the tying and winning runs into second and third. The two runners scored on a Dustin Pedroia base hit.

8th Inning: With two outs and Alexei Ramirez on second with his 22nd double, Juan Pierre failed to drive in the tying run. It is important to note that Pierre was hitting in the third spot only because he replaced Paul Konerko, removed from the game after being hit by a pitch.

9th Inning: Now down 5-3, the Sox had three of their supposed big bats in position to give it a shot. But they went down with a whimper as Carlos Quentin, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios all went down swinging. The problem, as we all know, is that Dunn and Rios are far from being big bats, despite the preseason expectations and the back of their baseball cards. They haven’t done it in the first four months and there’s no reason to believe things are going to change.

If Dunn and Rios continue their woeful offense and continue to fail when it counts, there’s no reason to believe the Sox are any better than a .500 team let alone a division contender.

Bad Timing?:  With two losses in a row, the Sox find themselves in a tough situation with the Yankees coming in for four games. To make matters worse, C.C. Sabathia is on the mound in Game 1 tomorrow night.

The Frank Thomas Statue Was Unveiled Before Today’s Game

Sox Ride Their Prize Horses to Win Over Tigers

The usual suspects led the White Sox to the very satisfying 6-3 victory over the Tigers last night–a win that brought the Sox to within 3 1/2 games of division-leading Detroit.

Mark Buehrle was again stellar, giving up zero earned runs in six innings. Carlos Quentin smashed a key two-run double in the fifth to give the South Siders a 4-2 lead. Paul Konerko hit a homer (23) and drove in a pair (72). And the bullpen did what they had to do even though Jesse Crain wasn’t at his best and gave up a run and two walks.

There was also familiarity in the negative column that included a bloop hit dropping in between Juan Pierre and Alex Rios, which at the time padded the Tiger lead in the third. It was reminiscent of the Sox early season woes. Adding to the usual, Adam Dunn and Rios did very little, though Dunn walked in the three-run fifth and Rios singled in the second.

In the nice surprise category Brent Morel, who hasn’t played regularly lately, delivered three singles to the White Sox’s 11-hit effort.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Justin Verlander is on the mound for Detroit tonight. The Sox beat him recently, but can they do it again?

Buehrle, Bats Rebound From Friday Nightmare

“The nicest thing about baseball and the hardest thing about baseball is that every day is a different day. Players have to turn the switch on and off right away.” –Ozzie Guillen

No matter how long you watch baseball, getting over a heartbreaking loss is never easy. So it was last night as the Sox were one out away from a victory over the Dodgers in the opener of the three-game interleague series before fate reared its ugly side.  The bottom line? With two outs and nobody on base in the ninth, a third baseman by the name of Russ Mitchell stepped up and tied the game with a homer and the Dodgers won the game with three runs in the top of the 10th.

To Ozzie’s point, the Sox had to regroup today and put last night’s disappointing loss in the rearview mirror. Mission accomplished as Mark Buehrle outdueled close friend and former mound mate Jon Garland and the offense exploded for a 9-2 win. Buehrle’s line showed seven innings, two runs and seven hits, plus he became the all-time leader in interleague victories with 24. Garland, on the other hand, lasted only 3 2/3, allowing seven runs and 11 hits.

Some of the highlights:

* Paul Konerko was 3 for 5 with three RBIs.

* Alexei Ramirez was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, two runs scored and delivered a clutch two-out single that drove in a pair of key runs in the six-run fourth.

* A.J. Pierzynski had a 3 for 5 day with two runs scored.

*Alex Rios and Brent Lillibridge each blasted two-run homers.

* Gordon Beckham, followed up the two-run homer he hit last night with a 2 for 3 afternoon and reached via a walk to boot.

TAKE THE GOOD WITH THE BAD: While his teammates were enjoying a nine run, 16-hit day on Saturday, Adam Dunn was fit for the “Golden Sombrero,” striking out four times.

Sox Elders Calm in Eye of Early Season Storm

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While White Sox fans are angry and frustrated over the 8-12 start and the fact the South Siders couldn’t continue the momentum from Thursday’s win in Tampa last night in Motown, the players are taking the slump in stride.
On one hand, their calm reaction is maddening as we fans are so hungry for some semblance of success. On the other hand, it shows the distinct difference between athletes and fans. We panic, they don’t. And that’s a good thing in a 162-game season.
Paul Konerko, who is off to a good start with a .329 BA, five homers and 16 RBI, and Mark Buehrle, who is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA, were asked by the media if the Sox should have a sense of urgency.
“Never,” said the Sox captain. “Because a sense of urgency makes you play worse. You’re playing with urgency, that means tension. Tension will never lead to good things. So of course we want to play better and have better results, but you just have to know you’re going about it right.”
Buehrle added, “We have plenty of time. Twenty games in, it’s way too early to be worrying about that. I think we’re fine. If we get to the All-Star break and are struggling, you might think about it.”
Got it, guys. Now go out and win some games.

A Little News Here, A Little News There

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The early days of spring training, the time before the exhibition games begin, don’t bring a whole lot of news, but we all know that’s not the point. The point is that baseball is back.
So, while pitchers and catchers enter their fourth day of getting back to their summertime routines and only a handful of position players have reported for duty, the news is slim aside from the proclamation that Chris Sale will be in the bullpen. The following will have to do for now:
Adam Dunn reported to camp early and had to explain to his son why his number has changed from his familiar No. 44 to No. 32. The reason? Peavy is 44.
Mark Buehrle, two-time Gold Glove winner and the author of the best defensive play of 2010 (on Opening Day), flubbed a few grounders in drills yesterday. In typical Mr. Perfect fashion, he laughed it off.
Jake Peavy‘s first start of the spring is now scheduled for March 4 in Tempe against the Angels. Considering how important he is to the starting rotation, it’s something we should all keep a close eye on.
–The spring games will determine the makeup of the Sox roster and what the complement will be regarding pitchers and position players. At this point it appears everyone is in agreement that 12 pitchers is preferred, but the fact that a fifth starter won’t be needed until April 10, might mean 11 will go North for Opening Day.
–No surprise here: Ozzie told reporters he goes more on instinct than relying on computer printouts. Duh…
–A couple of ex-Sox notes: Joe Crede decided not to report to Rockies camp and instead opted for free agency…Centerfielder-turned-pitcher Brian Anderson is now a candidate for a spot in the Yankee bullpen. He pitched in the Royals’ minor league system in ’10.

Mark Buehrle Loves “Happy” and Vice Versa

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Full disclosure: Mark Buehrle is one of my favorite White Sox and Happy (pictured here with his Art of the Pale Hose cap) is my best friend.
Earlier this week, Mr. Perfect said the following: “(Michael Vick) had a great year and a great comeback, but there were times where we (with wife Jamie) watched the game and I know it’s bad to say, but there were times where we hope he gets hurt. Everything you’ve done to these dogs, something bad needs to happen to these guys.”
Mark and Jamie (pictured below with a few friends) are strong animal rights advocates who have started a “Sox for Strays” program with local rescue groups. And Mark, of course, was referring to Vick’s dogfighting crimes which put him in prison.
I don’t want to put words in Buehrle’s mouth, but I don’t think he literally meant he was wishing for Vick to suffer a serious injury. He was simply expressing his feelings about how atrocious it is to harm man’s best friends.
“Dogs are like your kids,” Buehrle said. “You cuddle with them when they are going to bed, and I think they are kind of like humans…It’s something about dogs. They connect to you and they bond with you. It’s your buddy.”
Happy and I agree.

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Day 1: SoxFest More Like an OzzieFest

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The first day of the annual SoxFest celebration turned out to be quite a day for the Sox skipper.
A group of fans broke out into a rendition of “Happy Birthday” in honor of Ozzie’s 47th (celebrated on Thursday), a brand new website, ozzieguillen.com, was launched and, most significantly, the Sox picked up Guillen’s option for 2012.
The extension wasn’t a sure thing as we all know. After a hellish (Ozzie’s sentiments, not mine) summer where he bickered with GM Kenny Williams, dealt with his son Oney‘s annoying tweeting (my view, not Ozzie’s) and was on the verge of being traded to the Marlins, Guillen’s future was certainly in doubt. But when all was said and done, Williams had his back.
“I’ve never doubted the man’s managerial ability and the ability to pull people together,” Williams said at SoxFest, according to Mark Gonzales of the Tribune.  “Listen, we all can get off track a little bit, and we (did) last year. All I want us to do is to get back on track and focus on the baseball team and the fans. They’re hand in hand. Everything else, I want out of the equation.

“And I wanted to get that (option) thing behind and move on and enjoy the game. I always enjoy the game. Go about my business the way I always do. We know it was a tough season last year. We just put everything behind, and everything goes well.”
More from SoxFest:
* It was apparent that the GM was unhappy with his pitching coach Don Cooper‘s comment that he would prefer that Chris Sale prepare for a single role as opposed to preparing to be a starter and reliever. Here’s Williams’ view: “…to have Sale prepare as a reliever and take away one or two of his pitches, because that’s what guys tend to do, I don’t think it’s wise. My pitching coach will ultimately fall in line with his general manager and his manager. Coop should probably speak to us before he speaks to you guys.”

* Sale’s immediate future, of course, will depend largely on Jake Peavy‘s progress. Reports range from he’ll be ready on Opening Day to him stepping into the rotation by May 1.
* Mark Buehrle is the latest Sox star to be headed into his “walk” year. Where does he stand? “If I have a good year and something happens, there’s an opportunity out there to sign and I’m open to it. I’ll talk with the wife and play for a couple more years, possibly. So we’ll see. It’s a long year. If I decide to retire at the end, I’ll retire. If not, I’ll sign somewhere.”

* With third base (Brent Morel, Mark Teahen, Omar Vizquel) and first base (Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn) spoken for, Williams indicated that Dayan Viciedo is spending time learning how to play outfield to give him a shot at the Opening Day roster. The GM says Viciedo has done well so far.

58945940.jpgMatt Thornton, decked out in a Brian Urlacher jersey at yesterday’s SoxFest, shows where his football loyalty lies.

The 12 Days of White Sox Christmas


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In the spirit of the season…

The First Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…1 great offseason, filling our stocking with a load of talent–and hope–for the upcoming season.
The Second Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…2 free agents with Sox World Series rings in Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.
The Third Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…3 possible closers in Matt Thornton, Chris Sale and, if needed, newcomer Jesse Crain.

The Fourth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…at least 4 solid starters in Mark Buehrle, Edwin JacksonJohn Danks and Gavin Floyd. Make it five if Jake Peavy recovers from his injury and six if Sale is in the rotation.

The Fifth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…A solid No. 5 hitter from a talented group who, from what Ozzie has indicated, could very well be Alex Rios–hitting behind the powerhouse duo of Adam Dunn in the three hole and Paulie batting cleanup.

The Sixth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…The annual 6 games against the Cubs next season–three at home on May 20, 21, 22 and three at Wrigley Field on 
July 1, 2, 3.

The Seventh Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…a 7-game homestand leading up to the ’11 All-Star Game in Phoenix against the Royals and hated Twins as the Sox attempt to match last year’s first-place standing at the break.

The Eighth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…8 games against the 
Yankees in 2011–four in April (25, 26, 27, 28) at Yankee Stadium and four in August (1, 2, 3, 4) at the Cell.

The Ninth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…No. 9, Sox icon Minnie Minoso, who is still going strong after celebrating his 85th birthday last month.

The Tenth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…A 10-game opening homestand after starting the year with five games on the road in Cleveland and Kansas City. The Sox will face the Rays, A’s and Angels at the Cell from April 7-17.

The Eleventh Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…No. 11 on the back of Omar Vizquel‘s uniform, as the future Hall of Famer honors the great Luis Aparicio for the second straight year after an outstanding first season on the South Side.
The Twelfth Day of Christmas the White Sox gave to me…All in all, a whole lot to look forward to as we head into 2011.
Happy Holidays!
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Paulie’s Back

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Breathe a sigh of relief, SoxWorld, your captain has returned.
In an 11th hour move, Paul Konerko signed what is reported to be a three-year, $37.5 million dollar contract. It looked very iffy for a while yesterday as Konerko’s demands increased, but the White Sox brass obviously made a convincing case that Paulie belongs on the South Side of Chicago.
So, the White Sox’s Three World Champion Musketeers–Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Buehrle–all will be back to hopefully repeat their 2005 success. Joining them will be a solid starting pitching staff and a powerful lineup, including newcomer Adam Dunn, that should be enough for the Sox to be considered the favorite–at least for now–in the A.L. Central. The only void seems to be a spot or two in the bullpen, which Kenny Williams is undoubtedly addressing as I’m writing this blog.
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Sox Have Crazy Thursday: Non-Tender Jenks, Sign Dunn, Bring A.J. Back into the Fold and Pick Up Alexei’s Option

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We thought all the action would happen at next week’s annual Winter Meetings in Orlando, but the Sox surprised everyone yesterday with a blockbuster day of moves that began to shape the team for next season.
It was hard to keep up with it all:
First, the Sox picked up the $2.5 option for Alexei Ramirez.
Second, Bobby Jenks was non-tendered.
Third, word came out that the Sox signed slugger Adam Dunn.
Fourth, I woke up this morning to find out that A.J. had signed a two-year deal (to continue my obsession with the ’05 Sox, Mark Buehrle is now assured of having a fellow World Champion as a teammate in 2011).
If that weren’t enough, there’s talk that that signing Paul Konerko is still a possibility. And could J.J. Putz be right behind?
So, what’s behind all of this spending? After Kenny Williams submitted two different budgets–one that would focus on cutting salaries and rebuilding and the other would increase the payroll–this is what was decided, according to Williams:
“The decision was that if we’re going all in, we’re going all in.”
You’ll get no argument from me.
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