Results tagged ‘ Royals ’

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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A.J. Explodes, Buehrle Outstanding as Sox Rip Royals for 6th Consecutive Victory

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Two days ago I commented to my Sox posse that I was concerned about A.J. Pierzynski‘s recent hitting slump. One of my guys said his toughness, ability to call a game and his durability outweighed what he did with the bat. Another said A.J. had lifetime immunity due to his now-legendary run to first base on a strikeout in Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series against the Angels.
After hearing their reaction I was sorry I even brought up the subject. Now, after A.J.’s two-homer, four RBI performance in the 8-2 White Sox victory against the Royals last night, I was compelled to send the posse an apology.

Sox Vets Rise Above the Rest
In the wake of the LeBron James PR fiasco, where apparently no thought was given to humility and common sense, we Sox fans need to realize that we have two of the most authentic sports role models in our midst–Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko.
Their leadership, humble nature and on-field performance should be an example to everyone in the sports world. Ironically, because of their low-key demeanors relatively few outside of the South Side recognize what outstanding examples they are. 

Buehrle On Top of His Game

Speaking of the Sox lefty, Buehrle’s seven innings of scoreless ball last night continued his recent mastery of A.L. hitters. Mark is now 5-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his last six outings, all being quality starts. Buehrle and his fellow starters have surrendered only 16 runs in their last eight games against the Rangers, Angels and Royals.
Standings Update

Sox are now 47-38, a half-game behind the Tigers and 2 1/2 games ahead of the Twins. We’ve won six in a row and 23 of the last 28. Pretty amazing.


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Alexei: “We Are Very Excited to be Where We Are”

mlbf_9671821_th_13.jpgIt was Alexei Ramirez‘s clutch, two-out, two-run sixth inning homer off of Scott Feldman that proved to be the difference in the 5-3 White Sox victory over the Rangers. 

The game was big, according winning pitcher Mark Buehrle, and that it was. It gave the Sox a series victory over the red-hot A.L. West leaders, a respectable 3-3 road trip and, most importantly, it moved the South Siders to within a game of the Twins and Tigers for the division lead. So it’s no wonder Alexei, whose average is now hovering around .280 after his usual mediocre start, voiced his excitement.
Another factor that can’t be ignored is that revitalized Sox pitching. Against a lineup with the likes of Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, the Pale Hose gave up only three runs in each of the three games and 18 total hits, an average of only six per contest. 
What seemed like an impossibility just a few weeks ago, the Sox are seriously knocking at the door of the division lead. Now back home for seven games–four against the Angels and three vs. the Royals–before the All-Star break, it is conceivable that we could have a first place team in a matter of days.
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Will BOTH Konerko and Rios Be Named All-Stars?

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The nation’s sports talk shows, to the point of ad nauseum I might add, have created a new national conversation: Should Nationals’ miracle man Stephen Strasburg be named to the All-Star Game?
Frankly, I’m more concerned about what Sox players will be selected when the teams are announced today. We know we won’t have any starters because the White Sox rarely do, but the hope is that we squeak by with two players–Paul Konerko and Alex Rios–instead of the obligatory lone choice. 
Maybe I’m falling into the trap of glorifying the good old days, but I think most will agree that the All-Star Game isn’t what it used to be. There’s no real rivalry anymore, there are more players selected and even though the winning club gets home field advantage for their league in the World Series, the best players aren’t around when the game is decided. 
All that said, I’m still interested when the teams are announced. So I’ll be watching the TBS Selection Show today–confident Paulie’s name will be called and hoping Rios survives from a group of worthy outfielders.
And I’m still waiting for a Sox player to be the MVP of the the midsummer classic. Maybe this is the year.

The Race Goes On…

In the real world, The Sox are looking to end their road trip at 3-3. A victory tonight in Arlington against the Rangers will do it. Then it’s back home against the Angels and Royals before the All-Star break.
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South Siders Win Pivotal Game, Rumors Say Adam Dunn is on the Radar

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I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that last night’s 4-3 squeaker over the Royals was one of the season’s most important wins. I say that because after two straight losses following the 11-game streak, the Sox could not afford a third defeat in a row with Zack Greinke on the mound tonight and three against the hot Rangers in Arlington on the horizon.
On this night it was the pitching, especially the bullpen, that was instrumental in eeking out the victory. The South Siders scored four early runs to take a commanding lead, but the Royals got to Gavin Floyd with three in the fifth to narrow the lead to one. Then Floyd calmed down, went 6 2/3 and benefited from 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief from Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz, who earned the save. With the Twins win over the Tigers, they move back into first, 1/2 game in front of Detroit and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Sox.
Rumor mill:  While the Sox are mum and Ozzie is on record saying we don’t need a big lefthanded bat right now, rumors have it that the club is exploring the possibility of bringing powerful first baseman/outfielder Adam Dunn of the Nationals (above) into the fold by the trading deadline. There’s no question the Sox could use some lefty pop, but they aren’t the only ones who covet Dunn. Whether it’s the D.C. slugger or someone else, I’m confident Kenny Williams will add a lefthanded bat before July 31.
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Sox Experience the Natural Progression of Things

54638639.jpgIt happens. In fact it happens so often that I was expecting a couple of losses in a row after the 11-game winning streak.
What I’m saying is that it’s pretty much the natural progression of things that a team will suffer a bit of a letdown after winning a significant number of games in a row.
So it is now with our White Sox. After the streak ended on Sunday with the loss to the Cubs, the Sox lost another last night in Kansas City. In both Sunday and Monday contests the South Siders had a chance to win in the ninth with a clutch hit or two. But the law of averages prevailed and now we’ve lost a couple in a row and stand two games back of the Tigers who beat the Twins to move into first place.
The Pale Hose will be back at it tonight with Gavin Floyd on the hill against the Royals. No need to panic, but it’s important for us to win this one. We don’t want the two games to get to three and beyond.
Note of the day:  Red-hot Carlos Quentin was named the American League Player of the Week. Continuing his surge, he homered for the only Sox tally last night.
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It’s Official: I’ve Had It With These Sox

I have one question after witnessing the White Sox lose another game and another series–this time to the last place Kansas City Royals, who continue to sit in last place and improved to 14-24 with today’s triumph.

Do the Sox really expect their fans to endure this team as presently constituted for the next four and a half months?
Kenny Williams has admitted he’s losing patience. Kenny, join the club. With high hopes for a division title and all the bravado about being a strong championship contender, the Pale Hose have self-destructed. Either Williams’ architecture is highly overrated or the players he acquired in the offseason are grossly underachieving–or maybe it’s a little bit of both.
There’s a lot of blame to go around. Mark Teahen, Gordon Beckham, Gavin Floyd, Carlos Quentin, A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Kotsay are at the top of my list. If Alexei Ramirez hadn’t rallied a bit recently, he’d be there too. 
So, what do we do? I’m not sure, but it’s unbearable watching these guys blow leads and fail to come through in the clutch day in, day out, night in and night out.
KW, it’s time. Something needs to be done to shake things up. Whether it’s via trades, promoting prospects or reading the riot act, do it. The status quo is unacceptable.
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                         Teahen: One of the poster boys for the Sox failures


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Nice Comeback Guys, Now Can We Win the Series?

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I have to admit that my blood pressure reached scary levels after the first inning last night as Jake Peavy was the victim of a three-run Royal splurge that included a walk and a hit batsman. All I could think about was losing back-to-back games to the Royals and losing the opportunity to gain on the Twins, who lost earlier in the day to the Yanks.
But the South Siders showed some grit and overcame a 4-1 with a four-run seventh to win 5-4. Aside from the rare comeback itself, there were some positive signs. Among them:
–The way that Peavy rebounded after the shaky start. After giving up four runs through three innings, he pitched scoreless ball into the ninth for this third victory of the season.
Juan Pierre collected a pair of hits and raised his average to .254. Not exactly on par with Rod Carew, but we’ll take it after Juan’s subpar start.
Alexei Ramirez (above) was 3 for 4 with an RBI, upping his average to .231. Puny, but improving.
Ramon Castro got his first hit of the season and drove in a pair of runs in the pivotal seventh inning.
Matt Thornton got the save after relieving Peavy with one out in the ninth. 
Now the hard part–winning today to capture the series.
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“Did We Kick Someone’s Dog or Did Someone Put Voodoo On Us or Something?”–A.J. Pierzynski

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Aside from my own anger, frustration and the fact that I throw up my hands in disgust almost every night after watching these White Sox, my thoughts turn to what Kenny Williams must be going through.
He’s as hard-working and passionate as any GM and has given us what no other front office exec has provided–a World Series championship. Of course he’s made his mistakes, but all in all he’s been outstanding at putting together contending teams. I wish the Sox could be as consistent as the Twins and various other teams, but considering the mediocrity I’ve experienced in my lifetime as a Sox fan the Williams years have been good. And as a fan, I truly appreciate how much he cares.
After last night’s embarrassing 6-1 loss to the Royals, The Sox are now seven games below .500–the same Pale Hose who many picked to win the A.L. Central. Let’s face it, right now the Sox are arguably the worst offensive team in baseball. 
The facts: a .228 team batting average with a .205 mark with runners in scoring position, both last in the league. And they’ve scored just one run in their past 17 innings and three in their past 22. Last night’s lineup had four hitters batting under .200. Get the point?
The list of culprits is a long one. Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham. A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teahen, Alexei RamirezCarlos Quentin and Mark Kotsay all have underachieved. Williams must be pulling the hair out of his head. After all, he acquired every last one of these guys.
So what do we do? Keep being patient with the hope things will turn around? Blow up the team? Have a come-to-Jesus meeting? I don’t have an answer and that’s why KW makes the big bucks. But I’ll say this, he’s not going to watch this nightmare continue much longer. Mark my words, there will be changes.
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Do the White Sox Need to Shake Things Up?

Some thoughts…
*  I was sure we were going to sweep the Twins. After last night’s stellar victory, I thought the momentum would carry us through. No such luck. It was back to normal for the 2010 yo-yo White Sox.
*  I’m worried about Carlos Quentin. Wonder if he’ll ever return to his 2008 form.
*  I’m wondering if Gordon Beckham needs to regroup in Charlotte. This would have been unheard of late last summer, but maybe it would be for the best.
*  I think there needs to be some changes made–yes, just for the sake of change. How about inserting some young blood to the roster in the persons of Tyler Flowers and Jordan Danks? Sources have also indicated that Kenny Williams is shopping for a bat. The bottom line is that the inconsistency of this offense has been maddening.
*  After witnessing the Twins’ hot start, I don’t know if we can ever catch them even if we go on a big run. They’re good and we have a long way to go. And I haven’t even mentioned the Tigers.
*  Thank goodness for Alex Rios. I declared before the season that we needed Quentin and Rios to deliver. One of two hasn’t been close to enough.
*  It’s hard to believe that Mark Teahen is going to live up to the expectations of the Sox brass. He’s been better, but nowhere near what we hoped he’d be.
After a day off, the Sox travel to KC for a weekend series. No predictions from me, I’m through trying to figure out this team.
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                             Flowers: Is it time for a one-way ticket to Chicago?

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