Friday, May 28, 2010


So I find out that this law student is from Chicago, and I ask him the all-important question: Sox or Cubs?  Even though his answer was "Cubs," I felt good when I asked him why.  He explained that after he'd moved to the city in 2004, he went to a game at each park.  At the Cell, he said, "I sat next to a woman who was keeping score and listening to the game on the radio.  At Wrigley, I sat next to pretty girls who were just interested in drinking beer.  That made it easy.  I became a Cubs fan."  Just as I've always thought,  Sox fans care about baseball; (except for my friend Bob Shapiro and a few others) Cubs fans care about being at the world's largest outdoor beer garden.

Speaking of caring about baseball, I wish I cared less.  Then it would be easier to stomach this disappointing season.  Thursday, the White Sox lost to the Rays, the best team in baseball, 5-1.  The Sox managed only four hits -- singles by A.J., Pierzynski,  Alex Rios, and Gordon Beckham, and Mark Teahen's third home run of the season -- off of Jeff Niemann, who improved to 5-0.  Sox starter, Gavin Floyd, also has a "5" in his record; he's 2-5, with a 6.02 ERA.  Floyd didn't pitch all that badly -- 7.0 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K -- but when the Sox score fewer than four runs, as they did yesterday, they're 1-21.  Nuff said.

The loss drops the Good Guys back to 7.0 games behind the Twins, who weren't going to keep losing for long.  I wish I could say the same for the Sox.  Maybe it's time to go to a beer garden instead of a ball game.  Nah.  Go Sox!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Ozzie Guillen getting tossed out of a game is not really news -- it's happened 22 times -- but Mark Buehrle joining him among the ranks of the ejected qualifies as a "Man Bites Dog" headline.  Yesterday afternoon, umpire Joe West called two balks on Buehrle.  The second-inning call and West's subsequent comments to Buehrle drew Ozzie's ire and resulted in his getting to take the rest of the day off.  The same call in the next inning caused Buehrle to throw his glove to the ground in frustration and earned him an early shower.  I have to admit that what constitutes a balk has always been somewhat of a mystery to me, but Steve Stone and Ed Farmer, former pitchers and Sox announcers on TV and radio, respectively, both insisted that Buehrle's move to first was a legitimate pickoff attempt rather than the proscribed balk.  Hawk Harrelson agreed and declared that West, who has thrown Ozzie out of three games in the last four years, needs to be suspended.

While Ozzie's loss is not really that big a deal, losing your starting pitcher in the third inning when he's pitching a shutout could be devastating.  Fortunately, the Sox came right back in the fourth inning and jumped on the Indians.  It took Juan Pierre a long time to get his first double of the season, but they seem to be coming with some regularity now, including one to open the inning.  Two batters later, Alex Rios coaxed a walk.  Paul Konerko drove in Pierre with a single, and after Mark Kotsay drew an intentional walk, Mark Teahen singled home two runs.  In the sixth inning, Mark Kotsay gave the Sox a couple of insurance runs with a two-run homer.

And it's a good thing they had that insurance because Bobby Jenks had a hard time protecting a 5-1 lead in the ninth.  Jenks gave up a double, a walk, a single, another walk, and another single to consecutive batters, which made the final score 5-4.  It looks like Jenks pitching the last inning in a 5-4 win would entitle him to a save, but since he came in with a four-run lead and no one on base, he was not eligible for the save.  The fact that he put himself into what would otherwise qualify as a save situation doesn't matter. Paradoxically, if he'd lost the lead and the Sox had come back to win the game in the bottom half of the inning, he'd have gotten the win.  Oh, well, it doesn't matter as long as the Sox got the win.

By edging Cleveland in the rubber game of the series, the Sox picked up ground on everyone in the division except the Royals, who also won yesterday.  Speaking of the Royals, they had seven guys in their lineup Wednesday who are hitting better than Konerko's .262.  The Sox had one -- Rios at .308.  The Twins had six, and the Tigers and Indians had five each.  Is it any wonder the Sox are struggling?  At least they moved back to 6.0 games behind Minnesota, which lost its suspended game with the Yankees and dropped the regularly scheduled game as well.  Now the Good Guys travel to Tampa to face the Rays, who have the best record in baseball.  Let's hope the recent streak of winning consecutive series continues.  Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Remember at the end of last season when Jake Peavy looked like he was worth every penny the White Sox were paying him?  Remember his 3-0 record in three starts?  If you don't, no one will blame you because his results so far in 2010 would make anyone forget the good times.  For the fifth time this year, Peavy gave up six earned runs in a game in what turned out to be a 7-3 loss to Cleveland -- not exactly what earned him the Cy Young, is it?  (Oh, that's right.  It was in the National League and it was a few years back.)

And we all know what happens when the Sox give up more than three runs in a game -- they win only 25% of the time (a 7-21 record).  That's not so unusual since their opponents also win only 25% of the time (6-18) when they allow the Sox to score more than three runs.  What is surprising is how bad the Sox are when they don't score more than three runs.  They've got a record of 1-20, meaning they win 4.76% of the time in that situation.  Their opponents, by contrast, are 5-12 when scoring three or fewer runs, meaning they 29.41% of the time.  In other words, the Sox are more than six times less likely to win their opponents when scoring fewer than four runs in a game. 

Bright spots?  Well, Alexei Ramirez benefited from moving into the second spot in the order, stroking two doubles.  Mark Kotsay matched that feat and went the Missile one better, adding a single to his two two-baggers.  Alex Rios, the only Sox player batting over .300, got a hit.  And that was pretty much it, as the Sox totaled only eight safeties on the night.

The Sox fell back to 7.5 games behind the Twins, whose game with the Yankees was suspended and will be resumed tonight.  The Good Guys have one more this afternoon with the lowly Indians (though it's really not right for Sox fans to refer to other teams as lowly given how our boys are playing) and really could use the win.  Taking two out of every three games from here on out would leave the Sox with  98 wins on the season, which should easily be good enough to make the post-season.  Of course, nothing we've seen so far should have anyone believing that the Sox can play .667 ball for the rest of 2010, but at least we can win this series from the Tribe.  Go Sox!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


After beating Cleveland on Opening Day, the White Sox lost five straight games to the Tribe before last night's 7-2 victory.  Part of being a good team, which the Sox still think they can be, is taking advantage of the weak sisters of the division, like the 16-27 Indians.  So yesterday was a good start on the rest of the season.

The Good Guys broke out the bats again, this time collecting 14 hits.  Each starter, except for Paul Konerko, hit safely, and five Sox hitters had more than one.  Juan Pierre, A.J. Pierzynski, Omar Vizquel, and Gordon Beckham had two apiece, while Mark Teahen contributed three hits (including a double) and three RBI.  Alex Rios chipped in with a home run (his 9th) and a stolen base (his 14th).  By the way, Vizquel's base hit in the fifth inning tied him with his countryman, Luis Aparicio, for second-most hits by a shortstop, with 2674.  (His hit in the ninth inning didn't add to that total because by that time, Omar had moved over to third base.)

John Danks was the beneficiary of this offensive (and I mean that in the best sense of the word)  largess, although his performance looks better on paper than it did on the field.  Danks gave up just two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five in five innings, but didn't have his best stuff.  It was enough to improve his record to 4-3, which along with his 2.37 ERA makes him the best pitcher on the staff.  Danks had help from a series of relievers -- Sergio Santos, Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz, and Bobby Jenks -- each of whom threw an inning of scoreless relief.

The win inches the Sox closer to idle Minnesota, who now has a 7.0 game lead on the Pale Hose.  They're at Cleveland again tonight, with a good chance to pick up another win against the cellar-dwelling Indians.  The Sox won't have the luxury of facing a pitcher as bad as Monday's starter, Justin Masterson, who has lost 11 consecutive games, but we're looking for a win nonetheless.  Go Sox!

Monday, May 24, 2010


If only the White Sox were in the National League.  By taking two out of three from the Marlins over the weekend, the Sox improved their all-time interleague record to 130-102, a .560 winning percentage, which works out to a 91-71 record over a 162-game season.  That includes a disproportionately high number of games against the Cubs -- 72 -- in which the Sox have only a 37-35 advantage, for a .514 winning percentage, which translates to an 83-79 season.  Against the rest of the N.L., the Sox are a robust 93-67, .581, or a 94-68 record over 162 games.  Maybe the Sox should have switched leagues rather than the Brewers a few years back.  Of course, then the Good Guys wouldn't have been able to use the DH, and that must make some difference since their record at the Cell in interleague play is 71-45 (.612, 99-63 projected for the season) as opposed to 59-57 in N.L. parks (.509, 82-80).  Anyway, on to the games this past weekend.

Friday saw Mark "of Zero" Buehrle win his first game since April 11, by pitching eight innings of shutout ball, while allowing the Fish only three hits and three walks.  Sergio Santos mopped up the 8-0 victory by striking out two in an inning of scoreless relief.  Alexei Ramirez had five RBI on a double and a homer, and Mark Kotsay homered as well, one of his three hits on the day.  The team had a dozen, with every starter except Gordon Beckham collecting at least one.

On Saturday, the Sox won consecutive games for the first time in almost a month and only their third winning streak of the year.  The Good Guys again reached the double-digit mark in hits in the 4-1 triumph over Florida.  Alex Rios did most of the damage, going 2 for 3, including a homer, and driving in three runs.  Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin also had two hits each among the club's 10-hit total.  Gavin Floyd "the Barber" was razor sharp, scattering six hits and two walks and giving up only one run over 6.1 innings.  Santos threw another scoreless inning -- this time the eighth -- and Bobby Jenks had his first one-two-three inning in recent memory to earn the save, and apparently reclaim the closer's role.

Sunday was a different story, however.  Freddy Garcia didn't last even three innings, serving up seven hits and two walks that led to seven runs allowed.  Scott Linebrink threw 1.2 innings without giving up a run, but the damage was already done.  So, it hardly mattered that Randy Williams let in five more runs on eight hits in 2.1 IP, and Tony Pena gave up a run on three hits in 2.2 IP.  Of course, the Sox wouldn't have won if the pitchers had allowed just one run since the home team didn't score at all, garnering only seven hits.  The 13-0 game is best not spoken of anymore than we already have.

The Sox are still 7.5 games back of the Twins as they return to playing the A.L., in this case the Indians.  Go Sox!  Beat the Tribe!

Friday, May 21, 2010


The White Sox tried to come back, last night.  They really did.  But they couldn't climb out of the huge hole that Jake Peavy dug for them and ended up with another one-run loss to the Angels, 6-5.  The Sox scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth and should have had five, but A.J. Pierzynski's smash with the bases loaded that most likely would have scored Juan Pierre from first, bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.  Pierre was detained at third and wound up being stranded there, as the rally fell short.

This time the trouble wasn't with the bats.  The Good Guys pounded out a dozen hits, with four players having more than one.  Pierre continued to raise his batting average (it's up to .264 now) by going 3 for 5.  A.J. had a single in addition to his aforementioned double.  Carlos Quentin and Alexei Ramirez each showed some signs of life with a 2 for 4 night.  Even the slumping Gordon Beckham, with an anorexic batting average during May, got a hit and drove in three runs.  The Marks -- Kotsay and Teahen -- also singled.

Unfortunately, Peavy reverted to his April form and gave up six runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings.  Randy Williams (1.2 IP) and Tony Pena (1.1) held the Halos scoreless, but it was already too late.

Speaking of too late, it's getting to that point for the Sox as a team.  They're eight games under .500 and find themselves 7.5 games behind two good teams, the Twins and the Tigers.  They've still got what should be a good to very good pitching staff, but they're going to have to start showing it on the field.  The bats need to heat up now.  Otherwise, I'm not going to want to write about this season and you're not going to want to read about.  Go Sox!  Go Now!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Let's just make this quick -- like pulling off a Band-Aid.  The White Sox lost again last night, 3-2 to the Angels at the Cell.  John Danks deserved better.  He gave up only two earned runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out eight.  And the relievers didn't blow it for him: Tony Pena (0.1 IP) and Scott Linebrink (1.0 IP) didn't allow a run.  Rather, it was the lack of hitting and Jayson Nix's leaky defense that proved to be Danks's undoing.

Only three Sox managed a hit, though they each collected two.  Juan Pierre singled and doubled -- he's on a veritable power surge with doubles in consecutive games.  Paul Konerko singled and homered -- his major league-leading 14th of the season.  And A.J. Pierzynski -- who is rumored to be on the trading block, although Kenny Williams denies it -- also singled and doubled.

Nix, who doesn't hit well enough to play poor defense, made two errors on one play, which led to what proved to be the winning run for the Angels.  Come to think of it, none of the Sox hits well enough to play poor defense, so Jayson is not the Lone Ranger in that regard.

The loss cost the Sox a chance to gain ground on the Twins, who lost yesterday to the Red Sox.  The Good Guys are still 7.5 games out and face the Angels in the finale of this short series.  Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The entire Update staff was in court in Almost Heaven, West Virginia on Monday, so no post about the weekend games.  The opener with Detroit was rained out, so no post Tuesday.  Finally, the stars aligned and we can post today about the White Sox 6-2 win over the Tigers yesterday.

Freddy "The Tiger Tamer" Garcia (3-2) continued his mastery of the Motor City Bengals -- he's 17-6 lifetime -- by limiting Detroit to two runs on five hits and three walks over six innings.  Sergio Santos, who picked up his first career hold, contributed an inning of scoreless relief, as did J.J. Putz and Bobby Jenks, pitching in a non-save situation.  By the way, Matt Thornton -- not Jenks -- got the save opportunity in Jake Peavy's win against the Royals last Saturday.

At bat, Carlos Quentin led the hit parade, going 3 for 4 with a double.  Q, who hadn't played since last Wednesday, boosted his batting average from .180 to .200.  Omar "The Outmaker" Vizquel collected a pair of hits to raise his batting average 32 points, from .143 to .175.  At least he was playing in the field this time.  We warned you in our season preview that Ozzie was going to commit the unpardonable sin of having one of the best-fielding, worst-hitting players on the team serve as DH, and the Wizard of Oz did precisely that last Friday.  Finally, while we're not members of the Juan Pierre Fan Club, it's only fair to note that the Sox left-fielder registered his second extra-base hit of the season, a two-run double that gave the Good Guys the lead for good.  Pierre also robbed Gerald Laird of an RBI with a diving catch.

For the first time that we remember, instant replay helped the Sox.  Brandon Inge pulled a ball into the seats next to the left-field foul pole, which the ump called a home run.  Pierre and a bevy of other Sox players immediately questioned the call.  Replays showed that the ball was clearly foul and a home run was subsequently turned into an out.

One aside: Monday,was Carlos May's birthday, which we honor every year by pointing out that he is the only player in major league history to wear his birthday on his back.  His uniform read "May 17."  A big thumbs up (pun intended) to Carlos.

The Sox picked up a game on the rest of the division and now find themselves in third place, 7.5 games behind the Twins.  They return home to face the Angels for two games, followed by the start of interleague play with three games against the Florida Marlins.  Noted theologian Ozzie Guillen says he won't believe in God unless the Sox win on Wednesday against the Halos.  Personally, we don't think that Supreme Beings worry about the outcome of baseball games, but what the heck.  Go God! Go Sox!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Before Wednesday, the White Sox were 8-3 in games in which the opponent scored three or fewer runs.  Unfortunately, they were 1-15 in games in which they themselves were held to no more than three runs.  Yesterday, the latter tendency trumped the former as the Sox fell to the Twins 3-2.  John Danks had allowed two earned runs or fewer in all six of his starts for the White Sox in 2010, but yesterday "ballooned" to three runs given up in seven innings and took the loss, making his record match the score.  Sergio Santos threw one inning of scoreless relief but did give up two hits.

Juan Pierre continued his hot hitting, stroking two more singles to raise his average to .252.  Pierre added two more stolen bases to increase his total to 17.  A.J. Pierzynski batted second again yesterday, but contributed nothing, going 0 for 4.  Alex Rios's 12-game hitting streak (20 for 49 for a .408 average) came to an end, but Rios reached over the center field fence to rob Michael Cuddyer of a home run, and added his 10th stolen base of the season.  Paul Konerko went 2 for 4 while collecting his 28th RBI.  Carlos Quentin continued to flail, going 0 for 4 (with another strikeout) to shrink his batting average to .180.  Mark Teahen also had an o-fer.  Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez both had base knocks.  That's a total of six hits, none of them for extra bases -- the first time in 19 games that the Sox had failed to notch more than a single.

One of the pitchers who handcuffed the Sox was Jon Rauch, former Pale Hose hurler.  The majors' tallest player now has nine saves on the year and is the reason that former closer Joe Nathan's season-ending injury hasn't hurt the Twins as much as Sox fans had hoped.

The Sox again trail Minnesota by 8.0 games, but now find themselves in fourth place in the division.  After an off day, they play the Royals, the fifth-place team, in Kansas City.  Go Sox!  Beat the Royals!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


The White Sox racked up season highs for hits and runs in an inning last night in defeating the hated Minnesota Twins, 5-2, in their first game in Target Field.  Let's take a closer look at what happened in the top of the fifth:
  • Alex Rios, who has now hit safely in a dozen consecutive games, singled, stole second (his 10th of the year), and advanced to third when the ball got away on the throw.
  • Carlos Quentin struck out.  (I'll save myself some time later by copying and pasting that sentence.)
  • Mark Teahen drew a walk.
  • Gordon Beckham, dropped to eighth in the order, showed why by striking out.
  • Alexei Ramirez doubled to the wall in left center, plating Rios and Teahen.
  • Juan Pierre, who collected three hits on the night to raise his batting average to .244, singled Ramirez to third.  One of those hits finally raised his slugging percentage above his batting average -- for the math challenged among you, that means he hadn't had an extra-base hit all year.
  • A.J. Pierzynski, tied with his hitting coach, Greg Walker, for 622nd place on the all-time home run list at 113, took advantage of batting second in the order by doubling in Ramirez and Pierre.
  • Andruw Jones singled home A.J.
  • Paul Konerko moved Jones to second with a base hit.
  • Alex Rios, up for the second time in the inning, loaded the bases with a single.
  • Carlos Quentin struck out.  (As promised above, I cut and pasted that sentence.)  Q whiffed three times on the night and basically can't hit his way out of a paper bag right now.
That's five runs on seven hits, a walk, a stolen base, and an error for the Sox's best inning of the year.  And all the runs scored after two outs.

Freddy Garcia evened his record at 2-2 by lasting 7.0 innings while allowing the Twins nine hits and two walks.  Matt Thornton, who had been talked about as the possible new closer, retained his set-up role, pitching a scoreless eighth.  And Bad Bobby Jenks took advantage of a low-leverage save situation by tossing a scoreless ninth.  Jenks did give up a pinch-hit double to Jim Thome and, according to The Trib, threatened to toilet paper Thome's house if the former Sox star did that again.  Good to see Bobby's maturity level hasn't been affected by his recent pitching woes.  (No comments please about being too hard on the Sox; we know Jenks was joking.)  Frankly, Ozzie wasn't taking much of a risk in using Jenks last night.  Teams holding a three run lead in the ninth inning win 97% of the time according to The Book, an interesting analysis of baseball by some of the leading stat geeks around.  Even Randy Williams was likely to earn the save in that situation.

By winning last night, the Sox moved to 7.0 games behind the Twins -- a loss would have left them 9.0 back.  The Good Guys have one more game in the Great White North, where it was 45 degrees last night.  A bit of a difference from the pleasant 72 degrees inside the Metrodome.  By the way, despite the cold and the mediocre (sorry to have to use that adjective) opponent, the attendance was listed at 38,764.  That's at least two games worth of fans at the Cell.  Come on folks, get out and support the team when they come back home on May 19 to play the Angels.  Go Sox!

Monday, May 10, 2010


The White Sox lost two of three games to the Blue Jays over the weekend, but with better relief pitching, they could have won all three. 

On Friday, the Sox led 3-2 going into the eighth, but Mark Buehrle (8.0 IP, 3 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 4 K) allowed Toronto to tie the game, then Bobby Jenks gave up a run in the top of the ninth.  The Sox tied it in the bottom of the inning, but J.J. Putz surrendered a three-run homer in the 12th to put the Good Guys in a 7-4 hole they couldn't climb out of.

On Saturday, Jake Peavy had his second consecutive excellent outing -- 8.0 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 BB, and 8 K -- and evened his record at 2-2, as the Sox won 7-3.  Paul Konerko hit his Major League-leading 13th home run in support of Peavy in the one game the team actually did win.

On Sunday, the Sox couldn't hold a 7-5 lead, losing 9-7.  Gavin Floyd, who still isn't pitching like he has in past seasons, lasted only 6.1 innings and permitted five runs on five hits and two walks, but it was Jenks who blew the save and took the loss by failing to retire any of the four men he faced and letting four runs cross the plate, three of them earned.  You've got to wonder how long Jenks will be the closer after his Friday and Sunday debacles.

The biggest bright spot over the weekend was Alex Rios.  The former Blue Jay extended his hitting streak to 11 games.  On Mothers' Day, using a pink bat, Rios went 4 for 4, including a homer to raise his average to .324.  During the streak, Rios is 18 for 45, a .400 pace.  And speaking of streaks, Sergio Santos's streak of scoreless innings pitched ended on Saturday, when he gave up the first run of his career.  Still, it was the best start ever for a Sox pitcher.

The Sox start a road trip with two games against the Twins, whom they now trail by 8.0 games, in Target Field.  The old Metrodome was a house of horrors for the Pale Hose, as they compiled an 89-114 record indoors.  Let's hope the new digs are a little friendlier to the Good Guys.  Go Sox!

Friday, May 7, 2010


John Danks deserved better.  The White Sox best pitcher contributed another quality start, allowing the Blue Jays only two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven innings.  Unfortunately, the Sox couldn't solve Dana Eveland or the two relievers who followed him.  The Good Guys collected a mere three hits -- singles by Juan Pierre and Alexei Ramirez and a misplayed pop-up/double by Alex Rios (to extend his hitting streak to eight games) -- and no runs in the 2-0 loss to Toronto at the Cell.

Danks, who dropped to 3-1, threw 70 of his 107 pitches for strikes, but saw his ERA rise from 1.85 to a still-sparkling 1.98.  Speaking of ERAs, Sergio Santos pitched another scoreless inning in relief to keep his 0.00 intact.  Santos gave up neither a hit nor a walk and struck out two, while tossing nine of his 13 pitches for strikes.  Tony Pena mopped up in the ninth, permitting the Jays a hit but no runs, with an even more accurate 11 of 13 pitches for strikes.

We're not superstitious, but Gordon Beckham sure looks like a victim of the Sophomore Jinx.  Last year's Rookie of the Year contender whiffed three times and dropped his batting average to .198.  He also committed an error to round out a horrible night.  We know Becks isn't this bad, but the question is whether he's as good as he looked last year.  We think so, but it's time for him to snap out of this slump and start proving it.

The best news of the night for the Sox was Minnesota's loss.  The Twins are in danger of running away from the Sox -- they lead by 7.0 games -- so not letting the lead get to double digits is important.  Go Sox!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Another multi-homer game, another White Sox win.  This time, Andruw Jones (his 9th) and Alex Rios (his 4th) ignited the fireworks, each of them depositing the ball over the wall in left-center, just to the right of the graphic marking "The Catch," to power a 9-2 victory over the Royals.  Freddy Garcia contributed another quality start (his third in five outings) to pick up the win.  Garcia allowed 10 hits in his six innings, but by avoiding any walks, was able to hold KC to just two runs.  Scott Linebrink, J.J. Putz, and Bobby Jenks (in a non-save situation) each pitched a frame of scoreless relief to preserve the win.

At the plate, Juan Pierre had two hits (and a swipe of second, his 15th stolen base of the year).  Rios added a double to his homer to raise his batting average to a team-leading .309.  Mark Teahen joined the multi-hit club with a single and a double.  Collectively, the Sox totaled nine hits on the night, three fewer than the Royals, but with two of them being home runs and with six walks, it was more than enough to win.

The win gave the Sox their first series win over a division rival in 2010, and only their second series win overall (the other being the sweep of Seattle).  The Good Guys are now 4-8 against the A.L. Central (1-5 vs. Cleveland, 3-3 vs. Minnesota and KC combined) and 8-8 against the rest of the league.  John Danks, the team's best pitcher so far, faces the Blue Jays tonight at the Cell (where the home team is 8-7).  Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Gavin Floyd or Floyd the Barber of The Andy Griffith Show?  Which one would you rather have pitching for the White Sox?  Last night, it probably wouldn't have made a difference as the Kansas City Royals gave the Sox a 7-2 haircut.  Gavin had a few close shaves early, but wound up getting scalped -- 6.1 innings pitched, six runs, 13 hits, and two walks. 

Paul Konerko got the fans in a lather in the third inning with a nifty stab of a hot grounder down the line, a quick step on the bag, a spin move, and an on-target throw to A.J. Pierzynski, who tagged the runner trying to score for the double play.  (Enough with the barber puns from us, but please add your own in a comment to the blog.) 

Other positives on a night that the Sox fell to a team they used to own (but now don't even appear to rent) were few and far between.  Juan Pierre picked up two hits, a walk, and two more steals.  A.J. Pierzynski hit his first homer of the season.  And Sergio Santos continued to be perfect.

Santos, the shortstop turned pitcher, pitched 0.2 innings and gave up no runs, which should go without saying since he hasn't given up a run in his career.  Sure, he's  pitched in only 11 games, totaling 10.1 innings, but his stats are still impressive.  Santos has allowed only three hits, one hit batsman, and five walks, while striking out 13 batters.  Opponents are batting and slugging .094 against him and have an on-base average of only .237.  Pretty good start, wouldn't you say?

On the other end of the longevity spectrum, Ozzie Guillen managed his 1000th game last night, fourth most among Sox skippers, behind Jimmy Dykes (1850), Al Lopez (1495), and Tony La Russa (1035).  Assuming he sticks around (and who thought he'd last this long?), Oz needs another 5.25 seasons to break the record.  By the way, his 523 wins are good for third place on the all-time Sox manager list.  Go Ozzie! Go Sox!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


"He gone."  If you like hearing Hawk Harrelson's other catch phrase, then last night's game was for you.  Jake Peavy notched nine strikeouts while shutting out the Royals on four hits and a walk over seven innings to pick up the win last night in the Cell.  Peavy finally pitched like we had hoped he would before giving way to Matt Thornton (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R), who preserved the whitewash, and Scott Linebrink (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R), who didn't, leading to a final score of 5-1.

Holding Kansas City to one run meant that the Sox didn't need a multi-homer game to win -- only the second time this season that's happened -- but they put their 11 hits to good use.  The Good Guys did get a solo home run from Alexei Ramirez over the Looie Aparacio graphic in left-center.  The Missile, who also singled, was one of four Sox to garner multiple hits. Andruw Jones, 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI, Alex Rios, 3 for 4, also with a double and two RBI, and A.J. Pierzynski, 2 for 4, were the others.  (A tip of the hat to Update reader Mike Sehr, who insisted before the season that Rios would have a good year.  Rios's .299 batting average is tops on the team for players with more than 15 at bats.)   Juan Pierre stole two more bases to raise his total to an even dozen, and Jones swiped his fifth of the season.  Major League leader Paul Konerko did not hit a home run, which actually qualifies as news these days.

Justin Bieber, in town for a taping of Oprah, threw out the first pitch.  It would have hit a left-handed batter, but at least he (sort) of got it to the plate.  The young singer wore a Sox jersey with "Bieber" and "10" on the back.  That number, of course, was Sherm Lollar's number.  Sherm is the reason I'm a Sox fan, so I pay attention to those things.  I assume Bieber chose that number because that's his age -- not really, but he looks like he's 10.

The win reduces the Magic Number to 144 and moves the Sox into third place in the division, 6.0 games behind the Twins and 4.5 behind the second-place Tigers.  Gavin Floyd faces the Royals tonight as the Sox try to put together a winning streak.  Go Sox!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Let's focus on the good stuff from a frustrating weekend that saw the White Sox lose two out of three to the Yankees in New York:

Paul Konerko slugged home runs in the Friday (6-4) and Sunday losses (12-3).  Captain Crunch leads the Majors with 12 longballs.  He's also on top in slugging percentage, .790, and OPS (on base average + slugging percentage), 1.206.  Throw in his 24 RBI (second in the American League) and a .296 batting average and Paulie is having quite the season so far.

John Danks pitched well enough to win on Saturday, but wound up with a no-decision.  Danks threw five innings and gave up only two runs and six hits, but had to come out because he'd reached 118 pitches.  The Yanks are notorious for working the count and wearing out the opposition's pitching staff.  Danks left with a 5-2 lead that Scott Linebrink promptly relinquished, setting up the Sox  for a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Bronx Bombers.  It was the Yankees first loss of the year when leading after six innings and the first win ever for the Sox in new Yankee Stadium.  Since it was a Sox win, you know that there must have been at least two homers, and there were, one each by Andruw Jones (his 8th) and Mark Kotsay (his 2nd).  A.J. Pierzynski had three hits, including a two-out, two-run double in the seventh inning off former Sox pitcher Damaso Marte that provided the winning margin.  The Sox had grabbed the early lead off old friend Javy Vazquez, who has a 9.78 ERA now that he's back in the American League.  Bobby Jenks picked up his fifth save in five chances.

Sergio Santos continued his pursuit of perfection, finishing the weekend with his 0.00 ERA intact.  The converted shortstop pitched 0.2 innings on Friday and 1.0 innings on Sunday without giving up a run.

That's about it for the good stuff.  Go Sox