Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It was a long weekend that started poorly, but ended on a good note. The White Sox lost on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Toronto, but took the Memorial Day game from their personal patsies (11 wins in their last 13 games), the Boston Red Sox. Instead of a thorough recap, let’s focus primarily on the pitching.

Jake Peavy improved to 2-0 with his win over the Bosox yesterday. He contributed a Quality Start – a relatively rare commodity for the Chisox these days – and may be the best pitcher of late. (Paul Konerko supported Peavy with his 11th home run of the season.)

On Sunday, John Danks’s nightmare continued versus the Blue Jays. The lefty gave up nine runs on nine hits and a walk and fell to 0-8 for 2011. I may be going out on a limb here, but I honestly believe Danks will win a game this year. Of course, if he moves to the bullpen to remove the logjam of starters, that may not be such a sure thing. Lucas Harrell, called up from Triple-A Charlotte to take the place of Tony Pena, who moved to the DL, threw four innings, but also gave up nine hits, but “only” four runs. (Carlos Quentin slugged his 13th home run of the year.)

Saturday’s game saw a parade of pitchers. The highlights, or more accurately, the lowlights: Edwin Jackson, the starter didn’t have it, giving up nine hits and six runs. Jesse Crain blew a save. And Gavin Floyd took the loss in relief in the 14th inning – hence the callup of Harrell.

On Friday, Mark Buehrle had a Quality Start but lost as the Sox scored only two runs against the Jays. Those QS’s aren’t something the Good Guys can afford to waste.

Despite all this, the Magic Number is down to 118, the Sox are back to 8.5 games behind the Surprising Indians, and the team is in third place in the division. Hopefully, their luck against the Carmine Hose will continue and they’ll start another streak of winning series. Go Sox!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Gavin Floyd deserved better. Giving up just one earned run – two total – on three hits in seven innings is usually good enough to win. But not yesterday, as the White Sox fell to the Rangers 2-1.

Until yesterday, Floyd had won every time he permitted two runs or fewer, allowing no runs twice, one run once, and two runs two times in his five wins. He’d lost only when giving up five or more runs – six runs twice and five runs once. Hell, he even escaped with a no decision when letting four runs cross the plate.

The problem was no offense. Paul Konerko, who was 1 for 3, drove in the only run. Adam Dunn left the tying and winning runs on base in the eighth inning when pinch-hitting for Brent Morel. Dunn has now gone 32 consecutive plate appearances without a hit against a lefty, and Morel could hardly have done worse than Dunn’s strikeout. Alex Rios also failed to deliver in the clutch, leaving the tying run stranded in both the seventh and ninth innings. Someone has to step up, because these two guys aren’t doing it.

Fortunately, the Surprising Indians lost, so the Sox did not fall farther behind in the division race, and they picked up one in the Magic Number calculations. It was the first series loss in the last seven, so it’s time to start a new streak. Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


When Carlos Quentin gets hot, he can carry the White Sox – and that’s what he did last night in leading the Sox to an 8-6 win over the Rangers in Texas. Q, who was moved into the No. 3 slot in the order, slugged three home runs for the first time in his career, raising his season total to 12.

The three blasts resulted in five RBI, boosting his tally for the year to 31. The first dinger, a solo shot, came in the first inning and was a line drive that Hawk Harrelson was imploring to stay up. The second time Q went yard, in the third inning, he absolutely launched one down the right field line that traveled 405 feet and was never in doubt, driving in two runners ahead of him. The third big fly was another bullet to left that came in the ninth inning with the bases empty and gave the Sox an insurance run that they didn’t wind up needing.

Q did get a little help from his friends. Adam Dunn, who was dropped to fifth in the batting order, also made Ozzie look a managerial brainiac by powering a ball into the home run porch in right field. Brent Morel contributed an RBI single, and Alex Rios chipped in with an RBI double.

Jake Peavy started the game and gave up two runs on five hits in three innings before the rains came. The almost 3-hour delay ended Peavy’s night, and a parade of relievers did just enough to get the win: Will Ohman, 1.0 IP; Tony Pena, 1.0 IP and the win; Chris Sale, 1.0 IP and a hold; Jesse Crain, 1.0 IP and a hold; Matt Thornton, 0.2 IP and a hold, though he got himself in a jam that forced him out before the eighth inning was over; and Sergio Santos, 1.1 IP to earn the 4-out save, his seventh. Ozzie said he would have used starters Phil Humber and Edwin Jackson if the game had gone to extra innings. Thankfully, that wasn’t necessary.

The Surprising Indians suffered a rare loss at home, so the Sox win moves them back to 9.0 games behind the Tribe. The win also gives the Sox a chance at winning another series, as Gavin Floyd takes the mound this afternoon. Go Sox!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


There are those – myself included – who thought that John Danks was the best pitcher in the White Sox starting rotation this year. Boy, were we wrong! Danks, who has yet to win a game in 2011, lost for the seventh time in 10 starts. He gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks over eight innings, in a 4-0 loss to the Rangers last night in Texas.

Even assuming the Sox return to a five-man rotation, as has been rumored, Danks has 22 or 23 starts remaining. Over the last three years, when he’s won 15, 13, and 12 games, Danks has won about 41% of his starts. That pace works out to nine wins, which would be his worst performance since he became a full-time starter in 2008. (Of course, that percentage is misleading because it includes losses that have already occurred, so he’s likely to win more than nine games IF he recovers his form of the past few seasons.)

Danks hasn’t received much run support this year – 2.2 runs per game – and last night was no different. The Sox were shut out for the sixth time this year, which exceeds their total of five for last season and matches their total in 2006. The Good Guys failed to post a run 11 times in 2007 and 2008 and were blanked 13 times in 2009. The pace they’re on now – 6 shutouts in 49 games – projects to 20 whitewashes for the 2011 season, a much too high a number.

But it’s hard to score when you get only five hits, as the Sox did last night. Juan Pierre, Paul Konerko, and A.J. Pierzynski each had one, and Gordon Beckham collected a pair.

The loss combined with Cleveland’s win leaves the Sox 10.0 games back in the division race. Now would be a good time to start climbing the rest of the way out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves. Go Sox!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Just a quick one today, as work beckons. The White Sox won their fifth series out of the last six (the other was a 1-1 split), by Meat Loafing the Dodgers. And in this case, two outta three really ain’t bad since the Good Guys lost the opener and had to take the final two games to preserve their undefeated series streak.

Now if they could win two games in every one of the 36 remaining series, the Sox would wind up with 72 more wins to go with their current 22, for a final record of 94-68. Most years, that’s good enough to get into the post-season, if not win the division. This year, it should be good at least for the wild card. The A.L. West stinks, as going into yesterday’s games, no team in that division had a winning record; the Surprising Indians were the only A.L. Central team on the plus side of the ledger; and the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, and even the Blue Jays (all above .500 before Sunday) are beating up on each other enough that the A.L. East doesn’t project to the Wild Card. So the formula is clear – just win two games every series and make the playoffs.

With the weekend’s results in the books, the Sox cut the Magic Number to 126, but lost ground in the standings, as they again trail Cleveland by 9.0 games. The key to the Tribe’s success has been winning at home, where they’re an absurd 18-4. Two of those losses came courtesy of the Sox and two were to the Rays. Their schedule over the next 20 games includes nine at home against the Red Sox, Rangers, and Twins, and 11 on the road against the Rays, Jays, Yanks, and Tigers. Time for them to cool off and the Sox to heat up. Go Sox!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Remember the old Doublemint commercials – Double your pleasure, double your fun? Well, the White Sox did exactly that last night against the Surprising Indians. They not only doubled the Indians’ score they doubled it twice, winning 8-2, behind two sets of two players who drove in two runs and the pitching of Gavin Floyd.
In the first inning, Paul Konerko slammed a fastball off the wall in left field for a double that scored two runners – Juan Pierre, who had doubled himself, and Alexei Ramirez. In the second, Ramirez doubled down the left field line to score two more – Dallas McPherson and Omar Vizquel. Later in the second inning, Adam Dunn lined a ball up the middle that almost decapitated Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona and wound up plating an additional two runners – Pierre and Ramirez. And in the fifth, with Paulie on base, Carlos Quentin powered a home run just to the right of the Nellie Fox graphic to complete the two-run scoring spree. Add to that two-squared players (Pierre, Ramirez, Dunn, and Q) who had two hits, two players (Pierre and Ramirez) who scored two runs, a double play in the field by the Sox, and two twin killings that the Good Guys “hit” into at bat. (I put “hit” in quotes because one of them was a strikeout by Konerko and a caught stealing by Dunn. The Big Donkey trying to swipe a base happens a lot more often than I would have guessed. He’s stolen 59 and been caught 22 two times in his career.)
Enough with the Doublemint theme – it’s a Wrigley’s product after all. Let’s move on to Floyd the Barber, who allowed only one run and five hits in his 7.0 innings. He threw 67 strikes out of his 103 pitches, while striking out three and walking only one. Floyd’s opposite number was Carmona, who does pretty well when he isn’t facing the Sox – 2.46 ERA against the rest of the league. However, on Opening Day, he gave up 10 runs to the South Siders, and last night, he was charged with all eight runs. I’m sure the Sox wouldn’t mind facing him again – but that will have to wait until at least July 22, which is the next time they face the Tribe.
The sweep means the Sox have won four of their last five series, with the other being a split with Texas. Cleveland’s lead over us is down to 8.0 games and the Magic Number has been reduced to 128. Now, it’s time to feast on some National League teams, which is what started the hot streak for the team last year. We still owe the Dodgers – the next opponent – for 1959, so Go Sox!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Jake Peavy was masterly in mastering Justin Masterson and the Surprising Indians last night, tossing a three-hit, complete game, shut out. The erstwhile Cy Young Award winner struck out eight, walked none, and threw 78 of his 111 pitches for strikes in a brilliant display of control. Peavy reached 95 MPH with his fastball – or speedball, as Springsteen calls it in Glory Days. I’d love to ask Bruce why he used that word when fastball would have worked just fine, though who am I to question The Boss? But I digress.
Adam Dunn provided all the run support Peavy needed with a sacrifice fly that scored Juan Pierre in the first inning. Dunn, Pierre, and Brent Lillibridge each doubled, Omar Vizquel and A.J. Pierzynski singled, and that was it for the White Sox.
We just took a look at the Sox record when scratching out five hits in a game, so we won’t go there again so soon, but let’s look at how many games they win when scoring just one run. Not many. Over the last 92 years, the Good Guys have won 173 games by a 1-0 score, including 18 triumphs over the Tribe in that period. Six of their 173 wins have come since the 2005 season, including two against Cleveland. In games since 1919 where the Sox pitchers hold the opposition to just three hits, the team has a 345-47 record – 19-4 starting in 2006.  As you'd expect, giving up only three safeties is a pretty good sign you're going to win, although I would have guessed the chance of winning in that situation would be even higher
The win cut Cleveland’s lead to 9.0 games and the Magic Number to 130. The Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 games, which means that no team that doesn’t have Red in its name – Red Sox and Reds – has a better record than our boys over that period. They’ve already guaranteed they won’t lose this two-game series with the Indians. Now let’s go out and win it today. Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


John Danks failed again in his bid to win his first game of the season, but at least the White Sox won. Brent Morel slugged his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, to tie the game in the fifth inning, and Gordon Beckham scored on a wild pitch in the eighth inning to give the Sox a 4-3 victory over the Rangers at the Cell.
Danks contributed a Quality Start – 6.1 innings pitched; 4 hits; 3 runs; 2 earned runs – before turning it over to the bullpen to shut down Texas. Jesse Crain got his first win, and Sergio Santos notched his sixth save in as many chances. For Santos, it was his 20th scoreless inning pitched, keeping him at a 0.00 ERA for the year.
The Sox won for only the third time in 22 games when they’ve been outhit. Aside from Morel’s homer, Alex Rios, Brent Lillibridge, and Dallas McPherson each singled. (The single by McPherson, who was just called up from Triple-A Charlotte, moved Beckham to third base and allowed him to score on Cody Eppely’s wild pitch.) The team’s total of four hits is usually the kiss of death. Starting with the 1919 season, the Good Guys have a 55-650 record when collecting four hits (.078). While the record is a little better since they won the Series in 2005, 6-41 (.128), it’s still nothing to write home about. So yesterday’s win was unusual in multiple respects.
The Sox are now undefeated in their last four series – three wins and a tie – and now host the Surprising Indians. The Pale Hose hold the season’s edge on the Tribe, a 2-1 Meat Loafing in the opening series of 2011, but trail in the standings by 10.0 games. It’s their Justin Masterson against our Jake Peavy in the first of two games at the Cell. Go Sox!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This job thing keeps getting in the way of writing The Update, so this will have to do.
The White Sox posted their third consecutive Meat Loaf series win by taking two of three from the A’s over the weekend. As for our two potential All-Stars, Sergio Santos picked up the saves in both victories, preserving his perfect ERA for the season, and Paul Konerko was 5 for 12 in the three games, including his tenth homer on Saturday. Speaking of All-Stars, the official website of the Sox asks fans to vote for all of the Sox starters. Who do they think we are, Cubs fans? Come on, only Santos and Konerko currently deserve the honor of being named to the team, and it’s way too early for even them to “make it.” Man, I hate public relations campaigns.
It’s not looking good for the Sox to take a fourth series in a row. In fact, at this point, it’s impossible. There’s no room for losing in a two-game series like the Sox have with Texas yesterday and today – and the Sox have already lost game one, 4-0.
That’s what happens when you get only five hits. In games the Sox have collected exactly five hits since the 1919 season, the team is 110-931, a .106 winning percentage. Since winning the 2005 Series, the Sox record when notching five hits is a much more respectable 19-41, a .317 percentage. I would have guessed that the Good Guys hit more home runs now than they used to and each of those has a disproportionate influence on the outcome, but their winning percentage during the last five years when at least one of their five hits is a homer is .314 (11-24) compared to .320 (8-17) when they get five without a homer. You tell me what explains it.
By the way, I had to post today because it’s Carlos May’s birthday. Longtime readers know the significance of this – Carlos is the only player in major league history to wear his birthday on the back of his uniform: May 17. Happy Birthday, Carlos! Go Sox!

Friday, May 13, 2011


My bad on saying in yesterday’s Update that the White Sox had another game to play against the Angels in this series. For whatever reason, I kept thinking yesterday was Wednesday, not Thursday, hence the mistake. So, that means the Sox actually won the series, their second in a row, following the Meat Loafing of Seattle. It was just their fourth series win of the year – the other two being the season-opener against Cleveland, the home-opener against the Rays. Now, it’s on to Oakland to play the Athletics.

The A’s are actually the team outside the division that the Sox have the most all-time wins against. The biggest all-time patsy for the Sox is the Minnesota franchise (which makes sense when you remember that the Twins were the Washington Senators before they relocated), whom they’ve beaten 1074 games. The Indians (who have always been in Cleveland, but have had a variety of names, including the Molly Maguires) have the second most losses to the Chisox at 1026. And the Athletics in all their various cities (Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Oakland) have fallen to the Sox 1017 times. That’s it for teams the Sox have beaten at least 1000 times, though the Tigers (same name, same city throughout their history) should join that group this season, since the Pale Hose win total is at 996 and counting.

Only the Yankees franchise (formerly the New York Highlanders and before that the Baltimore Orioles – that’s right, the Yankees were once located in Baltimore and called the Orioles) and the Tigers have beaten the Sox at least a 1000 times: New York, 1049 and Detroit, 1012. The Twins need just six more wins over the Sox to join that group this season.

Overall, the Sox have winning records against 21 of the other 29 teams. In the American League, only the Yankees, Tigers, Red Sox, and Blue Jays hold the advantage over the South Siders. In the National League, it’s a much smaller sample size, but the four teams that have a winning record against the Sox are the Cardinals, Marlins, Phillies, and Diamondbacks.

By the way, the Sox have played the most games against the Twins (2084) and the fewest against the Mets (3). The team’s best winning percentage is against the Reds (.824) and worst versus Arizona. Against American League teams, the best winning percentage is against the Rays (.578) and the worst is against the Yanks (.441). Of course, the Bronx Bombers have a winning record against every American League team, and all National League teams except the Phillies, Dodgers, and Giants (.500 against all three teams) and the Reds (.333).

Anyway, with the Surprising Indians surprising loss yesterday, the Magic Number drops to 135. The Sox pick up a half-game in the standings, so they’re 9.0 games behind. Time to win another series. Go Sox!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


It was all about the comeback last night. The White Sox came back from a 4-1 deficit by scoring in the eighth, ninth, and tenth innings to beat the Angels, 6-4. Jake Peavy came back from lat surgery last July and rotator cuff tendonitis this March to pitch six innings in his first start of 2011. Matt Thornton came back from closer hell to earn his first save of the season by tossing a scoreless tenth inning. And Adam Dunn continued his comeback from suckiness by going 4 for 5 with a walk, including a homer and a crucial role in the ninth and tenth inning rallies.
The victory was just the fifth comeback win of the year for the Sox. Going into last night’s game, the team was 2-19 when trailing after six innings, 2-18 when behind after seven, and 1-18 when losing after eight – the three situations they faced last night. But an Alex Rios single and Omar Vizquel double resulted in one run in the eighth to make the score 4-2 Halos. Next inning, Dunn’s walk, Carlos Quentin’s single, and A. J. Pierzynski’s base knock made it 4-3; Vizquel’s sac fly drove home Brent Lillibridge (Q’s designated pinch-runner) for the tie. In the tenth, Alexei Ramirez singled, advanced to third on Dunn’s double, and scored on a wild pitch. The Sox picked up an insurance run when Lillibridge plated Dunn with another sac fly.

After Peavy’s 6.0 innings – he allowed four runs on seven hits – the bullpen went into lockdown mode. Jesse Crain gave up no runs on one hit in the seventh. Sergio Santos kept his ERA at 0.00 by pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth to earn his second win. And for the first time in five tries, Matt Thornton notched a save by shutting down the Angels without a hit.

And while this doesn’t fit the comeback theme, Paul Konerko deserves mention for his – prepare yourself for some alliteration – fantastic final frame fielding feats. First, Paulie leaped to spear a liner. Then, the Captain fielded Torii Hunter’s bunt on one hop while running towards the mound and flipped the ball behind his back to Thornton, who grabbed the toss bare-handed while sprinting toward the bag to beat Hunter to first. Game over.

The win, combined with the Surprising Indian’s loss, moves the Sox to 9.5 games out of the division lead. The Good Guys are in position to win another series, with a 2-1 lead on the Halos with one left to play today. Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


What's the matter with John Danks?  At the start of the season, I thought Danks would be the White Sox's best pitcher.  After last night's 6-2 loss to the Angels, when his cutter didn't cut, the lefty's 2011 record stood at 0-6. 

And it wasn't the lack of run support that did him in.  Danks gave up six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks in just 5.0 innings.  (Jeff Gray threw the final three innings without giving up a run, but it likely won't save him from being shipped back to the minors to make room for Jake Peavy, who is slated to start today's game in Anaheim.  By the way, the Sox will be going with a six-man rotation for a while.)

At bat, there weren't many highlights:  Paul Konerko slugged his ninth home run of the year, a solo shot, and Adam Dunn doubled home Alexei Ramirez and coaxed another walk.  The Missile actually reached base three times with hits (including a double), as he and A.J. Pierzynski (2 for 4 with a double) were the only Sox players to collect multiple hits.  Brent Morel had the other Sox safety, but committed two errors -- one fielding and one throwing.  Morel made the starting lineup because of his defense not his offense, so last night was a reversal of fortunes of sorts.

Getting outhit -- the Angels had a dozen to the Good Guys' eight -- continued to be an almost predictor of a loss.  The Sox record when losing the battle of hits is now a putrid 2-17, or a .105 winning percentage.  By contrast, their opponents are 5-11 when they have fewer hits in a game than the Sox, or a winning percentage of .313.

Since Cleveland won again last night, the surprising Indians now lead the disappointing Sox (name change application pending) by 10.5 games, though the Sox did manage to stay ahead of the Twinkies, who also lost.  Time to start another streak.  Go Sox!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This is crazy talk, but if the White Sox rip off another 25-5 streak like they did last year, well ....  What got me thinking like this is the team's first three-game winning streak of the season, courtesy of an 8-0 thrashing of the Angels last night.

Edwin Jackson pitched brilliantly -- no runs, only five hits and a walk in 7.0 innings -- and finally got some run support.  The Sox hadn't scored a single run for EJ in his last four starts, so yesterday's offensive breakout was welcome indeed.

The Good Guys pounded out 11 hits with six players reaching base at least twice.  Carlos Quentin was The Man, doubling twice, poking his seventh homer of the season, and driving in five runs.  Alexei Ramirez was 2 for 5 with a home run.  Adam Dunn posted a 2 for 4 night with a walk.  Paul Konerko was "only" 1 for 3, but had two bases on balls.  A.J. Pierzynski had a single and a walk in five plate appearances.  And Gordon Beckham contributed a 2 for 4 night, including a four-bagger.

Although pitching a shutout guarantees a win, outhitting the Angels (11-6) correlates well with a victory, as the Sox improved their record to 11-5 when they collect more safeties than the opposition.  They're a terrible 2-16 when getting outhit.  And they're 1-1 when the two teams match each other's hit totals. 

During the winning streak, the Sox have scored 19 runs on 40 hits, and only the Rays have a longer win streak going than the Sox.  By the way, this time last year, the Pale Hose had a one-game better record of 15-21, so there's hope that the season isn't a lost cause.

The good news is that the Sox are ahead of the Twins -- a position we'd have signed up for at the start of the season.  The bad news is that even with the streak, the Good Guys are still 9.5 games behind Cleveland, which has officially changed its name from the lowly Indians to the surprising Indians.  In the words of Hawk Harrelson, "Don't stop now, boys!"

Monday, May 9, 2011


Sorry, folks, but work -- and a lack of enthusiasm for this season -- have prevented me from posting when I normally would have.  But here's a bit of what you missed:
  • Pretty in Pink: No not the Molly Ringwold, Jon Cryer movie -- the White Sox wearing pink on Mother's Day in honor of breast cancer awareness. and winning the rubber game in the series with the Mariners.  That was their first series win since taking three out of four from the Rays in the first homestand of the year.  Paul Konerko was particularly pretty, or at least his pink cleats and 5 for 5 batting day were.  Paulie entered the game hitting .295 and left having raised his average by 28 points to .323.  Over his last 10 games, the Captain is 11 for 32, which works out to a .344 average.
  • Still Perfect: Sergio Santos still has not given up a run this season.  He's 3 for 3 in saves and he picked up the win (his first this year) on Sunday when the Sox pushed across three runs in the 10th inning.  Opponents are batting a meager .140 against Sergio (significantly better than the  .261 he put up last year).  His WHIP -- walks plus hits per inning pitched -- is a minuscule 0.87 (compared with last year's 1.53).  Ozzie finally listened to me and made him the closer, or at least I think he did.
  • Back in the Saddle Again: That was one of former Angel owner Gene Autry's lines, which is only fitting since Jake Peavy is set to make his 2011 major league pitching debut on Wednesday against the Halos.  Peavy, who has been rehabbing from a torn lat, says he's ready to go, and this time, so does the medical staff.  Hopefully, he'll be the spark that turns this ugly season around.
  • Caught Red-Handed or Not Caught at All:  This is the only lowlight I'm going to talk about and it's not so much about the weekend as it is the season.  Juan Pierre has five errors in the outfield this season, matching his total for the last three years combined.  Pierre also has been caught stealing more often than he has successfully swiped a base -- 6 CS vs. 8 SB.  The man is killing us and that doesn't even count his hitting: .260 BA/.338 OBP/.290 SLG this year vs. .297/.347/.365 lifetime.  I hate to dump on Juan because he tries so hard, but the fielding and base running stats are just inexcusable.
Anyway, the Sox are still in last place, 10.0 games behind the Tribe.  They're still on the West Coast, where they played surprisingly well last year.  And they're still the team we root for.  So Go Sox!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


White Sox starter, Edwin Jackson, pitched a great game last night.  One run on six hits over 8.0 innings means it was one of his best outings since throwing a no-hitter last June for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Unfortunately, he got no offensive support.  Literally none.  No runs, no hits.  This time it was Francisco Liriano who threw the No-No and got the win.  (Actually, a relatively recent rule change requires that you get the win for it to be called a no-hitter.  Why would you even need that rule?  Well, since 1919 -- the earliest date available in Baseball.Reference.com's search tool -- there have been five times when a team has won the game while failing to get a hit.)

Ordinarily, the Sox win when they give up just one run.  In fact, since the 1919 season, they've lost only 172 games when allowing one run, or less than two games a year on average.  Since they won the World Series in 2005 -- that really happened, didn't it? -- they've done even better, losing only five times when the other team scores only once.  And since 1919, the Sox had been no-hit just eight times before last night.

The loss not only puts the Sox in last place in the Central Division, a half game behind the fourth-place Twins, but it gives the Good Guys the worst record in baseball.  Enough already.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Mark Buehrle won his first game since Opening Day as the White Sox broke their five-game losing streak by beating the Orioles last night, 6-2.  Buehrle was in trouble the whole night, giving up eight hits and four walks, but wiggled out without allowing a run in his 6.2 innings.

The bullpen preserved the victory, with Jesse Crain tossing 1.1 innings of shutout ball to lower his ERA to 1.26.  Chris Sale, mired in a sophomore slump, gave up two runs in 0.2 innings to raise his ERA to 7.15.  Sales's problem is his control -- only 15 of his 34 pitches were strikes.  His ineffectiveness forced Ozzie to bring in Sergio Santos.  The Sox closer put out the fire, striking out the only batter he faced to end the O's threat and keep his ERA at 0.00 for the season.

Paul Konerko took charge of the offense, powering two home runs, his seventh and eighth of the year (and Alex Rios hit his second).  There was a lot of talk about Paulie's being unable to duplicate his stellar 2010 performance (especially after landing that fat contract extension), but the Captain is gettin' 'er done.  Hopefully, he'll keep it up and the rest of his mates will join him in having a good season.

The win allows the Sox to pick up a half game on the idle Indians, who are 9.5 games in front of them.  And now the Good Guys face the Twins.  The Sox are 2-10 in their last 12 games against Minnesota and 6-22 in their last 28 contests.  The Twinkies have taken four straight and 11 of 13 at the Cell.  But these Twins are having problems of their own, trailing the Sox by a half game in the standings.  Let's hope that makes for a different outcome than that ugly recent history reflects.  Go Sox!

Monday, May 2, 2011


The Good News: The U.S. finally picked off Osama Bin Laden.  The Bad News: It was another lost weekend for the White Sox.  If it seems like I say that every Monday morning about the Sox, you're right.  They just don't play well on the weekend.  After losing to the Orioles on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the Sox have a combined record this season of 4-11 in weekend games.

You might be saying that of course they have a bad weekend record since they have a bad overall record, but the team is a combined 6-8 the rest of the week -- though Wednesdays are no picnic at 1-3.  The only day of the week that the Good Guys have a winning record is Thursdays, when the Sox are 2-1.

All in all -- notice the embedding of "All In" in that phrase -- the season is off to a horrible start and you won't be getting the gory details from me.  Just big picture stuff unless they win, which they haven't done now since April 24, and have done only three times since April 12. 

So here's the big picture: The Sox trail the Indians by 10.0 games, tied with the Twins for last place in the division.  Those Twins come to town for two games starting Tuesday (after the Sox finish up their wrap-around series with the O's).  One of those pre-season favorites is going to have to win in this battle of the not exactly irresistible force meets the not so immovable object.  Go Sox!