Well, the White Sox ended their three-game losing streak over the last two games. And, I’ll get to that in a minute. But, first, it’s time to talk about a member of the White Sox I don’t talk about much.
Paul Konerko is having a ridiculously awesome June. Coming into this weekend, he was batting .404 for the month of June, with 6 extra-base hits and 14 RBIs.
The rumor mill was (loudly) whirling in the off-season and it seems like the D-Backs were interested in signing Arizona-native Paul Konerko as a free-agent.
After this weekend, they are probably wishing they’d tried just a little bit harder.
Being at home must really agree with him, as we watched him hit a HR in each of the three games in this series. He was just generally on fire. Ozzie originally had planned to sit Paul today and let Adam Dunn play 1B, but honestly, you could practically plug Adam Dunn in at third base and almost still be better off, just by keeping Paul in the game. Well, obviously, that isn’t what happened, but Adam gave a (mildly slumping) Carlos Quentin a day off in RF – a position he has at least played before, albeit 2 years ago with the Nationals.
There were a lot of fun highlights this weekend, but there were a few things to be particularly happy about.
Saturday – John Danks took a liner off his head – AND THEN CONTINUED PITCHING, GETTING THE WIN. Brent Lillibridge managed to catch (and subsequently drop) *another* home run (I think John Danks is going to start requesting Lillibridge in the OF when he pitches) and prevented the tying and go-ahead run from scoring. Paul Konerko hit his daily homer, but even more remarkable was the 3-run BOMB from Alex Rios. Felt like we’d been waiting for that one forever. And, then another great inning of work each by Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton.
Sunday – The typical Sunday afternoon lineup was in full effect. Phil Humber continued to pitch like our staff ace – making the case for a hefty raise next year – and both Juan Pierre and AJ Pierzynski seemed rejuvenated by sitting on the bench for the previous game. Mark Teahen did well at the hot corner (though, not a ton of pop in his bat) and Omar Vizquel was his usual productive self. Paul hit his daily home-run and, after Adam Dunn (0-for-3) struck out, so did Alex Rios. Again.
The real fun was the 8th inning. Singles by Juan Pierre and Omar. Ramirez drives in a run with a groundout. So, 1B is empty and they finally IBB Konerko. Bad idea. Brent Lillibridge (replacing Adam Dunn) singled, Rios reached on an error. So, the bases are loaded and AJ ripped his second double of the game and with the speed of Lillibridge and Rios behind Paul, all three of them scored. We haven’t had a five-run inning in nearly long enough. There was a little more drama than was strictly necessary (keeping Humber in one batter too long and a slight bullpen incident), but we managed to pull it out and, Santos (former Diamondback first round draft pick – as a shortstop) came in for the 9th and looked a lot more like himself than he did against Oakland.
And, it should also be mentioned that because of the “Home Run Challenge”, the 2 HRs by the boys in black (and blue!) donated a healthy 5 figures to prostate cancer research and awareness.
Great timing for those home runs all around, really… :)
Well, that was fun. Let’s do it again sometime.
Like, tomorrow. Let the Crosstown Cup begin!
(And, the quest for .500 continues!)