Fortunately for the White Sox, and my sanity, they managed to grab the last two of the three games in the Cubs’ series.
Game 2 – First, there was some good pitching (we expect nothing less when Mark Buehrle is on the mound). And, then there was rain and wind. Lots and lots of rain and wind. The inability of the grounds-crew to get the tarp on the infield almost became the story of the game. I personally had a soft spot for Southpaw in his rain gear.
Well, we went to rain delay in typical White Sox style – with our starter left in one batter too long – and came back to the Cubs batting with one out and runners on first and third. So, in a surprise to no one who has watched any White Sox baseball this year, Jesse Crain started things off after the rain delay and continued to earn his paycheck, with an appearance by 2010 Matt Thornton and May 2011 Sergio Santos. Paul Konerko was on fire, continuing his HR barrage, but it was an incredibly well-timed sac fly after an epic battle at the plate by Brent Morel to try drive in the winning run. He’s never going to win a silver slugger, but he’s made remarkable progress this year in putting together some professional and timely at-bats. It’s nice to see. Paul Konerko can’t win ’em all for us.
Game 3 – Lots of stuff happened. Jake Peavy came off the DL. And, while he (self-admittedly) didn’t have his best stuff, he battled it out for the win (again, left in 2 batters too long. But, in Ozzie-land, we’re used to that.) AJ Pierzynski legged out a 2-RBI triple (his first triple in 2 years) and there’s been a happy little spark in Alexei Ramirez and Alex Rios’ bats.
Again, the bullpen was on fire – fine performances from Crain, Sale, Thornton and Santos. Brent Lillibridge came out of the game with 2 RBI and (as he said) the ball never went further than 5 feet. He got plunked with the bases loaded for the winning RBI. And, yeah, there was some sort of very-unsurprising fight between Jake Peavy and AJ Pierzynski (I know I was shocked – I never could have predicted the two of them butting heads) in the dugout.
But, really, the highlight of this entire game (for me) was some smart baserunning by AJ Pierzynski on Brent Lillibridge’s 4th inning suicide squeeze.
Who doesn’t love a well-executed suicide squeeze? Not even my defense-loving heart is immune to appreciating the beauty of the well-executed suicide. (As usual, click on the photo to watch the video.)
So, the White Sox squeaked out their 17th straight inter-league series victory and, next up, the Nationals come to town. For the second time this season, we get to take on a team the day after they have a managerial change. They’re on a hot streak right now. So, in spite of their manager quitting, I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t worried about them.