Tag Archives: break my heart

Today’s loss was sort-of inevitable, but not this way. Or: Too bad we can’t ask for a do-over.

Well, when the Tigers went up 2-0 instantly and Edwin Jackson needed 40-something pitches to get out of the first inning and the White Sox didn’t have a hit until (I think) the 4th inning, I didn’t have a great feeling about today. Which is why this loss seems somewhat inevitable. With the amount of baserunners that Detroit had today (they left 10 on base, courtesy of a total of 9 hits and the fact that the White Sox pitching staff walked a combined 7 of their guys today). It seemed like the game should have been 37-0 for them by the end of the 4th inning.

And, then, in the 5th, a 2-run HR by Beckham tied it up and we were back in it. There were ups and downs from there, but it never seemed like either side had a good hold on it from then. In the 7th and 8th, Chris Sale pitched a bit, followed by Jesse Crain in the 8th (and makes a fantastic double play) and then again in the 9th, still tied at 2. He gives up a lead-off triple and then manages to get the next two guys to pop-out and strike-out and avoid a sacrifice fly – because he is just that awesome.

And, then, with first and second empty, whoever was steering this ship today decided to pitch to the cleanup man (Miguel Cabrera). And, then, on the 1-2 pitch, BAM! A two-run homer to RF. I think maybe that decision wasn’t so hot in retrospect.

So, as was sort of expected from the 2nd inning, this one goes in the loss column. I just wish it wasn’t on a play everyone will be regretting in the morning. Jesse Crain is better than that loss, I think. Though, I’m not ruling out the possibility that I’m biased. I don’t think I’ve pulled out a sad Charlie Brown photo since I moved to wordpress, but today’s post needs a little help from the Peanuts.

However, in the “things that do not entirely suck” column: The Brent-Brent defensive duo was out in full force again today. Morel with another heads-up line-out at 3rd (among others) and Lillibridge falling (literally) into the lap of the people sitting in the first row along the right field foul line (among others). Morel keeps this up and someday that glove could be gold (BOLD PREDICTION TIME. Note – I did not say that he would keep it up, but I can hope!) and if that play of Lillibridge falling into the crowd doesn’t appear online, I am going to be disappointed. Because it’s been at least 3 days since he’s had a video added to my defense page. (And, not to mention, that all HRs look kind of the same, and yet we get a video of every one of those. I think this was just as worthy. <– PET PEEVE ALERT)

And, not that I think this will magically solve all of the White Sox’s issues, but I really hope Paul Konerko starts feeling better soon.

Tomorrow is a new day. Thank goodness. :)

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Toronto, Part Two. Or: Let’s not do that again sometime.

Trapped at the ballpark today, surrounded by 18,000 Jays fans and not being able to change the channel…

Instead, I am going to post a link to a video from yesterday – the first time in his 23 year career that Omar has played first base.


“We talked about it in Spring Training. [Guillen] said I might have to play some first base this year, and I was like ‘Come on, you’ve got too many guys out there that can play first,'” Vizquel said. “I never thought I was actually going to have a chance.”

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Today was almost a double-header. Or: More wacky Canadian hijinks. (Up close and personal.)

Before I talk about today (which, believe me, I will), I have to mention one thing about last night’s 4-2 loss in Toronto. I had to laugh a little in exasperation when John Farrell tried to argue that Mark Beurhrle was pitching too quickly. Ordinarily, I don’t have much to say about the newly-minted Blue Jays manager, but that was slightly silly. I know that his current superstar likes to take the opportunity to stretch out every muscle in his back as frequently as possible (and, I have truly nothing but respect for Jose Bautista and the amazing numbers he is putting up, and he really seems like a very genuine person, from most accounts), but I’m not sure that the little-used rule that says that the batter can’t wander in and out of the batters box and has to be ready when the pitcher sets, has a clause about the time that a pitcher must wait between successive pitchers. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

His speedy nature is the thing I like best about watching Beurhrle pitch. Sign, Set, Throw. No rituals, no head-shaking negotiations with the catcher, he just gets the sign, and he’s ready to go. All business, all the time. He did a great job and, as always, it was a pleasure to watch him pitch.

Now, onto today. Game one of my two-day adventure to The Rogers Centre Sky Dome.

I’m now going to try to talk about 14 innings of baseball in 200 words or less (and fail miserably. Bear with me, there were a lot of memorable things about today. Because I am biased. And, I was there. Which always makes it more memorable.)

The Highlights:

  • The LINE-UP. Getting to T.O. and getting this twitter update? Was awesome.
    However, at the end of the day, the starting line-up almost became irrelevant in the face of the way the game ended up unfolding. I was kinda bummed that I was missing both Gavin Floyd and Mark Beurhrle, but getting Omar (get well soon, Beckham!) and Lillibridge in the line-up for my first game of the season was exciting. Omar is, well, Omar and Lillibridge has been such a spitfire this year, I was looking forward to seeing the both of them.
  • Getting to hang out and watch the Sox just having a good time during batting practice. Even Dunn almost seemed relaxed.
  • The roof was open in time for the game. Everything’s better with the roof open.
  • Falling behind thanks to current Home-Run King Jose Bautista’s 20th HR of the season so quickly in the first inning didn’t sting so much after Brent Lillibridge stepped up to the plate at the top of the second and BLAM! A 2-run HR of his own.
  • Watching Edwin Encarnacion hobble (literally) to and from the plate for a pinch-hitting appearance that was met with boos was kind of a downer. He and Adam Dunn could proably have a chat, though I wonder if it would end up helping or hurting both of them. But, man, he sure had the same beat-up expression on his face.
  • The completely over-the-top booing EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Rios came to the plate was almost unbearably obnoxious. I was embarrassed on behalf of my hometown.
  • Jesse Crain, being pulled into the game in a typical post-Thornton-meltdown 2-on, 2-out, Jose Bautista at the plate, Juan Rivera on deck scenario, finally gives it up. Just like Sergio, it was bound to happen to him eventually. But, he’s still my clutch-man. Getting it right 9-times out of 10? He’s more than earning his salary in my book.
  • My biggest (biased) source of frustration today? Well, since I was sitting behind third base, I had a stellar view of the Jays’ outfield not having a clue what to do with Lillibridge’s extra-base hit in the 8th. And, also, of Jeff Cox punking out at third base put up the stop signal when there was more than enough time for him to make it home for an inside-the-park homer. The Jays’ defense had clearly given up on the play (seriously. They were practically having a conversation), sure that Lillibridge’s speed would have him halfway to home. The outcome ended up the same, when Lillibridge scored on a passed ball about a minute later. BUT IT’S THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING.
  • Did I mention Chris Sale pitched 3 great innings of relief? In a pressure-situation? Who knew?!
  • When I get done here, I am adding Brent Lillibridge’s almost-blooper-turned-wacky-defense to my ❤ defense page. It was the only time today I missed having the instant replay.
  • So we’re in the top of the 11th, and in comes Quentin to pinch hit for McPherson (who was in after pinch-running for Konerko in the 9th) and signalling the offical start of Dugout Musical Chairs.

  • Carlos Quentin to RF –> Brent Lillibridge from RF to 2B –> Omar Vizquel from 2B to 1B and Sergio comes into the game for 2 familiar-looking awesome innings. At this point, it is important to point out that it appears Omar is using Adam Dunn’s first baseman’s glove.

  • Because, for the final out of the inning, Patterson (more on him later) grounds out to Omar’s giant novelty-sized glove and he bobbles the ball a couple of times before flipping it to Santos, who was ready and waiting.
  • At this point, I will take a break from the long-winded recap and draw your attention to the header across the top of my blog.
    1. Jesse Crain – check. 2. Omar Vizquel – check. 3. Sergio Santos – check. 4. Brent Lillibridge – check.

  • And, at some point in the 12th inning when pretty much the only thing missing (for me) from this game popped up onto the LCD running between the second and third deck: Gavin Floyd was in the bullpen. CHECK. Finally. It only took 13 innings, but when he came in, Ozzie finally made good on his promise of beefing up the bullpen with the starting guys. And, the people in front of me finally clued in that I wasn’t rooting for Toronto. My hat was very subtle, obviously.
  • As Ozzie pointed out after the game, pretty much nothing happened offensively for the Sox (or the Jays) until the bottom of the 14th when Corey Patterson (the strangely, but wisely, appointed DH) blasted a walk-off homer in Gavin’s second inning of relief. (Who, up until that point, was pitching like the Dr. Jekyll half of his pitching personality.)

In conclusion: a long, LONG game (I actually *had* to get up and stretch during the 14th inning stretch. My lower legs were starting to go numb). Ups and downs for everyone. And, if I have to watch a loss, at least it wasn’t a one-sided shutout and there was lots of good baseball to be had (and, okay lots of less-than-good as well). And, at more than 4 hours, I certainly got my (ticket and gas) money’s worth. My “drama-rama” (for noteworthy games) and “some people can do everything” (for my utility players) tags have never been more appropriate. At least for me. After today, I’m WIPED.

And, now, it’s time for me to eat some dinner, catch up on the rest of the league, and start hoping for a win tomorrow, when I do it all over again.

Go Sox!

(and, if you made it to the end of that, I feel like you deserve a cookie. and, thank you.)

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A new barometer for wackyness. Or: I think we were all delerious by the end of last night’s game.

I blame the White Sox for the fact I was a zombie all day today. If I hadn’t checked twitter before going to bed,I wouldn’t have been up half of the night (with a few other crazy diehards on twitter) watching the Sox beat the Rangers.

In the end, though, I’m glad I stayed up for it. Not only was it a win (and, turned out to be our only win this series), but I think everyone lost their minds a little during the weather delay and came back not quite at full capacity afterwards.

  • Josh Hamilton sliding (head first) in to first. And, second. And, third. IN A ROW.
  • Brent Morel swinging and missing when trying to tag Josh Hamilton out at third – after advancing on a wild pitch – or, a terrible call by the umps, one or the other (depends ify you’re drinking the ChiSox or the Rangers’ kool-aid).
  • Santos tagging David Murphy on the way to first for the second-to-last out of the game and a little drama about the call.
  • Adam Dunn improbably hitting a home run.
  • Juan Pierre manages to steal 2nd base AND successfully bunting.
  • The final out of the game also coming on a controversial score, so AJ tagging the batter with his glove while he trotted out from behind home plate – continuing his mission of making friends wherever he goes.
  • The see-saw score (White Sox – Rangers):
    Top 5th: 4-2
    Bottom 5th: 4-4
    Top 6th: 6-4
    Bottom 6th: 6-5
    Top 7th:7-5
    Bottom 8th:7-6
    Top 9th:8-6
  • Somehow, even after letting in two runs and giving up our 4-2 lead for a 4-4 tie, Tony Pena manages to collect the win, giving Jake Peavy a no-decision. As we already knew, the win/loss/hold/save designations could use a little re-vamping.
  • Lets not forget the runway show that was the path between the ChiSox bullpen and the pitcher’s mound. A different reliever started every inning for the ChiSox. When Santos had to bail out Thonton at the bottom of the 8th, we had used our entire bullpen. It was like the auditon for who is getting the boot out of the bullpen (or, at least down the pecking order) when they go back to a 5-man rotation. Holds for Sale, Crain and Thornton and a save for Santos. I wonder if Willl Ohman feels left out.
  • And, finally, being up with about 18 other diehards on twitter, watching all of these shenanigans unfold, right before our (very delerious) eyes.

Kudos to the very small number of fans who stuck it out at the game last night. Sorry it didn’t go your way (well, not really!), but your enthusiasm kept the momentum swinging, early into the morning. There are probably more than a few kids who didn’t have to go to school today in Arlington.

And, beacuse that recap is approximately the size of a small novel, and posting about Gavin Floyd collecting a loss (especially after a good outing), and also posting about a game that I could not watch, I am going to limit my commentary on today’s game to:

The three hits that Gavin gave up are apparently the smallest number ever given up that resulted in a win at the Rangers ballpark. And, the White Sox continuing to be their own undoing, failing on the run support and grounding into double plays like it is going out of style.

And, finally:

These boys need to get their act together. For my brother’s birthday, I am packing up and taking it on the road and we are catching the two weekend games of this weekend’s series in Toronto! I’m going to be one of the lone fans in black and white this weekend, so I’m going need a little back-up from the field.

Go Sox!

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I am overwhelmed with deja-vu. Or: Why do I usually have time to blog on days that frustrate me?

So, watching the White Sox starter hang out on the mound for 8 innings, and throw more-or-less decent pitches while our bats go to sleep and we get shut out by the Rangers?

I think we’ve done this before.

*sigh*

I know that these Rangers are not quite the Rangers we played a week ago (just in case Hamilton and Cruz thought we had forgotten about them), but there was something about this game that was just pretty painful. It was kind of like we just never were in it at all. The loss against the Dodger’s last week wasn’t nearly as painful, since there was some good baseball in there.

It felt a lot like April up in here tonight.

So, in the spirit of April, I’m going also going to try to hold onto my optimism. Because, I don’t have too much with a positive spin about tonight. But, that being said, if the Rangers weren’t the same team we played the last time, the White Sox weren’t the same team tonight that we’ve been lately.

Alexei Ramirez was named AL player of the week this week. His bat was heating up at the same time as his defense, and it really was a good week for him. And, it also marks the first time since early April (another time where we were regularly winning) when both Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko made the list.

I’m hopeful that this is a sign of further good things to come.

Congrats, Alexei.

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A tough loss to the Dodgers. Or: Blogging after a loss brings out my whiny side.

If, time and again, I can forgive Gavin Floyd for being, well, Gavin Floyd and occasionally forgetting how to pitch, I can forgive Sergio Santos for tonight’s outing (and probably a few more besides) – as painful as it was. It happens to everyone, eventually. It’s going to take more than that for me to start worrying when I see him warming up in the ‘pen. Sometimes, it is just not your day.

Which, yes, tonight’s loss was kind of all-around painful (I guess I have gotten more used to winning lately than I realized. Winning is fun! Can you blame me?), but it also highlighted a few of the things that have been bothering me this season.

Most notably, I am now going to take the opportunity to whine about the thing that is currently bothering me the most. So much so that I don’t even have to think twice about trying to come up with the thing that is currently bothering me the most. :p (The remainder of this post is brought to you by the fact that a friend of mine texted me to inform me that tonight’s game was the free mlb.tv game of the day and I caught the middle 75% of the game at work. Free mlb! A mixed blessing tonight, I think. :) )

Warning: You are about to enter a free-for-all whining zone. Proceed at your own risk.

The pitch counter. Everyone needs to stop looking at the pitch counter. Particularly with the starters. We have a 6-man rotation. We’re not following the rules, SO WHY IS EVERYONE WHO CALLS THE SHOTS MARRIED TO THE PITCH COUNTER? I don’t understand.

Does it matter so much if someone throws 120 pitches when he gets 5 days of rest instead of 4? Pitching is so much a mental game that I just don’t understand when someone is in a groove, throwing well (like tonight, with Humber and then with Crain), that we automatically can’t send them out in the 8th inning? The whole ‘We have a set-up man. We must use him’ mentality. What would happen if the pitcher feels good and wants to go out and finish (more of, if not the whole, job) and the coaches just let him? Now, when everyone in the starting rotation gets an extra day off, is the time to try.

Or, conversely, when (like tonight, with Santos, or Gavin’s start against Oakland last week) nothing is going right and the pitcher’s rhythm is off and things are just basically falling apart, we have to watch the started struggle through 2 or 3 or more rough innings, just because they’re the starter and the should be pitching 6 or so innings or around 100 pitches? What would be so wrong with pulling out one of your long relievers (or, in a real bind, one of your well-rested starters)?

I know that I am probably blowing a lot of hot air, and I know that I know way less about strategy and timing and the ins-and-outs of managing a baseball team than everyone who is involved in the White Sox organization (probably even less than the dude who gets coffee and makes the photocopies, really), but I guess, as an outsider, I don’t understand how we can break convention and have a 6-man starting rotation, but can’t seem to ever think outside of the box when it comes to anything else with the pitching staff.

No comprendo, señores. No comprendo.

And, now I’m done with the whining. My frustrations have been aired and I am ready to move on to bigger and better things tomorrow. My optimism is (mostly) alive and well in the month of May and I still love this team.

Here’s hoping for a fog-free day at The Cell tomorrow.

Go, Sox!

Peace out, y’all.

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I wish I had blogged yesterday. Or: Looks like the Angels are back in town tonight.

So, I missed the first 8 innings of last night’s game after falling into a sleep so deep that it was practically a coma. So, naturally, I missed all of the fun and excitement. Which is too bad, since there is not a lot of excitement, and also not terrible amounts of fun to be had while being a White Sox fan watching tonight’s game.

(Edited after the game to say: Okay, I changed my mind. As long as he’s not hurt, AJ Pierzynski’s never-ending endless foul balls off of himself and the home plate umpire was kind of entertaining. The crowd reaction and the look that AJ shot into the camera the second time he whacked himself in the foot was actually rather amusing. Although, the camera then followed him into the dugout after he struck out and there was not a lot of fun going on in there. I hope that is not a sign of things to come.)

1. The AT&T Multiview makes me nauseous.
2. I seem to have an even lower tolerance for the announcing than I usually do.
3. The bats are cooling off a little – which, okay, fine… that’s not so bad in and of itself, but when the pitching’s cooling off at the same time, it hurts more when we go down swinging. Literally. Swinging into SOs, DPs, and fly-outs. So, ugh.
4. Not particular to this game, but watching everyone and their mother successfully steal pretty much every base they attempt is getting a bit old. I can’t remember any time that we caught someone stealing, though rumor has it that it has happened once or twice.
5. I think I just watched Brent Morel totally miss a catch. Like, completely. It was kind of amazing, actually.

The Angels aren’t really giving us any wiggle room tonight, and they seem to be consistently finding every gap in the field (of which it seems like there’s about 5 or 6 more than there usually is). They’re too tough of a ballclub for us to cool off against and they’re taking advantage of it – not that they’d have to try terribly hard tonight.

So, today’s positive thing. Because even though I seem to be in a cranky mood today, and some of our pitching might have left something to be desired, I still have things I like about these boys.

Firstly, I think Jeff Gray is trying to get some more points on [Anders’ Bullpen Leaderboard].

And, secondly, this:
startingrotation.png

That’s pretty groovy and, really, nothing to complain about at all.

Tomorrow is a new day. And, a pretty exciting one at that.

(And, sure, if I’m still hoping for a miracle tonight, I bet I’m not the only one. :) )

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