Tag Archives: love your outfielder

In case you were fooled, these are still the 2011 White Sox. Or: The return of focusing on the good stuff.

So, the White Sox lost their 7th straight home game against the soft-tossing left from KC who can’t get a win against anyone, except the 2011 White Sox.

I present you the evidence, for your perusal:

Ugh.

So, that’s all I am going to say about that.

It’s been a while since I’ve added to my defense page. But, in an effort to say something positive (I’ve really got to learn to just embrace the pessimism – but no one wants to read a 5 page rant on Alex Rios and Adam Dunn (including me!) – so I’m back to focusing on things that do not completely suck.

Shockingly, this leads me to Brent Lillibridge. I can’t think of another team that has been as reliant on their 25th man this season as the White Sox have leaned on Brent Lillibridge. Defensive replacement for the 3 OF positions, filling in for non-hustling centerfielders, playing 2B late in games when the extra-innings shuffle meant there was no one else, and – more recently – learning to play 1B and becoming a late-innings defensive replacement for Adam Dunn.

And, most recently, platooning at 1B with Adam Dunn when the opposing team sends a LHP to the mound.

Which brings us to this. Which, while not spectacular, is not half bad for a kid who has been playing first base for approximately 3 and a half minutes. (As usual, click on the photo to watch the video at mlb.com)

With today’s hand injury to AJ Pierzynski, Brent Lillibridge should probably start trying on catcher’s gear.

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There is no “I” in team. Or: It’s never dull on the South Side.

I ❤ the White Sox. They frustrate the snot out of me sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love ’em.

And, today was certainly a day on the South Side.

When your starter leaves the game after 1 2/3 innings of work, you have at least 2 problems. One: your starter is injured. Two: You have to make it through at least another 7 and 1/3 innings.

When it happens on a day after your entire bullpen was used in an epic 14-inning rollercoaster (and, not to mention that your traditional “long man” is on the DL), you have a whole extra set of problems.

Well, Brian Bruney (DFA’ed by Washington last year, coincidentally) came out and pitched 2 1/3 and then Jake Peavy made his first career relief appearance. His previous 238 appearances in the big leagues had all been starts. Anyone who follows the White Sox knows that when he was about to come off the DL, Peavy offered to take a place in the bullpen, if they wanted to disband the 6-man rotation and they felt that he could help from the pen. He’s an amazing competitor and, obviously, a real team player.

“We manage and coach big games, bad games, close games. But [I won’t forget] this one, just because the way the team stuck together at that particular time,” Guillen said. “When Danks went down, everyone knew much we were struggling in the pen. We couldn’t use a couple guys and all of a sudden three guys came up and said I’m ready to go just in case you need me. That’s class act. As a team, I hope this thing takes off to the next level and we start playing better.”

“I think Peavy jinxed it,” Guillen said. “He went to my office before the game and said, ‘[If] you need me, I’ll be available.’ I said, ‘[If] we need you, we’re in trouble.’ Well sometimes you’ve got to be careful what you say. All these games I’ve been managing in my career, I think this one I’m not going to forget.”
(Click here to watch Ozzie talk about the awesome team spirit attitude today in his post-game press conference)

Serendipitously, AJ Pierzynski was sitting out today (giving his knees a rest after the 14 inning Friday game) and had to catch for Peavy while he was warming up in the bullpen. Professionals and competitors, they appeared to have forgotten about their disagreement during Peavy’s last start, so we obviously all should as well.

I haven’t given out a gold star in a while, but I think today definitely deserves a gold star.

Peavy was dealing. 7K, 1H, 0BB and 0R in 4 innings of relief. If he hadn’t hadn’t had to sit so long on the bench while we grabbed a couple of insurance runs in the 8th, he wanted to come out and pitch the 9th. We were happy for the insurance runs and, hey, it’s always nice to watch Santos deal out a 3-out save.

And, since we’re focusing on the positive today and ignoring the nagging negative stuff: Brent Lillibridge continued his streak of diving in the outfield to save runs for John Danks (even when he’s not in the game anymore). Rios and Morel went 3-for-4 and Ramon Castro continues to be the best back-up catcher in the American League (and, I’m biased and I don’t care).

So, one more chance to eek closer to .500 tomorrow. But, win or lose. I still love my boys.

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Defense! Or: Essentially the Brent Lillibridge Highlight Hour

So, the White Sox decided they were going to put together a compilation some of the best defensive moments of the first half of the season.

To the surprise of no one, it is essentially the Brent Lillibridge highlight reel. The awesome Paul Konerko/Matt Thornton behind-the-back running grab snuck in there at the beginning, and there was a John Danks catch in there that sort of snuck under my radar when it happened, but this video is pretty much a love letter to Brent Lillibridge. Click the photo to watch the awesomeness. :)

In other news, the White Sox start a stint in Arizona tonight and – since I’m a National League ignoraumus – I have really no idea what to expect and it still boggles my mind to see Edwin Jackson’s name in the batting order. All I have to say is that everyone in Arizona better keep their brooms in their closets and I don’t want to have to tip my hat to any more opposing pitchers at the end of a pitcher’s duel, capisce?

Well, here’s to the continuing quest for .500! Go White Sox! :)

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The White Sox have good utility players, too. Or: Fine, Brent Lillibridge, I will write a post about you, too.

First things first. We won today. It was a messy, messy game with a billion White Sox stranded on base and weird strike-outs and questionable calls (for both teams, from pretty much everyone but the guy at third), but we somehow pulled it out.

Brett Ballantini sums it up way better than I can:

We *still* can’t buy John Danks any run support, but between his quality outing, Jesse Crain forcefully closing the door (he didn’t get to slam it tonight, the strike zone that was randomly re-drawn for every pitch gave him some trouble), Ramon Castro continuing to be one of the best back-up catchers anywhere in the game, and Brent Lillibridge being, well, Brent Lillibridge, we didn’t get sucked back into the losing vaccuum. He legitimately robbed a go-ahead 2-run homer from Coco Crisp in the 8th.

Clearly, after my earlier post about the Blue Jays “super utility man”, Brent wanted to make sure that he wasn’t lost in the shuffle.

Another one for the highlight reel. As usual, click on the photo to watch the video.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but if he keeps this up (along with his speed on base and if he can cut down on the strikeouts a little), he’s going to be one of those guys that earns regular playing time by his ability to prevent runs, rather than score them.

But, again, a messy win is still a win. And, since Cleveland lost, but Minnesota and Detroit won, I’ll take it.

0.500, here we come! (Eventually!)

Go Sox!

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Finally, a win for John Danks. Or: But, run support is still hard to come by.

A recap, in list form, and not really in any particular order.

1. John Danks finally collects a win. It was a pretty much a pitcher’s duel until the 8th inning (with the exception of a hanging slider in the 4th, which resulted in a Paul Konerko solo HR), so the run support was still hard to come by, but at least we weren’t outpaced by the Mariners.

2. In the 7th, Gordon Beckham nearly got his head taken off by a high-inside pitch (#6). He got his revenge by hammering a line drive up the middle on pitch #8, plating AJ Pierzynski (2-0, ChiSox).

3. And, there is something to be said for the contagious nature of good play (unfortunately for all parties involved, Adam Dunn still appears to be immune). Brent Lillibridge has lit a bit of a fire under the collective rear ends of the defense. Beckham and Morel have come alive, Quentin’s been busting his rear end and Juan Pierre’s been trucking along, flashing a bit of leather over in left.

4. Jesse Crain continues to come out and be ridiculously awesome and provide solid clutch disaster-relief pitching. If he continues to do what he does, even 8 or 9 times out of 10? He’s more than earning his paycheck. Also, I’m glad he’s on our team.

5. And, Sergio Santos. The man is an animal. Another solid 3-up, 3-down, 7-pitch save. Everything I said about Jesse Crain applies equally here. Except, I think the fact that he has only been a pitcher for about 5 minutes makes it even more unbelievable. I wonder if we are allowed to call him the closer, yet.

6. And, speaking of Brent Lillibridge. Firstly, aside from a (somewhat random) less-than-successful bunt attempt, he was walked 3 times. THREE. Either they are afraid to pitch him in the zone, or they are intentionally pitching around him to get to Adam Dunn. We are clearly in the twilight zone. And, secondly, we had another addition to “Brent Lillibridge continues to make a case for more playing time” files.

Clicking on the picture to the left will take you to a clip of – possibly – his most ridiculously awesome catch, definitely saving some runs. He may still think of himself as an infielder, but I don’t think anyone else is ever going to again.

It wasn’t perfect, and we definitely won this one on defense, but it was a good, fun game with lots more things for the list of things that don’t suck than things that do. I’ll take it.

And, we do it again tomorrow. I’m probably not going to be able to catch that one, and with King Felix on the hill for Seattle, my heart probably won’t be able to take it, if I do.

Lets build some momentum, here. Go Sox!

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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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Thank heavens for the long ball. Or: Even a sort-of ugly win is still a win.

Ladies and gentlemen, this:

Is Brent Morel.

He plays third base for the Chicago White Sox and he would like to make sure that you are all aware that he is not just “the other Brent” on the South Side.

Seriously. Mark Buehrle pitched a solid game. Carlos Quentin hit a 3-run homer to (FINALLY!!!) get us out of an inning without leaving the bases full(AGAIN). Brent Lillibridge hits yet another home run (why is there never anyone on base when he does that?), Adam Dunn *finally* gets a hit against a left-handed pitcher (0-40 no more!), Juan Pierre makes an awesome running catch (to help Matt Thornton out of a jam. He was more happy about that in his post-game interview – he still remembers dropping those fly balls that cost Matt some save opportunities in April – than about his HR) and then follows it up with his first HR of the season (he looked like he couldn’t believe it, either!). And, a showy 4-out-save from El Matador (ie: Sergio Santos).

And, yet, it takes all of that combined to equal the awesomeness that was Brent Morel this evening. 3 separate web gems at 3B and also going 3-for-4?

There’s a new Brent in town, y’all.

This game was a bit messy: Team RISP: 2-for-12 and Team LOB: 10. Bases loaded, no-one out more than once and we couldn’t get anyone across the plate. 5 of our 6 runs came on home-runs (3-run, solo HR, solo HR), and the other came off a rookie error from the Detroit pitcher. It was a bit frustrating.

But, a win is a win. A win for us, a loss for the Tigers (snapping our losing-streak against them!), a loss for Cleveland and a loss for KC???! Everything went our way in the standings today, and I will most certainly take it.

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