Tag Archives: omar should have his own tag

And, so it continues. Or: Yup, even when the White Sox can’t beat the Indians, the Indians beat themselves.

So, the Indians lost today. Fortunately for the White Sox, they were the ones wearing the visitor’s jerseys. Winning a game 4-2 with 3 unearned runs is pretty much the White Sox way. But, if the opposing team is dropping fly balls, throwing pick-off attempts into the outfield and throwing wild pitches, you have to take advantage of it.

There’s a lot of unrest in the White Sox camp right now. There are intermittent coaching meltdowns, the offense is still on vacation, there are trade rumors swirling left and right and it’s possible that (even with no money to spend) the White Sox could look entirely different in a couple of weeks, Phil Humber is taking a (temporary) trip back to the bullpen, and the entire (current) team is more or less playing below expectations, but because of the insanity of the AL Central, they’re not entirely out of the race.

So, sure, the White Sox won this game only because the Indians gave it away. But, it wasn’t all bad. Edwin Jackson pitched another solid outing, Omar Vizquel made a fantastic game-ending diving stop, Chris Sale is doing such a fantastic job out of the bullpen that he might just pitch himself out of a starting job next year, and even though he wasn’t his sharpest, Sergio Santos still managed to collect his 20th save of the year – not bad for a guy who has been a pitcher for about 15 minutes. And, not to mention, special mention of the ability of the White Sox to wear their sunglasses over their eyes and not on their hats.

And, at the end of the day, my team still likes each other – which makes watching the ridiculousness that is the 2011 White Sox a little bit more bearable.

And, just in case you had forgotten, Omar is awesome. And, this might be my favorite picture of the entire season so far.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

A couple in the win column. Or: Would Paul Konerko hit 80 home runs per season as a D-back?

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.

So, the blue wristbands were in full effect on this Father’s Day.

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!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A comeback that ends with sweep. Or: Maybe I should speak too early more often.

Well, when all was said and done, that ended up being a heck of a fun ballgame.

I’m glad I spoke too soon about Gavin Floyd. Anyone who has stopped by here before knows that I’m rather partial to him, even with his very unpredictable Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde pitching personality that can make him frustrating to watch – painful, when he’s having a bad day, but a pleasure to watch on a good one.

After he finally fumbled his way out of the 3-run, 7-hit 2nd inning, he came back and (including the last out of the second) retired 8 straight in short order. He totally got himself back into the ballgame sitting on the bench in the top of the 3rd, only allowing two more hits (one of those being the usual solo-HR that he gives up with relative frequency). So, good on him and I’m glad to see him continue his success against the Red Sox – sure it wasn’t a 10-K highlight reel, but it definitely got the job done. I don’t know if he needed a pep talk, a slap upside the head, a cup of coffee or a hug, but whatever worked, I’ll take it. And, likely, so will he.

Other highlights:

  • It’s quite amusing to watch how every team trots out a completely random – and significantly older – line-up when they face Wakefield and his knuckleball. 65mph and it puts on quite a show. I don’t think Quentin really knew what he was looking at. :)
  • Omar Vizquel leading off second and dancing behind Wakefield like he was going to try to steal 3rd. Not only is the concept rather comical, it felt like we suddenly woke up in 1994.
  • Alexei Ramirez continues to be *on fire*. He (and Paul Konerko) are probably the two position players on the ChiSox that really deserve significant all-star consideration.
  • Chris Sale, coming out of the bullpen for another 1 1/3 inning of relief. He keeps this up, Matt Thornton’s going to get booted out of his set-up man job, too.
  • Santos, for the win. A mildly-dramatic fly-out to Lillibridge in RF (man, the two of them make quite a pair), a non-dramatic pop-up to Rios (hanging out in CF for a half-inning) and a strike ’em out swinging to end the game. A nice little 3 up, 3 down and a sweep of the Red Sox and the White Sox go home 5-5 for the road trip.
  • And, of course, what’s a game these days without something about Brent Lillibridge? Yesterday, he missed a HR over the monster by about 2 inches (and ended up with a single), and in the top of the 4th, the same thing, but at least he ended up with a double and an RBI for his troubles today, putting us on the board for the first time. However, the moment he (clearly) had been waiting for came at the top of the 6th when he SLAMMED one over the AAA sign and into the parking lot.

    It’s funny. For a back-up position-player, it really seemed like that HR was completely inevitable this series. He just had that air about him from the first time he stepped up to the plate at Fenway. And, it was a beauty.

I would like to draw your attention to the graphic at the top of this post (from the front page of chicagowhitesox.com). It made me grin when I saw it and it is definitely one thing that I’d like to file it under “awesome things you never could have predicted on opening day”.

Go (White) Sox!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.”

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

North-of-the-Border 9th inning drama. Or: The Sox play the Jays and wacky hijinks ensue.

It’s no surprise to anyone who has watched any appreciable amount of White Sox baseball so far in 2011 that we have had (more than) our fair share of late inning drama.

It’s also (apparently) no surprise to everyone who has watched any of the Blue Jays’ action, that the same could be said about them.

Scoreless until the 5th, when A.J. Pierzynski singled, Omar Vizquel singled, (Beckham popped out) and Juan Pierre singled to Bautista in RF and AJ managed to beat the throw (seriously). The Jays tied it up in the 6th and that’s where it was when Jesse Crain came out to replace Phil Humber in the 8th. Patterson on first, Bautista at the plate and two out. A typical “let’s call Jesse” scenario, really. And, typically, Bautista walks and Jesse Crain makes it out of the inning safely.

Which, obviously, opened the 9th inning floodgates.

The thing that was the surprise was that, often, the Sox have let it slip away in the end, and the Jays have a tendency to come roaring back.

But, today, Alex Rios ends up with a single, but reaches second on a throwing error (I have a soft for Johnny Mac and was surprised it was him who opened the door) and then third on a wild pitch. Gordon Beckham gets HBP and then steals second (no, really!) and then both of them score on a ANOTHER throwing error. 3-1 Sox, and that’s where it ends (after Santos comes in and turns off the lights on the Jays).

Other random oddities about tonight?
-Juan Pierre had all of our RBIs
-AJ, Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, and Omar had all of our hits
-Quentin and Konerko, (and Dunn) were 0-fer
-the ChiSox caught someone stealing (on a sketchy call)
-the ChiSox stole 2 bases
-Phil Humber pitches 7.2 awesome innings, Jesse Crain walks Bautista and gets Rivera to ground out and manages to bag the W (and, hey, I’ll be happy any time Crain gets a win – and he deserves it for saving the collective butts of the White Sox on a very regular basis – but, at times, the win/save/loss/hold/etc rules are still some of the most non-sensical rules in baseball).
-It’s entirely possible that AJ actually has more friends in Toronto than Alex Rios. Wowie. Apparently the Jays fans know how to hold a grudge, sheesh.

It’s like this entire game was turned on its head, like Canada is opposite-land.

Today’s post deserves photos of the pitchers because, when you get down to it, it really was a pitcher’s duel.

See you on the flip side, y’all.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

If you need me, I’ll be watching the game from behind my hands. Or: This is going to a long four games in T.O.

Watching my childhood team take on my “adulthood” team on the field I spent so much time at as a kid is always so nerve-wracking. This is hard on my sanity. I feel so conflicted (only not really, because I definitely want the Sox to win today) and for some reason these games always feel way more important and significant than they probably are.

But, even though I know it’s just another game, this game is going to exhaust me.

We’re 3 1/2 innings in and it’s 0 – 0, with one hit between the two teams, mostly 1-2-3 halves and we’re seemingly in the middle of a pitcher’s duel.

Also noteworthy, Omar is on the starting line-up, I hope Ozzie sticks with him through the weekend, when I’m going to be there!

Go Sox! I would love to get through the month of May without falling further out of the race. And, not to mention, there’s a war for bragging rights going on in my family and I could use a little help!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized