Tag Archives: thinking out loud

Fun facts for a Tuesday afternoon. Or: Avoidance tactics-r-us!

At this blog, we do not talk about games where Gavin Floyd suffers a nuclear meltdown and gets left in the game to flounder. Therefore, we will continue to not talk about yesterday and focus on some fun, not-so-fun, and completely random statistical facts from ChiSox land. Also known as…

Things you were already thinking about the Chicago White Sox, but now you can back up with stats:

  • Carlos Quentin leads the majors in being hit-by-pitches (16). Danny Espinosa (WSH) is behind him with 12. And, in third, is BJ Upton (ARI) with 9. So far, seems like Quentin’s going to run away with this title again. It seems like he just plants himself in the batter’s box and holds his ground. If they’re going to miss that far inside, he’s going to take his base, thankyouverymuch. He’s a tough dude.
  • AJ Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez are tied for 4th in MLB for GIDP (12), with Alex Rios not far behind tied for 8th (11). So, that feeling of deja vu you feel with 1-out and runners on 1st and 3rd? You’re probably not imagining it.
  • Juan Pierre is still tied for first in leading MLB in sacrifice hits (10). But, more surprising, Paul Konerko is tied for 2nd with sacrifice flies (6). I don’t know if I had appreciated that of Paul Konerko.
  • Paul Konerko’s a steady player on a wicked hot streak and Carlos Quentin has been more intermittently streaky so far this season, but averaged out throughout the season so far, they’re pretty close in plate appearances per home run. 13.3 for Paul, 14.7 for Carlos. I think it’s time for Carlos to get on another hot streak.
  • AJ Pierzynksi and Juan Pierre are the two hardest guys to strike out in MLB. Adam Dunn, unsurprisingly, is the easiest.
  • Will Ohman has the highest K/BB ratio of our pitchers. Seriously… who knew? Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd round up 2nd and 3rd.
  • There are only 5 qualified starting pitchers in MLB who get less run support than John Danks. Two of them are on the Angels. Halos fans can feel our pain.
  • Phil Humber is tied for the 4th best WHIP in MLB. Tied for 3rd in the AL. Phil Humber wants a raise next year.

Crosstown Classic v.2.0 this evening. I’m mentally preparing myself.

And, stocking up on chocolate.

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I feel like we’re back in May. Or: Ugh. Another loss.

Okay. So, the White Sox offense has scored 2 runs since last Sunday. This hurts my soul a little bit.

I am going to be even more depressed if, when I wake up tomorrow, we have the same players in the same place in the line-up and nothing has changed. I have read that Ozzie feels that shaking up the line-up tells his players that he doesn’t have confidence in things.

Well, with the starting rotation holding it together fairly well, the bullpen holding it together fairly well, and the defense is pretty even (though, could be better in places), the major kink in the machinery would seem to be the offense. I like so much about this team, but I have to wonder if maybe – at least for the moment – we don’t have a few reasons to have some wavering confidence…

I want to have fun watching a baseball game again. I don’t need to win every game, but I would like to not have the entire hope of winning the game disappear the moment the ace of our starting rotation gives up a solo-HR on 3 hits over the course of 8 innings.

I said in my post earlier today that I wanted to make it through this series without having to tip my cap to another pitcher. Well, with Hudson’s first ever-complete game, limiting us to (I think) 3 hits and one run, it looks like I’m taking my hat off again.

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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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It’s only April for one more day. Or: Is it time to panic yet?

panic button.jpg So, I guess that being stuck at work and only catching bits and pieces of the action on Gameday was probably an advantage last night.

I can’t believe that the entire AL Central is standing on its head and it’s like the whole division is topsy-turvy.

I think that I have no idea what to think anymore and I have no idea what is going on.

The White Sox have one day to lose get their butts in gear before I officially fire up the panic button. We only have so long to rely on things getting better and the longer it takes, the more discouraged I am going to get. They have one more day to drop balls and flub plays and chase wild pitches and just generally look like they have no idea what they’re doing while I am still going to forgive them.

After today, all bets are off.

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I am getting used to this. Or: I think this rut is getting comfortable.

charlie-brown-rain.jpg

I feel like Charlie Brown can describe anything I want to say better than I can.

On a wet and cold and windy and miseable night in Motown, the White Sox momentum came to a dead halt. Again.

There are some pretty abysmal statistics floating around in the White Sox offense, with certain members of the line-up 0/15 and 4/38 in their most recent plate appearances. And, yeah, there is a whole host of other things I could expound upon, but tonight. I’m just going to hope that the Sox defrost overnight and pull things together overnight.

I would really be a fan of seeing some unfamiliar faces in the line-up tomorrow and seeing the order get shaken up a bit. Because things really aren’t gelling right now, so why not try something new?

What’s the worst that could happen?

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Oh, right. Baseball is fun. Or: OOOMAR!

omar-vizquel.jpgI am going to say it. I don’t care if we are only in the 4th inning and the Rays have just scored twice to bring the game closer, 5-2 ChiSox (I won’t lie, it feels nice to type that). It honestly doesn’t matter (to me) what happens from here for the rest of the game. There has been pitching (when Gavin remembers to breathe), there has been defense, and there has been offense – from both sides (but that’s not new for the Rays these days).

Also, I have been obnoxiously whining to anyone who will listen (and even to people who won’t) that I’ve wanted Omar Vizquel to start (because he is amazing) and he’s in the line-up tonight and he’s sure earning his salary tonight. I also wanted to see Lillibridge in the line-up (remember home run 10,000 anyone???), but I’m not going to be picky.

There’s been some great stuff from the Rays tonight, with pretty much every inning ending with Fuld catching something (sometimes while having a conversation with the security guards) in left field, and it’s nice to see Johnny Damon’s smiling face back in the lineup (even if he ends up being the death of us tonight!)

It’s not perfect. But, thank goodness. It’s (so far) a good game and ChiSox baseball is fun again tonight.

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Pre-Game Ramblings. Or: Its always easiest to talk about pitching.

So, as the ChiSox get ready to take on the A’s tonight at the Cell, I’m trying to work my head around the first match-up of the season. This is always hard for me. I can read the stats and crunch the numbers, but I guess I just need to see it to believe it. But, if you’re going to try to ponder a game before the roster is even submitted for the day, you pretty much have to talk about the pitching.

As the headline on mlb.com points out, both probables have pitched perfect games in the last two seasons, but that’s a remarkable acheivement that doesn’t help me much today. Neither of these teams are the Rays.

And, while Braden has a better record (2-0) against the ChiSox than Buehrle does against the A’s (4-13), but the disparity in the number of games should say something about the ability to draw comparisons. Looking at IPs, Braden has 22 1/3, while Buehrle 152 1/3 lifetime innings. That’s the difference of couple of seasons, right there.

And, this season, Braden’s record is 0-1 and Buehrle is 1-0 (and a no-decision in KC).

So, really. Pitching-wise, I might want to hedge with Braden a bit, given that his one loss was still a decent showing, but I need to see how things start to unfold. And, given that my heart lies with the Sox, I have to hope that the numbers don’t mean anything when put into action. Talk to me again after I see what they’re throwing for the first inning or so and what’s happening on offense (and, of course, defense). There are always factors to consider other than the pitching, and there are a number of reasons that I think the Sox are going to be the stronger club tonight.

Until then, I figured this method of predicting the outcome of tonight’s game (basedon pitching) is about as accurate as any (particularly any that I can come up with)…

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