Sunday, July 30, 2006

Game 104 Preview

Jose Contreras 9-3, 3.52 for the ChiSox

vs.

Runelvys Hernandez 2-5, 6.80 for the Royales with Cheese

The Sox need a sweep here, nothing less.

My pick to click is AJ. I'm sticking with the hot bat.
The Count picked Paulie for his PtC.

Readers feel free to post you Pick to Click as a comment!

Poof Goes My Confidence In The Pen: Game 103 Thoughts

Sox Lose 7-8

-Yes, I'm overreacting, but the 'pen was awful for the second straight game. This time around, it did bite us in the ass.

-Cotts was poor again. He let two inherited runners score, as well as one of his own. Riske and Thornton actually each pitched a perfect inning. Jenks gave up the tying and winning run in the ninth.

-The O's may have found out how to crack Jenks. They laid off his off-speed stuff and sat on the fastball. It was the second straight night they lit him up for some runs, so let's see if this will be a continuing trend.

-Bobby was bound to blow a save. He had only blown one before that, so I'm saving minimal rage for him. I'm more upset about the game as a whole.

-Vazquez got hit at the beginning of his start and the end. He predictably ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth, and the O's ended up putting up a three spot.

-Big Ups of the night to Thornton. Steal of the year!

-Jermaine Dye further endeared himself to Sox fans. I think he is on Crede's level of clutchness now, if not higher. His three-run blast was a thing of beauty. It's a shame that our 'pen exploding is the lasting image from this game, rather than his bomb.

-Paulie homered. Maybe he's breaking out of his slump.

-I bet AJ doesn't want this series to end. He went 3-4 today; for the series he went 10-13.

Sox Player of the Game




Jermaine Dye (12)








Sox Record: 61-42

Game 103 Preview

Javier "I Get Destroyed the Third Time Through the Lineup" Vazquez 9-6, 5.31 for the Sox

vs.

Bruce Chen 0-6, 7.09 for the O's

The Sox go for the sweep today!
Watch to see how Javy does the first two times through the O's lineup vs the third time through the lineup. If he holds to form, he'll blow up sometime in the later innings.

My pick to click is Uribe.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

MLB Slugfest: Game 102 Thoughts

Sox Win! 13-11

-(Sorry, I may have used that title before, but oh well it suits the game.) The Sox and O's combined for 24 runs and 37 hits. This was the most runs by the ChiSox since July 4 when they scored 13 runs against these same Orioles. I guess when we're in a funk offensively the O's are the cure.

-Every Sox hitter but Thome had a hit. Thome did, however, walk and score 4 times.

-AJ went 5-5, Uribe and Dye had 3 hits each, and BA and Gooch had multi-hit games.

-Gotta love back-to-back jacks. Especially Dye's and AJ's which both went oppo field.

-The pitching wasn't nearly as good as the hitting. Garland won his seventh straight decision, but he did gave up 6 runs and 11 hits in 5 innings of work. To his credit, he was pitching with the flu.

-McCarthy (2 runs), MacDougal (1), Cotts (1), and Jenks (1) all gave up runs. Thornton was the only reliever not give anything up, but he pitched just 1/3 of an inning.

-The Sox didn't get crushed by the long ball; they actually fell victim to the two-bagger, giving up six of them.

-The 7 spot the Sox put up in the third was huge. It staked them to a big lead which they never relinquised. They did let the O's come close, but the Sox held the lead for good after the third.

-Ross Gload got the start for Paulie who is day-to-day with a bruised shin. He fouled a pitch off of his leg during last night's game.

-Man, did my heart stop during the sixth on Hernandez's near slam. Another foot or two and we would have been losing by a run. As soon as he hit it, all I could think was that that hit was their answer to Ross Gload's slam.

-You could tell the way the game began that things were going to be interesting. JD took advantage of the rookie pitcher and smartly stole second with runners on first and third with two outs. Later in the AB, AJ hit a single and Dye was held at third; AJ must have thought the throw was going home and took off for second. He was caught in a pickle and looked destined to be tagged out, until JD broke for home and got caught in a pickle of his own. It was just a bizarre play to kick off a pretty crazy game.

Sox Player of the Game





AJ Pierzynski (5)







Sox Record: 61-41

Game 102 Preview

Jon Garland 10-3, 4.78 for the ChiSox

vs.

James Johnson 9-5, 4.13 (minor league stats) for the O's

This game is nearly as much of a must win as yesterday was.
The Sox are facing a new pitcher, which is a situation they usually struggle in, but this guy wasn't exactly tearing up AA.
Garland has been our best pitcher since the break, notching 2 of our 3 wins.

My pick to click is Gooch.
DickDaStick's pick is AJ

Readers feel free to post your picks as a comment!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Potential Turning Point: Game 101 Thoughts

Sox win! 6-4

-I cannot put into writing how huge this victory feels. Only people that were sitting, sorry, suffering through this game can understand how remarkable this win was. This win feels like it could be the game that sparks a complete turnaround. It feels like it could be the end of our woe for the time being.

-God bless Ross Gload! That was impeccable timing for his first dinger of the season.

-This is the type of game the Sox have consistently lost since the All-Star Break. The Sox racked up a decent number of hits, but rarely threatened to score. The Sox easily could have rolled over and given this one to the O's, but they fought back in ninth.

-At a distance, it looks like Freddy pitched well enough but he wasn't all that great. Freddy took away all hope for a victory early by giving up all his runs in the first four innings. But I guess I must give him credit for not letting it get out of hand. In all he only gave up 3 ER (4 R). It wasn't a dominating performance, but with the performances we've seen from Buehrle and Javy recently this looked like a masterpiece.

-The bullpen was good as well. Cotts (2/3 inning), MacDougal (1.0), Thornton (1/3), and Jenks (1.0) combined to pitch 3 innings of perfect relief. I'm fairly confident in MacDougal and our relief corps. It seems this year my confidence in the 'pen and with the starters are inversely related.

-The Sox actually scored their first two runs without utilizing the long ball. I thought I was watching film from 2005.

-Big Ups of the Night to our bench players. In the ninth inning, pinch-hitters Pods, Mackowiak, and Gload all got hits.

-Props to Ozzie for pushing the right buttons tonight. I know he's often maligned for his over managing, but it worked tonight.

Sox Player of the Game




Ross Gload (1)








Sox Record: 60-41

Game 101 Preview

Freddy Garcia 10-6, 4.86 for the ChiSox

vs.

Erik Bedard 12-6, 3.96 for the O's

We need a stopper, that's all I need to say.

JD is my pick to click.

Rock Bottom Yet ?

Have we hit the bottom yet ? Or is there more room to fall ?

The only thing that's been good about this recent slide is the thought of just how sweet it really was to win it all last year. But that has also spoiled me to expect the same this year.

I do believe Kenny has done his job. I'm waiting to see if Ozzie is going to pull this team out of the depths it has slid into. When it looks as bad as it has for the last 2 weeks - I've got to look to the Mgr for answers.

Let's see what kind of stuff Ozzie is really made of. 62 games left to get us on track and put that swagger back in our team !

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Game 100 Preview

Carlos Silva 5-9, 6.91 for the Twinkies

vs.

Mark Buehrle 9-8, 4.53 for the Sox

The Twins are going for the sweep. If the Sox lose, the Twins and Sox will draw even in the standings! If the Sox lose, they'll neutralize that 12-3 run they had against the NL Central. They are 3-11 in their last 14 games.

My pick to click is Paulie, who I"m hoping will break out of his funk. He's 4-his last 32.

Readers feel free to make your own pick to click in the comments section!

Congrats to Jim Thome who passed Jose Canseco on the all-time HR list against Santanna and the Twins.

Enguarde! Touche!: Game 99 Thoughts

Sox Lose 3-4

-We did have a pitcher's duel on our hands through the first six innings. The only blemishes on the scorecard were a solo shot by Thome and a solo shot by Kubel. After those homers both Jose and Johann absolutely cruised. Santana retired 9 straight at one point.

-The seventh spelled trouble for both pitchers. White reached on a bloop single, and then Tyner reached base on a controversial bunt. Bartlett cleaned up with his first homer of the season. I know a lot of people will harp on the unfair calls in the game, but the Sox never should have let this happen.

-I swear I've seen this game before. It looks a lot like the games they have lost during this current funk.

-The Sox let another game slip away late in the game. As I noted before, during the past few weeks the Sox have remained competitive going into the fifth and sixth inning but then let the game slip away in the later innings. You can count this one among those games.

-The offense failed to drive home any runners in scoring position, again. Their runs all came viz the home run, again. The Sox threatened in the ninth but lost, again.

-The eighth was disappointing. The Sox had runners on first and second with 1 out. The Sox need to cash in on situations like that if they hope to catch the Tigers or hang onto the Wild Card spot.

-I thought for sure AJ was going to come through in the ninth, and I thought for sure his hit was going to drop. Unfortunately I was wrong on both accounts and the Sox once again failed to drive home a runner who was in scoring position.

-Big Ups of the Night to Mike Macdougal. He was one of the few positives of this game. He has absolutely filthy stuff; I don't think I've ever seen that much movement on a 97 mph fastball. He even managed to rebound after an error, which is something our pitchers seem to struggle with.

Sox Player of the Game





Joe Crede (9)





Sox Record: 59-40

Monday, July 24, 2006

Day 3 of the Comback: Game 99 Preview

Johann Santana 11-5, 3.00 for the Twinkies

vs.

Jose Contreras 9-2, 3.43 for the ChiSox

We could have another pitcher's duel on our hands. Last time out Contreras pitched great but still picked up the loss. A win tomorrow would give the Sox a huge boost, and would go a long way toward the comeback that we're talking about here.

My pick to click is Pods.

Readers feel free to make your pick to click in the comments section!

The Twins Are Hot And Javy Is Not: Game 98 Thoughts

Sox Lose 4-7

-In their last 40 games, the Twinkies are 32-8; that's a .800 winning percentage. That's the definition of hot.

-Javy, yah, I think we're all aware of his troubles. Today was a trademark start for him. Cruises along the first two times through the order and then blows up. The Sox gave up 3 in the sixth and 3 in the seventh, granted only five of the runs were actually credited to Javy.

-I've suggested it before, in jest of course, but I'll say it again. Send Javy out their, and once he's done with the fifth, throw McCarthy out there to finish off the bulk of the remaining innings.

-The Sox of late are the anti-'05 group. They are scoring a bulk of their runs via home run. They aren't holding their leads. They seem to wilt under the pressure of a tight game. In 5 of their last 7 games, the Sox have held the lead heading into the sixth. In another game they were tied. Of those 6 games, the Sox have only won 2 games. If you haven't been watching the games, you would immediately assume that the bullpen has just been blowing all these games, but it's a combination of almost all aspects of the game. The defense breaks down, a starter blows up, a reliever allows a blast, the Sox right now have a knack for letting games slip away.

-This game was no different, they held a 2-0 lead and Javy then proceeded to surrender 3 runs along with the lead.

-Big Ups of the Game to BMac for pitching well in a losing effort amidst numerous trade rumors. I would imagine it must be hard to focus knowing you could very well end up in Washington.

Sox Player of the Game




Brian Anderson (3)






Sox Record: 59-39

So Begins the Comeback:Game 97 Thoughts

Sox Win! 5-0

-First, sorry for the absence. I just had no free time at all to post. I typed up recaps of the missing games, but I don't want to bury James' post, so I'm just going to post the most recent one.

-All of a sudden Jon Garland is our stopper. He pitched brilliantly; scattering 6 hits over 8 1/3 innings. Garland gave us exactly what the Sox needed.

-The only fault you can find with Garland is the fact that he failed to hit Kinsler. I personally don't think it's that big of a deal. I mean if this was the NL, where you could hit Vincente "I randomly hate the White Sox" Padilla then I would be all for a retaliatory plunking.

-I think Ozzie overreacted a bit. He easily could have put Garland into a funk after reading him the riot act. Imagine the outcry if Garland blew up after that.

-The Sox only managed 5 hits, but they still produced 5 runs. Gload had 2 nice sac bunts which both resulted in runs.

-Big Ups of the Day to Pods for his homer, 3 RBI's, and nice diving catch. Pods homer wasn't a cheapie either. He hit it to the deeper part of the park.

Sox Player of the Game





Jon Garland (3)






Sox Record: 59-38

Day 2 of the Comeback

Javy "I Have No Balls" Vazquez, R, 9-5, 5.20 (Sorry, but he seems gutless to me.)

vs.

Brad Radke, R, 8-7, 4.83

Minnesota is hot right now: 9-2 since the all-star break, and Radke has won his last two starts giving up only 2 earned runs in each start.
Mr. Vazquez, on the other hand, is just 2-2 in his last 7 starts, and has seen his ERA skyrocket during that time.
The Sox are 15-14 against Radke lifetime including a loss this year. I expect to see either JD or Thome getting a break tonight (most likely JD).

My Pick to Click...Paul Konerko...4 HRs lifetime against Radke with a .288 average.

Don't forget to add your Picks to Click in the Comments section.
Go White Sox!

DFA's & Trades!

Well, Kenny Williams has definitely not been sitting on his laurels while the team has been languishing as of late. Here's a rundown of his moves over the last few days.
  • Chris Widger was DFA'ed for "lack of preparation," and he wasn't too happy about it either.
  • In a trade for a minor leaguer, the White Sox then acquired the crusty old catcher Sandy Alomar, Jr., from the LA Dodgers, proving that KW can never have too many Alomars. (This is the elder Alomar's third go-round with the White Sox, prompted, KW says, by the coaching staff's insistance.)
  • Now today the White Sox traded minor leaguers Tyler Lumsden and Daniel Cortez for oft-injured but one-time All-Star Kansas City reliever Mike MacDougal who in 4 appearances since coming off the DL in KC has not given up a run.
  • In order to make room for MacDougal, Sean Tracey was optioned, again, to AAA.
  • One more thing of note, if you read ESPN.com at all, on the front page there is a story claiming the Sox are very close to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from the Nationals for what might be Brandon McCarthy...it isn't a done deal yet, but I'll try and keep you posted.
So KW is trying to help out. MacDougal immediately become the RH'ed set-up man, with a decent fastball and a wicked overhand curve. The sentiment over at SouthSideSox.com is that the Sox overpaid for him considering how cheaply they got Riske, Jenks and Thorton. But I like the deal if MacDougal can stay healthy. I remember his curve, and I had him in a roto-league and liked his production. He's way better than Sean Tracey and a better righty set up than Riske.

The Alomar deal...well, I can think of a few other back-up catchers that would hit better, but he's gonna handle the staff better than Widger, and that in itself is an upgrade.

Let see now if KW pulls the trigger for Soriano and what that'll mean for BA, Pods and Iguchi.

It's getting hot in here.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Day 1 of Comeback

* Garland continues to deal
* Thome is my pick
* no beanballs are thrown
* Sox use bunts & bombs to break out of their scoring rut
* We start our climb back into 1st place

{added by Jeeves}

Game 97 Preview

Vicente Padilla 10-5, 4.15 for the Rangers

vs.

Jon Garland 9-3, 5.12 for the ChiSox

We need Jon to be our stopper today.

Uribe is my pick to click

Friday, July 21, 2006

Game 95 Preview

John Wasdin 2-2, 5.01 for the Rangers

vs.

Mark Buehrle 9-7, 4.43 for the ChiSox

Buehrle needs a good start. His last three have been horrible. He needs to show everyone why he was worthy of being selected as an All-Star.

Lost Opportunity: Game 94 Thoughts

-For the second straight day, the Sox carried a lead into the bottom of the sixth and ended up losing the game.

-The Sox seem to lack the mental fortitude and killer instinct they had last year. The past two games are the type the '05 Sox would have hunkered down and held out for the win. The Sox easily could have swept this series, but they gave it away.


-I'll finish the rest when I get the chance. We had a sever weather warning at the camp yesterday so I didn't get a break. So I'll do my best to finish the update as soon as i can.

Slammed: Game 93 Thoughts

Sox lose 2-5

-This was a pretty trademark performance from Javy. He was cruising along, until he hit his blow up inning. This time it was the sixth.

-Javy gave up four straight singles and then hung a slider to Monroe, which resulted in a grand slam.

-Maybe Oz should take out Javy as soon as he gets out of the fifth, to minimize the chance of him blowing up.

-Outside of the sixth, the Tigers did nothing offensively. Excluding the sixth, they only had 2 hits. Javy was cruising and the bullpen shut down the Tigers; it was that damn blowup inning that bit us in the ass.

''The one thing he does not do is get out of the big innings,'' Guillen
said. ''He was cruising along, and then he loses his momentum. When you do that
against that ballclub, you get hammered.''
-We didn't scrape together much offensively either. Crede and Uribe hit
solo shots and that was about it.

-Two hit streaks ended today. Thome's 10 game and Paulie's 15 game streak ended.

-Big Ups of the Day to the 'pen for consistently pitching well. The bullpen was once our biggest liability, but now almost seems to be one of our strengths.

Sox Record: 58-35

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Game 93 Preview

Javier Vazquez 9-4, 5.07 for the ChiSox

vs.

Jeremy Bonderman 9-4, 3.59 for the Motor City Kitties

I find it interesting that Javy and Bonderman (I typed Bonerman at first, just thought you should know) have the same record but vastly different ERA's.

My pick to click is GOOCH!

Sweet Home Comerica: Game 92 Thoughts

Sox Win! 7-1

-After winning against the Tigers, the Sox have won 12 of their last 14 games in Detroit. They've also upped their season tally against them to 6-1.

-The Sox dominated all aspects of this game.

-Garland was great. He let up just 1 run and 6 hits. This was exactly what we needed from a starter. The sixth inning showcased his best stuff. He threw 11 pitches, stirking out two and forcing a harmless flyout.

-Although the game wasn't close, the 'pen was still solid. McCarthy and Thornton combined to pitch 2 innings of scoreless retreat.

-Paulie hit two jacks and Crede hit one as well.

-The Sox came up with 10 hits, which isn't a huge number, but they plated seven runs. That's not half bad.

-Time to celebrate! With his hit today, Brian Anderson is batting a healty .201! He's over the Mendoza line! Hooray!

-Big Ups of the Night to Paulie. He hit two blasts and provided 4 RBI's.

Sox Player of the Game





Jon Garland (2)





Sox Record: 58-34

Monday, July 17, 2006

Game 92 Preview

The game is on Tuesday, off-day today!

Jon Garland 8-3, 5.37 for the ChiSox

vs.

Nate Robertson 8-5, 3.36 for the Motor City Kitties

I feel this is a must win game for the sanity of all the Sox fans.

My pick to click is Paulie.
The count picked Gooch.

All readers, feel free to post you pick to click as a comment, and you'll be added to the leaderboard!

Bombed in the Bronx: Game 91 Thoughts

Sox Lose 4-6

-I was expecting the Sox to come roaring out of the gate to begin the second half, but they fell completely flat against the Bronx Bombers. I really wanted a win today, just so we would have some momentum going into the Detroit series.

-The Sox have lost 5 of 6, which is not the way to catch the Tigers. I know there's a lot of season left, but I'd still like to reel the in the Tigers sooner rather than later.

-Freddy really looks burned out (no that's not a reference to his pot smoking). He isn't throwing hard anymore, and he's leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone. The gopher ball has been his biggest weakness. In 19 starts he's given up 22 dingers. He gave up three runs via home run, and three additional runs in his 7 innings of work.

-The Sox again put up a lot of hits, but couldn't plate anyone. They had 14 hits and three walks and could only muster 4 runs. Our 3-4-5 hitters really dropped the ball. Thome had 5 LOB, JD had 6 and Paulie had a whopping 7 LOB.

-The closing two innings are really indicative of our recent struggles on offense... In the eighth we had men on first and second with no out. Uribe popped up and then Pods grounded into a DP. In the ninth, we again had runners on first and second with no outs. This time, Paulie led off with a DP, and then JD struck out.

-Big ups of the day to Iguchi for racking up 4 hits

Sox Player of the Game

I refuse to give a PotG to anyone today. Gooch might have been worthy, but considering we got swept, I refuse.

Sox Record: 57-34

DFA

Cliff Politte has finally been designated for assignment. This is a long overdue move. He was sent down after Sunday's game.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Game 91 Preview

Freddy Garcia 10-5, 4.91 for the ChiSox

vs.

Jaret Wright 5-5, 4.23 for the Yanks

We need a good start to try and salvage this series and to give us some momentum going into the series against Detroit.

My pick to click is Thome.

All readers are welcome to post their pick to click as a comment!

The Last Straw for Politte?: Game 90 Thoughts

Sox Lose 14-3

-In two innings of garbage relief, Politte let up 4 runs. I have a strong feeling that he's going to be DFA'ed. Politte's ERA has ballooned up to 8.70 and opponents are batting a healthy .350 off of him. It's time to bring up Tracey; I just hope he isn't emotionally scarred or anything after his first stint in the bigs.

-Politte wasn't the only pitcher who struggled today. Buehrle had yet another poor outing. He gave up 7 ER, 8 R in just 3 innings. Since being named to the all-star team (three starts), Mark has gone 0-3 with a 13.81 ERA. The Yankees came out swinging early in the count, jumping on Buehrle's first pitches. They also bunted at will, which really threw Buehrle off balance. I wonder what's going on with him right now. I doubt he's tipping pitches; maybe his mechanics are out of whack.

-Cintron dropped a ball, Gload should've scooped a throw, Iguchi failed to cover first on a bunt. It's possible Buehrle was bothered by the poor defense today, but that doesn't explain that past few bad starts.

-Riske did pitch 2 effective innings of relief after Buehrle got shelled. Thank you, Boston!

-The offense did rack up 11 hits, but could only plate 3 runs. 2 of those runs came off Thomer number 31 on the season.

-Thome's homer was just about the only highlight of the game for the Sox.

Sox Player of the Game





Jim Thome (11)





Sox Record: 57-33

Game 90 Preview

Just to get this up for picks from anyone who wants to give one.

Mine is Thome. Go Mark Buerhle - get us off and running here in the 2nd half

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Mid-Season Grades: Relief Corps




Brandon McCarthy








Matt Thornton









Bobby Jenks








Neal Cotts








Boone Logan








Jeff Nelson








Cliff Politte








Agustin Montero








David Riske

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mid-Season Grades: Starting Rotation

Pander:
DickDaStick:




Mark Buehrle







He's 9-6 with about a 4.00 ERA. I think that's about as detailed a summary as anyone would need, he's pitched slightly better than league average, and he get results slightly better than league average. 9-6 is nothing to scoff at, but the way he's gotten there is troubling, with recent struggles highlighted on his resume. Is he pitching too fast, and therefore too straight? Or has he lost his velocity, and therefore can't fool hitters? Nobody can really get a bead on why he's been struggling as he has, it's just evident the un-earned runs, severe climb in gopher balls, and ridiculously low K/9 rate are signs that Mark needs to either figure something out, or stop being too analytical. Yep, it's been that kind of confusing half for Mark, but he's still giving us innings and wins, so we can't grade him too harshly. C.

Rough finish to the 1st half lowers his grade. He is not nibbling as well as he used to - his pitches are not missing bats like they used to. Has given up 7 HR's in last 33 innings as opposed to 9 in first 90 innings. Also gives up almost 1.5 hits per inning in last 5 games. He doesn't rely on velocity - it is about location. He is a smart pitcher, so I'm confident he will figure it out. Still chews up alot of innings and has kept his team in games enough to win 9 of them. ( On this team, all the pitchers are lucky enough to be able to give up more than the average amount of runs and still be "in the game ")Hoping to see more of his former self in the 2nd half. I give him a C+.




Jose Contreras







He's 9-0 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He typically stymes hitters, allowing only bloops and doing very well at avoiding hard contact. Plus, only a 2.64 ERA at home with a .211 BAA? At the Cell, that's beautiful. Still, he's a changed man since his DL stint, and nowhere is this more evident than his ability to go deep in games. Before the DL stint, he went 7 innings or deeper 5 of 6 starts. Afterward? Well, he hasn't even GOTTEN to the 7th inning over his past 5 starts. He still seems to pitch well enough, he has simply seemed to lose his ability to avoid big innings. But keeping ever cognizant of his ability to dominate as an ace should, there cannot be much fault delivered at his feet for this first half. A-.

Was Top Tier stuff end of last year and start of this, but has slipped to 2nd Shelf behind 7 or 8 other pitchers in the league with recent slide that has seen his ERA in last 5 games balloon to 5.34. Hopefully his back is not a recurring factor and he gets sharper again this 2nd half. I give him A-.




Freddy Garcia





Did the Sox overwork him last season? Did WBC lead to dead arm? What is wrong with Freddy? You'd think he was a cast member in Mommy Dearest with all the hangers he leaves around. I mean, when I'm supposed to be happy that he's only given up one in his past two starts, something is wrong (besides the fact he had roughly a 7.8 ERA over those starts). He's a workhorse, but he's not been a terribly good one, an outstanding start against the Cardinals aside. This year has been relatively free of pitching duels, so that was a relative bright spot. Otherwise, he's just pitched good enough to win when our offense strikes (and he seems to get worse offensive backing than most of our other starts, actually). 10-5? I'll take his 4.91 ERA for a 10-5 record, and simply hope he figures out how to give up less than a hit per inning. There are lots of better starting pitchers out there, and the problem is we don't have one of them. We have Freddy, and well, he's been winning mostly. C.

My least favorite guy on the staff. Hate his slow, annoying style and his body language and temperment on the mound. Seems to do just barely enough to get the win - can't ever hold a decent lead. Must be murder to play behind him. But has that knack for wins with team leading 10. And has been 2nd best pitcher for team in last 30 games. Begrudgingly giving him a B-.




Jon Garland





Did the Sox overwork him last season? Did WBC lead to dead arm? What is wrong with Freddy? You'd think he was a cast member in Mommy Dearest with all the hangers he leaves around. I mean, when I'm supposed to be happy that he's only given up one in his past two starts, something is wrong (besides the fact he had roughly a 7.8 ERA over those starts). He's a workhorse, but he's not been a terribly good one, an outstanding start against the Cardinals aside. This year has been relatively free of pitching duels, so that was a relative bright spot. Otherwise, he's just pitched good enough to win when our offense strikes (and he seems to get worse offensive backing than most of our other starts, actually). 10-5? I'll take his 4.91 ERA for a 10-5 record, and simply hope he figures out how to give up less than a hit per inning. There are lots of better starting pitchers out there, and the problem is we don't have one of them. We have Freddy, and well, he's been winning mostly. C-.

Wanted to send him to the bullpen for McCarthy early in the year - but he is clearly our most effective pitcher over last month with 4-0 record and ERA of 3.38. Seems to be more agressively challenging hitters and more confident about his stuff.Needs to keep this up for a few more starts to convince me he has disposed of his demons for good. I give him a C and that is way up from the D- he had not too long ago.





Javy Vazquez




The king of run support, Javy seems to give up either 2 runs or 5+ runs per game, hitting 7 and 9 quite a number of times. And despite this all, a 9-4 record? Javy is yet another member of our inconsistent starting rotation who puts up a great record depsite completely pedestrian totals in every category. His K/9 are tad higher than most starters, especially on our non-power staff, but still there's no correlation between increased strikeouts and increased pitching performance (his last four 7+K games involved him racking up 19 ER over 24 IP). So, we just have to resign ourselves to watching the offense explode to cover his butt, and hope he can just keep things reasonable. C-.

My enigma on this staff. I have watched a number of his outiongs where he will have electric stuff going that is as good as anyone in this league - then 1 small thing doesn't go quite right and he morphs into a batting practice pitcher giving up shots left and right. Recent trend not good with ERA at 7.26 over last 6 starts and if he doesn't get more consistent will probably be the guy who gets replaced for McCarthy or some trade. I give him a C-.

Overall: I want to give out some D's, but the fact is, W is the stat that counts. You could argue you could get a league minimum starter to go in and pick up the W's for a lot less with the same 5.70 ERA Jon has, but I just don't think the universe would work that way. They get the wins, so I find I really can't give them the D's they'd get if they were pitching for, say, the Indians or Cubs.

My overall is that this staff is very lucky they have the bats behind them to cover their mistakes. They do have the talent to go out and get back to the effectiveness they showed in the playoffs last year. They may need to do just that if we want to overtake the Tigers and get home field throughtout again in the palyoffs. The pitching will determine our eventual outcome.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mid-Season Grades: Outfield Plus DH

So here's the second installment. Thank you for everyone who posted. I'll update the post tomorrow to show your posts, and throw in my two cents again. Anyone who reads this is welcome to leave their comments and I will post it in the main post tomorrow.

And don't forget to give each player a grade.


Pander:
Jonathon Kelley:
DickDaStick:




Scott Podsednik







It's hard to realize what we have in Podsednik. He has shown some speed, albeit riddled with failure (most CS in the Majors). He's hitting strong despite a low OBP, coming up with far more RBIs than last year, yet his defense has looked downright confusing. Sox fans love when he goes 2/4 with a walk and 2 runs scored, but those seem far fewer this year than 1/5 outings with a misplayed fly. At times his presence seems to do more than his bat, but we'll be sticking with him for the rest of the year, so it's just left to us to hope he can rediscover some defense, base-stealing prowess, and ability to get to first better. C.

C+. Defense far below average, and what he's capable of. Average is average. Far & away the league leader in caught stealings. He does have 63 runs, though, which while not exceptional given who's batting behind him, is still pretty darn good. And I just feel like he's pacing himself better than he did last year.

Still scores alot of runs and is hitting .309 over last 30 games - but is losing ground in basestealing( CS 5 out of last 8 attempts ) and plays left as bad as the typical HR hitting prototype of Left Fielder - yet doesn't give us the Homers to justify it. I still have faith he'll come through in tight important games up the road. C+.




Brian Anderson







I think all that could be said has been said about the rookie OF. Struggling to drop in hits for most of the first half, he has been dropping multi-hit games like hot potatoes of late, and given the fact he's the only man on our roster truly qualified to patrol center field, it's amazing how unimportant a sub .200 batting can be in the right situation. This is that situation. While hitting may do more than sell tickets, there's no denying that his defense has helped us win games. B-.

So on June 10 he was hitting .152 with a .514 OPS. One month later he's at .192 with a .604 OPS. He's hitting .333 in July. We have a better record (46-22) in games in which he's appeared than games in which he hasn't appeared (11-9). (Conversely, we have a worse record in games in which Mackowiak has appeared.) Tough call, because his early numbers were so god-awful, with 25 Ks by May 1. Then again, he is a rookie and his defense has been close to stellar in a very key position. I'll go with a C with high hopes for the 2nd half... Sorry, Brian.

I like his recent progress too - BA of .281 over last 30 games tells me he has arrived. Smooth as silk in CF and wins games out there for us. His value is realized when you see Mack play CF.I rate his recent performance more than his earlier games. B-.




Jermaine Dye







Jermaine has been putting up unspectacularly guady numbers, dropping in homers so easily you just don't notice him next to the crackling thunderbats of Thome and Konerko. His defense has been completely acceptable, capped by the ultra-clutch run-down of a sure two or three bagger in the 19th on Sunday. His offense? Well, again, look to Sunday's game to see his consistent clutch hitting that, unlike Big Papi, isn't widely discussed or raved about. He continues to be the league's biggest steal at $5.5 mil a year. A.

A+. Remember back in 2000, when Jermaine Dye was one of the best players in baseball? When he hit .321 with 33 homers, 118 RBIs, and a .951 OPS? Won the Gold Glove?? Yeah, he's better than that this year. He is the real clutch hitter on this team. He's got the best "close & late" numbers on the team and has a 1.311 OPS with runners in scoring position and two outs. He's rock-solid against righties -- key for dealing with bullpen matchups. Most importantly, he's got 11 PotGs vs. Thome's 10. He's my Sox first half MVP.

Covered in the other reviews above well - I have earlier dubbed him "Silent but Deadly". I agree he is the MVP of the first half. A+.




Jim Thome





There is little that needs to be said. We paid for 2/3 of Jim Thome, and we're getting the whole country-fried steak with some taters on the side. He's poised to easily crush the Sox single-season HR record given his protection in Paulie and his DL-avoiding position as the DH, and everything he's done this year at the plate (minus the strikeouts) has given opposing teams ulcers. There are three truly scary offensive lefty DH's in the AL, Thome, Papi, and Giambi. Giambi's got his ill-gotten MVP, Papi's was down to the wire last year, and should the Sox continue to produce all-around, this could be Thome's year for it. A+.

A-. Yes, he's far exceeded our wildest hopes with his health and production. He has made Konerko a better player. His 17 home runs with men on have come in handy. He has a shot at the MVP. But call me a nitpicker, the 89 strikeouts bug me. As does the .184 average in "close-and-late" situations. But he's been a gamer and a leader and I have no regrets about losing (sob) Aaron Rowand.

Hard to argue with his production, and OPS of 1.065, but he is quite vulnerable to lefty pitching and I think he should be going to left field more when he's down in the count or facing good southpaws - but hey, that's not what he's paid for I quess. I give him A++ on team chemistry. He is the best "teammate" we have now and will help keep our teams' focus during the dog days ahead. A.

Basically A Four Game Set: Game 88 Thoughts

Sox Win! 6-5 in 19 innings.

-Although it was only a three game set, the Sox played four games worth of innings. This game was the White Sox longest since another 19 inning affair against the Brew Crew in 1991.

-I'll start with the pitching, since there was a lot of it. There were 570 pitches thrown over the course of the game, which took 6 hours and 19 minutes.

-Contreras did a pretty good job. Not his best performance, but pretty good. He went 6 strong, and gave up 3 runs.

-The bullpen did well, except for Jenks who almost lost the game. Cotts, Rske, Vazquez, Thornton, McCarthy and Politte. Jenks gave up a two spot in the eleventh.

-Big Ups of the night to McCarthy. He did really well. In four innings of work, he allowed just two baserunners.

-The hitting was spectacular, but it was clutch. The Sox clawed back in the ninth against Papelbon. They easily could have folded after going fown two in the eleventh, but they clawed back and extended the game.

-All the starters but Uribe got a hit, but Juan only got three AB's.

-It's kind of funny, Trot Nixon went 0-9 and Jason Varitez went 0-8.

Sox Player of the Game





Jermaine Dye (11)






Sox Record:57-31

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mid-Season Grades: Infield

So here's the deal. Each day (or two) I'm going to post the names and pictures of a different set of Sox players. Please post your thoughts on each player and the grade you would give them in the comments section. I will had your thoughts to the post, so that it can be seen on the front page.

Pander:
DickDaStick: I agree with alot that Pander states above on all the infielders. I'll add my differences.
Jonathon Kelley:



Paul Konerko






It's been a deep year at 1B, resulting in Paul being hidden behind Thome, Giambi, Hafner, Ortiz, et al. He's such an un-assuming figure of leadership and grace that few pay overlong attention to him, and Thome provides him that luxury, of being the guy pitchers don't focus on quite so much considering the left-handed thunder in front of him. Result? He's putting up yet more career numbers, a first half worth that won't measure to Frank's best years, but still qualify as all-star worthy and team-driving. His defense is as always under-rated, and only his running of the bases keeps him from being a 5 tool player. Normally, he starts cold and finishes hot, this year he's started hot and stayed there. His numbers will be gigantic. A.

I think Paulie will improve on his first half by settling down a little more. Despite his great contributions, I can recall numerous at-bats where he left menon base in key circumstances. He just seemed a little tight-sphinctered. Not sure if he feels some kind of new pressure with Thome there or what. He's on pace for 38 - 39 HR's and about 124 RBI's which are great - but I think there's more there for him and I expect to see it in the second half. I fully agree that he has shown tremendous class letting Thome and Dye and others take the limelight. On a "chemistry" grade he's an A+

if you look at Paulie's situational stats, he's doing quite well. With a man on 3rd and less than 2 outs, he's hitting .550 with an OPS of 1.664 (Dye's is 1.061 in those situations). He's struck out only 3 times (Thome has struck out 7 times). He's hitting .390 (OPS 1.130) with RISP and .429 with the bases loaded (Thome is hitting .250 with the bases loaded). His batting average, OBP, Slugging, and of course OPS are higher than any previous year's. If he has a better second half than first half, he will destroy his career best RBI and average numbers. Oh, and he's an everyday first baseman who has been quietly fantastic in the field. I'm thinking your memory might be a bit tainted by your high expectations of the man.For me, he gets an A.




Tadahito Iguchi





Injuries have minorly stifled an otherwise completely solid and worthy first half. At times he accepts his position as a role-player in the majors, bunting over, hitting to the right side, playing acceptable defense. Other times, he decides to resort to GODZILLA FORM, hitting 2 HR a game and salvaging a win from a loss. Iguchi adjusts to every situation and almost always can come through. In Boston or New York, he have been the starting 2B. B+.

Very talented and has a knack for big-time plays when we need it the most - with game on the line he's very focused and very willing to play his role, whatever that is. Sometimes when the game is not so urgent, his focus slips and he doesn't execute the bunt, or make contact to right etc. After Thome, he has second most strikeouts on the team. From chemistry angle he looks well appreciated by his teammates. A-

Iguchi, B. I love his fielding (including the best play I have seen all year, hopefully you know the one, one of the best plays I have ever seen) and his 7 RBI in 2 innings (although we lost the game). He's avoided the sophomore slump. But he failed to get the bunt down twice in Sunday's game, and that's really, really annoying. Also don't care for the Ks.




Juan Uribe







Hot and Cold. Cold to start, but now hot to trot, he has turned his place as "Guy only saved by Brian Anderson from the title of "worst everyday hitter on a roster" into a complete reversal, delivering blow after blow in recent weeks to save both the team's beleagued starting pitching and his own batting average. His defense, like Crede's, hasn't been as solid as it was last year, but still I challenge anyone to name someone with the range and arm he contains. B-, raised from a D+ by virtue of his recent hot streak.

Hard for me to grade this guy. Hard for me to figure him out at all. He can look so fricking erratic when he's off - wildly swinging at anything thrown and looking like he has no clue. Then he'll flip and be the guy who can hit anyone or any pitch and take it deep as well. Ozzie likes his intangibles and his knack for the big hit. I like his fielding and arm - I don't like his low OBP, which is lower than BA's.He's a roll of the dice at times and that is unpredictable and can be tough at a clutch time of an important game. C+

Uribe, B. EIGHT WALKS?!?!?! On the other hand, he's my favorite fielder, the one with the best chance to win a game with his glove, and he's got a shot at 90 RBIs from the #8 spot, or even more. I would be very nervous if we didn't have him going into the stretch run.




Joe Crede





Senor clutch. I'd argue his fielding has been worse this year than last, but his hitting has been astronomically better. After his playoff tear in 2004, Carlos Beltran seemed to fade in 2005. Joe Crede has not. His offense combined with defense makes him the best third baseman not named A-Rod in the AL, and by far more liked by his home crowd than A-Rod. A solid and welcomed presence to anchor 3rd base as solidly as any year in which Robin Venture mounted the hot corner. A.

Very capable at the hot corner and would have been given an A if not for some recent fielding miscues. Another hitter with a great sense of timing for the clutch hit when needed the most. Very likable and another great chemistry guy in the dugout. Should be an all-star. Does not strike out much and has slugging over .500. A-

Crede, A-. My main complaint is that his numbers from the #7 spot (where we really need him to hit in the playoffs) are significantly lower than his numbers from the #6 spot. His numbers from the #5 spot are sensational, FWIW. But my favorite number is this: 84 Games Played. Stay healthy, Joey.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Game 88 Preview

Curt Schilling 10-3, 3.63 for the BoSox

vs.

Jose Contreras 9-0, 3.31 for the ChiSox

The Sox look to close the "1st half" with a win and avoid the sweep.

My pick to click is Scotty Pods.

Where's The Pitching Gone?: Game 87 Thoughts

Sox lose 6-9

-The pitching today was just bad. Every pitcher pitched poorly. Freddy gave up five runs in five innings. Riske gave up one in 2/3 of an inning. Cotts gave up two runs in one inning. Garland, yes Garland, was responsible for one run in 1/3 of an inning and allowed two inherited runners to score. Even reliable Matt Thornton allowed an inherited runner to score.

-The offense was around today, at least. Thome chipped in with a homer and JD blasted 2.

-The Sox series winning streak is over. All they can do now is salvage the last game.

-We got to see Javier Lopez, briefly at least. He came on and struck out Thome with the bases juiced and no outs. The Sox didn't get any runs that inning.

-The Sox execution with the sacks packed has been poor as of late. They could have won the past two games with one big hit with the bases loaded.

-I thought the rotation had turned a corner coming out of the Orioles series, but things still aren't perfect. Most of the Sox starters are really up and down. Namely everyone not named Jose.

-Although he didn't play today, I must say that Brian Anderson is continuing to look like a competent big league hitter. He doubled yesterday and was robbed of another double in his second at bat. It's not the results that I'm most impressed with; it's his approach. He looks like he actually has a plan when he goes up to bat. Earlier in the season he would be alternately overly-aggressive or overly-passive, but now he has the proper mind set. He no longer looks completely overmatched. Hopefully my undying support of him will be rewarded.

-Big Ups of the Day to Pods for getting three hits and getting career SB #200.

Sox Player of the Game




Jermaine Dye (10)








Sox Record: 56-31

This Sure Wasn't Game 1 Of The Playoffs: Game 86

Sox Lose 2-7

-I was hoping for a repeat of game 1 from the ALDS last year, but it was far from it

-I thought our Sox were actually going to make a game of it, after scratching back and tying the game up with two bases loaded sac flys by JD. I probably should have looked deeper into things, considering we had the bases loaded twice and only got 2 runs out of it. In the first we had bases loaded and one out, and in the third we had bases loaded and no outs.

-Buehrle had his second straight poor outing since being named to the all-star team. You would think that he would try and justify Ozzie picking him, but he's doing quite the opposite.

-McCarthy is continuing to be frustratingly inconsistent. I thought he was starting to straighten things out, but his last few outings have all been poor. He gave up two solo shots in the ninth, and I feel like I have said that recently. (After checking back, McCarthy gave up 2 solo shots against the Orioles in their 8-1 loss on July 3).

-Big Papi is on a real tear right now. IBB's may be in order.

-One bit of good news. The human gas can, Cliff Politte, pitched 2/3 of an inning of scoreless relief; granted he very nearly did give up some runs.

-Big Ups of the Night to Alex Cintron. He was the only player to actually show up. He reached base three times, going 2-3 on the night with 2 runs.

Sox Player of the Game




Alex Cintron (4)






Sox Record: 56-30

Friday, July 07, 2006

Game 86 Preview

Jon Lester 3-0, 3.08 for the Bo-Sox

vs.

Mark Buehrle 9-5, 3.86 for the Chi-Sox

The Sox have reached 9 straight series wins; if they want to continue their streak they'll have to beat one of the Major's best team.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

AJ Punched! And The Orioles Are Too! Game 85 Recap

That's a Pale Hose Winner! 11-8


-Well, well, well, I guess Dennis the Menace isn't as unloved as we were originally led to believe. AJ Pierzynski, the White Sox's resident bad boy, was voted into Tuesday's All-Star Game at Pittsburgh's PNC Park solely by fan internet voting, garnering around 3.6 million votes! I myself voted between 100-150 times and can't help but beem with pride and cry in pain from the onset of carpel tunnel! Oh, the sacrifice we make to be White Sox fans.

-Jeeves will be very happy to know that his "pick to click" clicked big-time in tonight's game with a grand slam and a 2 run shot. Jim Thome as the Player of the Game is certainly a no-brainer, and starting tomorrow he'll have a chance to go head-to-head against his chief competition for the stats leadership in HRs and RBIs in David Ortiz. I think he's starting to heat up again in the way he started the season.

-Everyone in the lineup either scored a run or had a hit including what turned out to be a huge 3-run jack by Jermaine Dye who was promptly backed up by AJ with a HR of his own. This team is rolling offensively.

-JavyVazquez is not a smart pitcher. While his K:BB ratio is surprisingly good, his ERA is not. And once again he couldn't play over an error committed by Alex Cinton (who is still filling in for an ailing Iguchi). He leaves way too many pitches over the plate that get clobbered, and when things didn't go his way early, he pulled a mini-Carlos-Zambrano and lost his head. If Javy made less money, maybe this trade isn't as scutinized, but he's gonna need a strong, Jose Contreras-like second half if he wants to stay in Chicago past this year. KW will jetison the dead weight.

-Speaking of dead weight, poor Cliff Politte is not long for DFA status after his awful 9th inning tonight -- 3 earned runs. Yikes! He was such an integral part of the White Sox 's success last year that his implosion this year hurts to see. Maybe he's hurt more than he's letting on, maybe he just not pitching as well, maybe he's a twin brother of Cliff's that we've never seen and Cliff wants him to get lucky from a few MLB groupies. Whatever the case the Cliff Politte pitching for the White Sox right now will be gone no later than the trade deadline, and maybe even earlier if Dustin Hermanson's rehab goes well. (By the way, in one inning, Hermy gave up no hits or runs.)

-I was tempted to start an arguement for Matt Thornton as the PotG after he cleaned up Cliffy's mess, but Jeeves kindly obliged me once yesterday with the selection, so I'll give my Big Ups to him, JD and BA who made a fabulous running catch tonight and had a few hits too.

-Oh, and as I said in the comments, I think Jeeves is cheating when it comes to Picks to Click! Just kidding! Nice job by our fearless leader. I too would like to echo the sentiments of Mr. KellEy in thanking Jeeves for doing a great job with this blog. Oh, and a Big Ups goes to all our commentors too!

White Sox Player of the Game




Jim Thome (10)





White Sox Record: 56-29

Game 85 Preview

Russ Ortiz 0-5, 7.33 for the O's

vs.

Javier Vazquez 8-4, 5.15 for the ChiSox

The Sox go for the series win today. We're not exactly playing a great team, so maybe Javier will continue the small run of good pitching.

Remember ALL readers, post your Pick to Clicks on the comments.

Ah, Sweet Relief: Game 84 Thoughts

Sox win! 4-2

-Here's a quote from James, see the previous post for his full comment.
"Consider the situation: men on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, the starter coming out -- a starter who has given up many runs after leaving a game cuz the RP's have allowed inherited runners to score. Thorton induced a non-run-scoring grounder to Crede."

The one thing that has always bothered me about the system I started for PotG was the fact that short relief almost never gets recognized. I suppose that's the nature of the beast when you're a regular reliever. Most people won't notice you until you mess up.
James suggested Thornton as player of the game, and considering the magnitude of the situation, I agree.

-My wish came through; we damn good game from Jon. He pitched 7 1/3 innings and surrendered only one run. He was in a zone today to steal DickDaStick's line. He didn't leave many changeups hanging up in the zone, which is often his downfall.

-This game marked the one year anniversary of when Bobby Jenks joined the White Sox organization, and he gave us a small glimpse of how he used to pitch and a glimpse of how he has been pitching. Bobby got in some trouble for the first time in a looooong time. (I'm not complaining mind you.) Last year I wouldn't have thought Big Bad Bobby could hold on, but he pitched out of his mess to convert his 26 save out of 27 chances.

-The offense gave Jon a big help by staking him to an early lead. They put up 4 runs in the first inning. Unlike much of their offense as of late, none of their runs came via the home run. They strung together a good number of singles.

-Big Ups of the Game to Jon Garland for a great outing.

Sox Player of the Game




Matt Thornton (1)






Sox Record: 55-29

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Game 84 Preview

Daniel Cabrera 4-5, 5.13 for the O's

vs.

Jon Garland 7-3, 5.60 for the ChiSox

It would be huge for the Sox if they could get a solid, not even a great, just a solid performance from Jon.
This is game 3 in the Sox 4 game set with O's. They need to win the next two if they want to continue their series winning streak.

More Magic From Coop: Game 83 Thoughts

Sox Win! 13-0

-Coop said he the 3/4 delivery was disrupting Contreras' delivery, and what do you know? He was right! As I wrote earlier, in a bullpen session earlier in the week, Coop told Jose to concentrate solely his high and low arm angles, which resulted in another pitching gem. Contreras pitched 6 and 2/3 scoreless innings and his personal winning streak has reached 17 straight decisions.

-Cotts and Riske pitched hitless relief to finish off the shutout.

-I expected to see Politte today, during the garbage innings at the end, but he didn't get the call.

-This was exactly the type of game the Sox needed. They put a stop to their small two game skid, with a pitching clinic and a hitting display.

-The Sox racked up 13 runs and 18 hits. All 11 batters got at least one hit. (Crede left with an injury. He was hit by a pitch in the left forearm. The X-rays were negative, so he should be day-to-day.

-Paulie and Juan hit bombs, while Pods, Paulie, Gload, Dye, Uribe, and Anderson all hit doubles.

-Big Ups of the Day goes to Juan. On most days he would have been PotG, but what the Sox needed more than anything was a strong performance by a pitcher and Jose filled that void.

Sox Player of the Game






Jose Contreras (6)







Sox Record: 54-29

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Game 83 Preview

Rodrigo Lopez 5-9, 6.32 for the O's

vs.

Jose Contreras 8-0, 3.54 for the ChiSox

I'm looking for the good pitching performance we were talking about from The Count. Let's see if Coop's adjustments really pan out and help him return to his pre-DL form.

Remember any readers, not just me, DickDaStick, Jonathon Kelley, and James can put up their pick to click! Just post it as a comment.

A Cubs Hangover: Game 82 Thoughts

Sox Lose 8-1

-I know has Sox fans we are starting to look at the Cubs series as just another series, but for the players it is defintely different. It's a much more emotionally charged series than say a series against Baltimore. With that in mind, I'm not surprised that the Sox came out flat, but I am ASHAMED by this performance.

-No one came to play today, but Jermaine Dye. He was the only player to get a hit for the Sox.

-The Sox had more errors than hits during the game. Crede, Widger, and Uribe all flubbed up a play. That doesn't even take into account the miscommunication and collision between JD and Tadahito.

-Gooch is definitely the worse for wear after that collision. He sprained his ankle and will probably miss a few games. JD seems to be okay.

-James and I both wanted a strong pitching performance, but we didn't get one. Senor Puff'n'Stuff gave up 4 ER and 6 runs total. McCarthy gave up two solo shots when he came on in relief.

-Overall it was a very poor day for the Sox. I want to see a strong performance before we head off to the all-star game. It's always good to have some momentum when heading to the break.

-Big Ups of the Day should go to no one, but since I'm not a hugely negative person, it'll go to Matt Thorton. He continues to impress me. Even on a crummy day for the Sox, he pitched a solid inning of relief. In his inning of work, he struck out two batters, and 8 of his 9 pitches were strikes.

Sox Player of the Game





Jermaine Dye (9)







Sox Record: 53-29

MLB Slugfest: Game 81 Thoughts

Sox Lose 11-15

-The offesnse flexed its muscles today, unfortunately the pitching didn't follow suit. Every positional player for the Sox, excluding Cintron had a hit. Yes that includes the pinch hitters as well.

-Gooch, Uribe, Thome, and Crede all homered for the Sox, and Mack chipped in with a three-bagger.

-Unfortunately, we also gave up homers to Mr. Sucker-Punch, Pagan, The Strike Out King Neifi Perez, and Carlos Zambrano. That's a despicable list. The Sox pitchers should be embarassed about every one of those homers except for Barrett's. The other people in that list are a bunch of light hitters.

-No matter how bad Buehrle pitches, the Sox somehow stay in the game. They had a legitimate shot to win this game, but then the human gas can came on to pitch and put it out of reach. I think this may be the game that ends Politte's run with the Sox.

-The Sox need a big performance from a pitcher. The pitching has been consistently mediocre to horrible. A studly 1 run, 9 inning performance is in order.

-Once again the Sox blew their chance at a sweep. It seems like every series, they win the first two games and lose the third.

-Big ups of the game to the hitters for not quitting and putting up some runs at the end of the game. I don't think I'll ever be able to count our team out of a game.

Sox Player of the Game

I'm not going to award it for this game. Gooch had a good game with 2 hits, one of which was a homer. Juan drove in four runs, but only had one hit. So since no one distinguished themself as the best player of the game, and it was a loss, I'm not going to award a PoTG.

Sox Record: 53-28

Monday, July 03, 2006

Game 82 Preview

Freddy "Bluntman" Garcia (R) 10-4, 4.65 for the White Sox

vs.

Erik Bedard (L) 8-6, 4.72 for the Orioles

Back home with full use of the DH, just imagine how many HRs the Sox might have hit if both Jimmy and Paulie were in the lineup at the same time in Wrigley Field. By the way, I'm ready for a STRONG outing by a starting pitcher. It feels like it's been forever since we had one.

Don't forget to add your Pick to Click in the comments section.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Game 81 Preview

Mark Buehrle 9-4, 3.22 for the Good Guys

vs.

Carlos "Head Case" Zambrano 6-3, 2.95 for the Bad Guys

Sox go for the sweep!

Remember, any readers, feel free to leave a comment with your pick to click, and get added to the leaderboard!

Count on Contreras Coming Back Strong

Jose had a side session in the bullpen today under the watchful eye of Don Cooper. Coop was very pleased with the results. He says that the reason Jose has struggled recently is because he has been getting caught in between different arm angles.
Jose struggled at first last year when Coop introduced him to the low arm angle, but once he caught on (during the second half last year) he was unhittable. The 3/4 delivery was introduced this year, which he hasn't completely gotten used to it. During the side session Coop had Contreras just use the high and low arm angle exclusively, and pitched very well.

Look for a sharper performance from The Count during his next start, against Baltimore.

How About That For Retribution?: Game 80 Thoughts

Sox win! 8-6

-How sweet was AJ's homer? Pierzynski blew his shot to be the hero in the seventh, but he certainly came through in the ninth. Cubs fans now actually have a real reason to hate him, rather than hating him for getting punched by Barrett.

-The offense was clicking today and it was aided by the wind. They belted out 15 hits and 4 dingers, scoring 7 of their 8 runs via the longball.

-Every Sox starter, except Uribe had a hit today. AJ and Joe Clutch had three hits apiece.

-The hitting was good today, but the pitching didn't exactly follow suit. Vazquez struggled again, giving up 5 runs and 11 hits in 6 innings of work. As usual, he showed flashes of brilliance but left too many pitches up in the zone.

-The hitting was there, but at times the execution was horrible. (Thanks James for reminding me) We had three inning ending DPs as well as two popped up bunts for outs. The Sox bunting capabilities are as hot and cold as Juan Uribe.

-Riske was bound to have a shaky outing; he gave up the go ahead run on the Jones homer, but he loooked okay before he came up.

-Jenks was lights out as usual. I have an unbelievable amount of trust in him.

-After talking about Pods' recent struggles on the basepath, he of course goes out and steal third. I love how Pods always steals third successfully. I guess the view from second gives him a better read on the pitcher's delivery.

-Speaking of baserunning, AJ threw out two runners today.

-The Sox wrapped up another series win. They've now won 9 consecutive series. If the Sox continue to take care of business like this, I have no fear that we'll be able to catch the Motor City Kitties for the division title.

-Big Ups of the Night to the whole team for coming back from behind 3 separate times.

Sox Player of the Game





AJ Pierzynski (4)








Sox Record: 51-27

Game 80 Preview

Javier Vazquez 8-4, 5.00 for the ChiSox

vs.

Greg Maddux 7-8, 4.94 for the Cubbies

Vazquez has a 8.00 ERA in his last 3 starts. He needs to shape it up and bring his overall ERA below 5.00

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