Tagged: Brent Lillibridge

Win or Lose, These Sox Keep Coming at You

55690296.jpgYou’ve no doubt heard all of the details about the circumstances behind last night’s split doubleheader between the White Sox and Royals in Kansas City:
* The  terrible decision to start the game on Friday when umpire Joe West was told a torrential downpour was on its way.
* The fact that Edwin Jackson lost his start and reliever Tony Pena (above) had to start Game 2.
* The Fox Sports edict that the first game had to start at 6:05 CT–with a day game on Sunday.
Those developments set the stage for an eight-hour marathon, which saw the Sox play two extra-inning games–a 6-5 defeat in Game 1 (11 innings) after they blew a 5-1 lead and a 7-6 victory in Game 2  (10 frames) after they came back after blowing a ninth-inning lead.
What can we take from what we saw last night?
–Although he loaded the bases that set the stage for Yuniesky Betancourt‘s game-tying grand slam in Game 1, Freddy Garcia did what he had to do in 6 2/3 innings.
–Bravo to Pena, who made his first start in years, and went seven strong innings in Game 2. Aside from a four-run fourth inning, he was stellar.
–He was the losing pitcher in Game 1, but No. 1 draft pick Chris Sale is a stud. He looked overpowering in his 1 2/3 innings of work. And it was Bobby Jenks who coughed up the winning run.
–Our bullpen has been awful. First it was Santos and Jenks in Game 1, then J.J. Putz blew his third consecutive save in the nightcap after striking out the first two after Scott Linebrink gave up a blast in the eighth. Miraculously, Putz shut the door in the bottom of the 10th.
–The Sox could have very well won Game 1 if Brent Lillibridge, running for Paul Konerko, hadn’t hesitated around second base in the 10th after Carlos Quentin’s gap double to right-center. It was inexcusable for him to be thrown out which would have been the lead run. Lilli needs to be a better fundamental player and avoid the brain freezes.
–In Game 2, Ramon Castro‘s two-run homer, Alex Rios‘s RBI single and Juan Pierre‘s clutch two-out double in the 10th to put the Sox ahead for good, saved the day.
The No. 1 takeaway is that for all of the problems the Sox have had in the past couple of weeks, they keep coming back. They could have packed it in after Game 1 and again after the Royals took the lead in Game 2, but they didn’t and kept fighting. Win or lose, that’s really the legacy of this team.
“To bounce back in the second game and play the way they did, what can be better than that,” Ozzie said in the wee small hours of the morning.
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                  Lillibridge’s blunder: The run that should have scored in Game 1



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The Remarkable Revival of Brent Lillibridge


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Based on his major league performance last year, the last person I expected–and wanted–to see in a White Sox uniform in 2010 was Brent Lillibridge. Both at bat and in the field he looked overmatched in ’09 before being sent to Charlotte, where he spent most of the summer.
That said, Lillibridge’s revival this season has been remarkable. Since being promoted to the Sox after Mark Teahen was placed on the DL he has been a solid contributor, batting .387 as a spot starter and utility man off of the bench. Even more important than the average is the fact he has come up with a number of clutch hits–none more important than his three-run triple this afternoon against Gio Gonzalez and the A’s to pace Gavin Floyd and the South Siders to the 4-1 victory. With the Twins’ victory the Hose remain a half-game ahead of the Twins for the division lead.

So, with Teahen now in a rehab stint and pretty close to returning, what will happen to Lilli? The smart money is on the Sox postponing Teahen’s return as long as possible and when he comes back assigning Dayan Viciedo to Charlotte until the rosters expand September 1. Tank, as Hawk “in my 51 years in baseball” Harrelson calls him, has been impressive, but it would be difficult to demote Lillibridge based on what he’s done and the fact he can play both the infield and outfield. 
After a day off tomorrow the White Sox head to Detroit for four games, including a day/night doubleheader on Tuesday. Edwin Jackson is scheduled to make his Sox debut on Wednesday night.
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Lillibridge’s triple drove in Ramon Castro, Carlos Quentin and Andrew Jones, pictured here showing their appreciation

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Surging Sox Overcome 5 Errors, Win 4th Straight Behind Freddy’s 9th Win

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For White Sox fans who didn’t survive last night’s rain delay, and heard this morning that the South Siders committed five errors, likely thought it had to be a sloppy, disappointing loss. But it wasn’t the case for these red-hot Sox, who have now won 21 out of their last 25.
Despite the five miscues the Sox won in neat fashion, taking their third straight from the Angels, 5-2, and claiming their fourth consecutive victory overall behind steady Freddy Garcia‘s ninth victory. They now have vaulted into second place, a game behind the Tigers and a half-game ahead of the Twins.
If winning despite five errors isn’t strange enough, then how about Brent Lillibridge being the DH and driving in a pair runs? The once-laughing stock of the Sox roster is now hitting .429 since being called up from Charlotte. He was joined by a team effort offensively with every man in the starting lineup getting at least one hit. Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios and Paul Konerko had two apiece with Paulie driving in a pair of runs.
Peavy: He Gone?

I’m not burying the lead, it’s just that we’ve got to move on. Will the Sox miss Jake Peavy if he is indeed lost for the season? Undoubtedly, but it doesn’t help to whine. The hope is that Dan Hudson (or someone else that Kenny Williams acquires before the trade deadline) will be good enough to minimize the loss.

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                               “Dr. Andrews, it’s Jake Peavy…I need your help.”



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White Sox Explode at Wrigley, North Side Media Darlings Are No Match

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Just another day at the old ballpark for the opener of the Crosstown Series at Wrigley Field. 
Cubs manager Lou Piniella ripped Steve Stone for criticizing the skipper. Ozzie admitted there is friction between he and Kenny Williams. And the White Sox scored 10 runs on 16 hits with three homers as Jake Peavy claimed his 100th major league victory in the 10-5 thrashing of the North Side Media Darlings. Furthermore, it was the South Siders’ third straight win–only the second time in 2010 they’ve won as many games in a row. 
Since we’ve been starved for offense all season, allow me the luxury of examining today’s box score:
Alex Rios, who has been terrific all season, went 4 for 4 with a homer, three runs scored and two runs batted in. He now has 13 homers, 31 RBI and is batting .322.
-A.J. Pierzynski, whose bat seems to be coming around after a horrid start, went 4 for 5 with a homer and three RBI.
Paul Konerko, along with Rios the team’s most consistent offensive threat, went 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBI. His BA is up to .287 along with 44 RBI.
Alexei Ramirez, whose average is now at a respectable .263, seems to be turning the corner. He pounded out two hits with two runs scored and an RBI.
–Rounding out the highlights: Carlos Quentin hit a pinch homer–his eighth roundtripper of the season–and even Brent Lillibridge got a hit. He’s now hitting .667 in his brief big league stint this year.
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KW: “It’s Time”

Last night’s 15-3 pummeling of the Tigers aside–which included another Freddy Garcia gem and a Brent Lillibridge three-run homer of all things–the 25-33 Sox are ready for a shakeup.

“Some changes need to take place,” Kenny Williams told reporters yesterday. “I don’t know what, and I don’t know when, but changes need to take place. Things aren’t happening that we envisioned and when they don’t happen the way you envisioned, you have to make an adjustment or two.”
Music to Sox fans’ ears.

Hail to the Blackhawks

The truth is that I’m not a hockey fan. I follow the trends and know the names of the best players, but that’s about it. However, growing up in the greater Chicago area it’s always special to me when one of the city’s teams wins a championship. So, I couldn’t be happier for the Blackhawks and their fans after last night’s Stanley Cup victory.
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Sergio Santos is Living the Dream, Reaches the Majors as Sox Announce 25-Man Roster

After failing to get a sniff of the major leagues as an infielder with five organizations, Sergio Santos is finally a big-leaguer–as a relief pitcher. He earned that distinction with a fine spring and today the 2002 No. 1 draft pick of the Diamondbacks was named to the White Sox 25-man roster heading into Opening Day. And he’s only been pitching since last year.

The other roster question was also answered as Jayson Nix made the team as a utility infielder/outfielder.

The final cuts were infielder/outfielder Brent Lillibridge, outfielder Alejandro De Aza, pitcher Dan Hudson (Charlotte) and hurlers Greg Aquino, Erick Threets and Charlie Leesman plus catcher Donny Lucy (assigned to minor league camp).

The Sox will go into battle beginning next Monday with the following roster:

Pitchers (12): Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, Freddy Garcia, Bobby Jenks, Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz, Scott Linebrink, Tony Pena, Randy Williams, Sergio Santos

Catchers (2):  A.J. Pierzynski, Ramon Castro

Infielders (7):  Paul Konerko, Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Teahen, Mark Kotsay, Omar Vizquel, Jayson Nix

Outfielders (4): Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, Andruw Jones

85521035.jpg                                    The dream comes true for Sergio Santos

When Hitting a Home Run is Not a Good Thing and Other Notes From Spring Training

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White Sox notes of note…

* After receiving an alert on my BlackBerry yesterday that Brent Lillibridge (above) smashed a home run in the Sox 5-3 loss to the Padres, it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember the last time a home run was a negative for the player hitting it. There certainly have been times when a home run meant nothing–for instance, in a blowout game–but this was rare. Why? because Ozzie has been preaching to Lilli that he shouldn’t try to be a power hitter and he’s much more suited to play small ball. So, instead of the Sox brass liking what they saw, it very well could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back in Brent’s quest to win a roster spot in his tug of war with Jayson Nix.

Speaking of Nix, it looks like he’s won the battle. Earlier in the spring Ozzie expressed his disappointment in both Lillibridge and Nix, but in Jayson’s defense he has hit .345 to Brent’s 214. A negative for both is their strikeout totals. Nix has K’d nine times, Lillibridge eight.

Sergio Santos, the much-ballyhooed “out of options” converted infielder who is making a bid as a reliever on the 25-man roster, had his scoreless spring halted yesterday. He gave up two runs, two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Reading comments from Ozzie, it doesn’t appear this blip will affect Santos’ chances.

* While Santos struggled against San Diego, both J.J. Putz and Scott Linebrink pitched scoreless baseball.

* In the category of small victories, after his two-run homer on Wednesday Mark Teahen doubled against the Padres–hopefully showing he’s on his way back.

* Interesting piece by Scott Merkin on whitesox.com focusing on the mentor-student relationship between vet Jake Peavy and up and comer Dan Hudson. Peavy: “To be as young as he is, he does a great job of just kind of observing and taking in everything…
Huddy has a great idea of what is going on, and I love his makeup and ability.”

* Freddy Garcia and the Sox face the Diamondbacks today at their former spring home in Tucson.