We knew it had to end sometime. And the fact that the Sox have lost only twice in 17 games and moved to within 1 1/2 games of the Twins’ A.L. Central lead, makes today’s 8-6 loss to the you-know-whos an acceptable, if not satisfying, outcome.
It was also heartening to see the Sox rally in the ninth and bring the winning run to the plate in the person of Alex Rios, the club’s most consistent offensive performer.
The hope now is that the Sox continue to play sound baseball. Winning 11 games in a row is one thing, maintaining their consistency after the streak is another. But from the looks of things, Sox fans have to be confident that good things are ahead.
Speaking of the number 11
Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, who starred in both the Negro Leagues and with the New York Giants, on Saturday became the 11th player in the history of the Giants franchise to have his uniform number (20) retired.
During the ceremony, 91-year-old Monte told the crowd: “My life in baseball is now complete.”
Congratulations to the ultimate gentleman.
Whether it was planned that way or not, Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard in real life) was the perfect choice to throw out the ceremonial first pitch tonight at the Cell. After all, for White Sox fans the last couple of weeks have certainly been Happy Days with the Sox now 1 1/2 behind first place Minnesota and tied with Detroit for second.
After the thrilling 3-2 victory over the North Side Media Darlings, the Sox winning streak is now at 11 while winning 15 of 16. Freddy Garcia, with a strong seven innings, continued his pitching excellence, J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Matt Thornton earned his third save. It was Paul Konerko’s 403-foot blast in the eighth that broke a 2-2 tie.
In addition to the streak continuing, the Sox clinched the first Crosstown Cup with a game to go in the series with the Media Darlings–and celebrated afterwards. They’re also 15-2 against the National League in interleague play.
The best part of tonight for me was being at the Cell. Electric and exciting. The Sox feel they can’t lose and the fans believe them. Nights like these are why we got hooked on this team in the first place.
In the city of Chicago, the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup hangover, the rumor than Lebron and Bosh are on their way to the Bulls and the Zambrano meltdown are overshadowing something pretty special brewing on the South Side. It was another day and another victory for the surging Pale Hose, making it 10 in a row–the club’s most consecutive wins since 1976–and 14 of 15.
It was simply a great day as…
Jake Peavy stymies Cubs in the 6-0 whitewash…Carlos Quentin hits a first inning three-run homer…Gordon Beckham slugs round-tripper and drives in two…Mets beat Twins…Braves defeat Tigers…The Sox move within a game and a half of the division-leading Twinkies and only a game behind Detroit.
I know, pretty hard to believe.
The Happy Headlines from today’s 2-0 triumph over Atlanta:
–White Sox win ninth consecutive game, and make it 13 of 14, with three-game series sweep
–Sox move within 2 1/2 games of the first place Twins who are swept by the Brewers
—Gavin Floyd is masterful with a scoreless seven-inning two-hitter, striking out nine Braves
–-J.J. Putz hurls perfect eighth inning, Bobby Jenks a perfect ninth
—Paul Konerko’s two-run homer in eighth, his 18th, proves to be the difference.
Up next? the Cubs. Will be heading to Chicago tomorrow and will be in the house on Saturday. Happy times on the South Side.
Floyd Stymies Braves
After an 8-1 road trip and six victories in a row the Sox will arrive home to play the Braves on Tuesday as a .500 team. And despite winning against mediocre teams like the Cubs, Pirates and Nationals, it looks like we’ve turned the corner with solid play (and no homers in eight straight games). I have to admit I had serious doubts it would happen this season.
Freddy Garcia won his eighth game today in the 6-3 win over the Nationals and Alex Rios and Paul Konerko continued their assault on major league pitchers. Between them they were 5 for 10 with five RBI. And this could be the most telling stat of all: The Sox starters are 9-1 with a 1.95 ERA in their last 12 games.
“Today’s game might be the biggest game all year,” Ozzie told reporters after the game. “We got a chance to be .500 and go back home and continue to play the way we want to play…a couple of weeks ago were in a lot of trouble, but now (we’re) getting the players’ confidence back and giving the team some hope.”
Hey guys, don’t stop now.
Of course White Sox fans would have loved a sweep at Wrigley, extend the club’s winning streak to five and to have gained a game on the Twins. But in light of last night’s developments, I’m just happy that Juan Pierre foiled Ted Lilly‘s no-no in the ninth so we didn’t have to suffer the indignity of enduring the feat amid the vines. And able to leave the North Side with a series victory.
Perhaps more important than winning a series on the road–and against the North Side Media Darlings at that–is that the Sox have begun to play entertaining, competitive baseball with solid starting pitching such as Gavin Floyd‘s gem last night. Frankly, it was getting difficult to watch their dismal play–even for the most loyal fans.
So, now it’s on to Pittsburgh and Washington starting tomorrow night. The hope is that we can continue winning series and maybe even give Stephen Strasburg his first major league loss on Friday night.
Question of the Day: Hate to be petty, but has anyone ever seen Ted Lilly smile?
It was a sight to behold–and I’m not referring to the young woman above. I’m talking about Mark Buehrle returning as the Buehrle we know and love and Paul Konerko continuing his red-hot hitting by driving in both runs today in the 2-1 White Sox victory at Wrigley against the North Side Media Darlings. With a sweep in their sights, the South Siders enter tomorrow’s finale with the series already won.
Buehrle, in winning his fourth game of the year, pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings while scattering eight hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. The most impressive part of his performance was his ability to get out of jam after jam.
Following yesterday’s 2 for 5, two RBI day, Paulie was 3 for 4 today with the pair of runs batted in. He raised his BA to .296 and increased his RBI total to 46.
We can’t help but be encouraged with the streak now at four and the last two victories against you know who.