Tagged: Freddy Garcia

Manny Debuts, But Paulie Steals the Show

1_56001.jpg

While there has been Manny talk all day, all night and all week, when the White Sox needed a boost this afternoon it was South Side mainstay Paul Konerko who had the last word. His eighth inning three-run homer overcame a subpar Sox performance and paced his teammates to a 6-4 comeback victory and a sweep of the depleted Indians in Cleveland.
Paulie, whose season has been nothing short of sensational, is now hitting .319 with 33 homers, 98 RBIs and an OPS of .986.
For most of the game the Sox were stymied by rookie Carlos Carrasco and their own defense, which committed three errors. But a home run by Alexei, not Manny, Ramirez in the eighth and Konerko’s clutch blast later in the inning made up for it. It also didn’t help that Freddy Garcia gave way to Tony Pena after four innings because of a strained lower back.
The game was also highlighted by Alex Rios‘ 20th homer of the season, which gave The Good Guys a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and Chris Sale‘s first save of his career. Manny reached base twice in his Sox debut. He singled and was hit by a pitch.
It’ll be a day off tomorrow, then three games in Boston against two tough customers–Clay Buchholz and John Lackey–on Friday and Saturday. Sunday’s Red Sox starter is TBA. We’ll counter with John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle. One bit of  good news for us is that Matt Thornton is expected to be ready for action after a stint on the DL.
Oh yeah, I might have buried the lead. Manny will be returning to the scene of the crime.
mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif

Pale Hose Draw First Blood in Series vs. Yanks

freddy-garcia-cubs-suck.jpg
Chicago+White+Sox+v+Oakland+Athletics+KYdcQGY3tSsm.jpgWith the White Sox hoping to win at least two of three in the weekend series vs. the World Champions to keep pace with the Twins and C.C. Sabathia on the mound tomorrow night, tonight’s convincing 9-4 Sox triumph was a welcome sight.
The combination of outstanding pitching by Freddy Garcia, clutch hitting, another poor performance by the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett and a number of Bomber mistakes, proved to be the difference.
Among the Sox heroes was the ageless Omar Vizquel, who has been a marvel all season. He went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base.
Pale Hose Notes of Note: The win tonight was the 70th of the season for the South Siders and the 11th for Garcia…The last thing the Sox needed was another injury to a reliever, but that’s exactly what happened. Lefty Erick Threets, after a scoreless eighth inning, was removed for Scott Linebrink after going 3-2 against Mark Teixiera. No word as to how serious it is…Is it my imagination or does Linebrink cough up a homer every time he appears in a game? He did it again tonight as he surrendered a two-run shot to Nick Swisher…With the Sox having claimed Manny Ramirez on waivers from the Dodgers, it’s now a waiting game to see what happens. The two clubs can either work out a deal or L.A, suddenly in contention for a wild card spot, can pull him back. Manny has a no-trade clause, but word is that he’ll agree to the deal.


mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif

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.
55689371.jpg
                  Lillibridge’s blunder: The run that should have scored in Game 1



mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif

Castro: “They Were Hitting Everything”

55477485.jpg

It was over early last night. Carlos Quentin‘s three-run blast got the White Sox within two runs in the second inning, but the Twins never let up and went on to overwhelm the former first-place South Siders, 12-6, to take a one-game lead in the A.L. Central. 

Sox backup catcher Ramon Castro, who was behind the plate last night, pretty much said it all with above quip. The usually steady Freddy Garcia gave up six runs, including three homers, in 2 1/3 innings and the relievers had no answer for the Minnesota bats either.
The Sox have hit some hard times since winning three of four from Detroit last week–losing three of four to the Orioles in Baltimore and starting the Twins series this way. It’s also troubling that The Good Guys have lost seven of the first 10 games to their rivals up north and are below .500 in the A.L. Central.
That said, these resilient Sox will be looking for a turnaround tonight behind John Danks. They’ve come back from adversity all season so this is no time to panic. All that’s needed is a win to get us back into first place.
mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif

Kotsay, Santos Lift Our Spirits After Yet Another Bobby Jenks Meltdown

55375201-05135556.jpg

There was no scarcity of storylines in today’s dramatic 6-4, 11-inning White Sox win over the Tigers.
Pick one: There’s the validation of Mark Kotsay (above) or the sad-but-true Bobby Jenks chronicles or the continuing transformation of infielder-turned-relief ace Sergio Santos or last, but not least, yet another example of the South Siders’ impressive resiliency.
Kotsay: Just a couple of days after Ozzie defended Kotsay’s role with the club, the versatile first baseman/outfielder/DH went 3 for 5 with a key two-run homer in the ninth and the game-winning two-RBI triple in the 11th. It was a sight for sore eyes as the popular Kotsay has been in a season long slump, which even resulted in him burning his bats in a recent ceremony.
Jenks: Kotsay’s heroics made Jenks’ latest meltdown a bit more palatable, but the reliever’s woes are still a big cause for concern. Even Ozzie seemed flummoxed after the Sox closer coughed up a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth to the immortal Ryan Raburn, which tied the score and cost Freddy Garcia his 11th victory of the season.
“You know what?” Guillen said to reporters after the game. “Ask Bobby what he wants to do. I don’t know. I don’t say we’ve lost confidence, but when your closer gives up one run (it’s OK). The last three times he blew the game, he gave up three or four runs…I keep saying, when Bobby’s the closer, our bullpen is better. But right now, I’ve got to wait and see what I’m going to do for the next couple of days.”
If Jenks’ blown opportunities aren’t bad enough, he has a tendency to minimize his failures, which drives fans nuts. It’s one thing to fail, it’s another not to be accountable. I understand that closers need to have short memories, but admitting that he has stunk up the place (i.e., Minnesota, Seattle and Detroit) wouldn’t hurt his relationship with the faithful.
Santos: What a godsend Sergio has been. His two scoreless innings today, in the 10th and 11th innings, were obviously instrumental in the team’s ability to come back after the dreadful ninth.
Never Say Die White Sox: These Sox continue to amaze with the ability to bounce back. After the stunning Rayburn homer, the Hose could have laid down and died and wound up dropping the game to Detroit as well as losing ground to the victorious Twins. But they didn’t–and never do.
I’m happy to say that I’ll be meeting up with the first-place Sox in Baltimore for the weekend series. To echo a now all-too-familiar phrase: “Don’t stop now, boys.”
mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif

Just One of Those Days: A’s 10, White Sox 2

guillen-ozzie080505.jpgIt’s something White Sox fans certainly didn’t want to happen, but the truth is that the South Siders were due to be on the losing side of a blowout as they were this afternoon in 
Oakland. You never like a loss, but this one is a whole lot easier to take than the recent walk-off defeats. I bet even Ozzie would agree with me.
For the record, the last time the Sox lost by as many as five runs was on June 8 in a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Tigers at the Cell. The last time they lost this badly was four days earlier in a 10-1 drubbing by the Indians, also in Chicago.
Since then, there have been the 11 and nine game winning streaks and the Sox have consistently battled and played close games in the losses. So today’s 10-2 result was rare indeed.
Freddy Garcia, the ace of the staff most of this season, was dreadful for a change as he got yanked in the second inning after giving up five runs, six hits and three walks. The only offensive highlight in our four-hit attack was a two-run homer by Ramon Castro which tied the game at 2-2 in the second inning. It was all downhill from there.
The Sox, with Daniel Hudson on the mound, will attempt to win the series against the A’s tomorrow and finish the 10-game Minnesota, Seattle and Oakland road trip at .500.
mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif

You Gotta Love the Way These Sox Bounce Back

55143923.jpg

There’s no doubting the resiliency of these White Sox. And it was evident again last night as Mark Buehrle observed the first anniversary of his perfecto by snapping his personal Oakland jinx in a sparkling 5-1 complete game victory.

Thanks to Tim Clodjeaux, a member of my Sox posse, I am reminded that after their three most heartbreaking defeats this season, the South Siders have rebounded in impressive style.
May 9 (Mother’s Day): The White Sox take a 7-5 lead into the ninth against the Blue Jays in Chicago, but Bobby Jenks implodes, giving up four runs, including a three-run homer off the bat of Jay Fred Lewis, in the 9-7 loss…Two days later, after an off day, the Sox put the Blue Jay defeat in the rearview mirror. Behind Freddy Garcia and a five-run fifth, the Pale Hose topple the Twins, 5-2, at Target Field.
July 18 (last Sunday): In arguably the most gut-wrenching loss of the season, the White Sox go into the ninth against the Twins in Minnesota up 6-3, but lose 7-6 on another Jenks implosion…The next night in Seattle the Sox acted like that heartbreaking loss never happened. Thanks to a fine performance by Dan Hudson and a balanced offense, sparked by Alex Rios, the Hose bounced back with a 6-1 triumph.
July 21 (last Wednesday): With the White Sox and the Mariners hooked up in a Gavin FloydFelix Hernandez pitching duel in the series finale, the teams are scoreless through 10. The Sox score a run in the top of the 11th, hoping it would hold up. Not so much. Jenks gives up a pair in the bottom of the inning and the Sox lose, 2-1…With Buehrle compiling an 0-6 record in Oakland and the Sox facing red-hot hurler Trevor Cahillfans couldn’t be blamed for doubting the club’s chances in the opener of the three-game series after an off day. But Buehrle was masterful last night and the Sox offense delivered.
The truth is that these kinds of games are going to happen–to every team, multiple times every year. The key is to minimize them and when they do happen bounce right back. The Good Guys have done that.
Standings update:  The Sox are now 53-42, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Tigers and three in front of the Twins. Minnesota lost last night to the Orioles and the Tigers and Blue Jays were rained out.
 mlblogs_100_icon (2).gif