Tagged: Mariners

Danks Outduels King Felix as Sox Remain in First

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We knew that tonight’s game, with Felix Hernandez on the mound for the Mariners, would be a tough one for the White Sox to win. But we also know these 2010 Sox and their ability to bounce back from losses.
Last night John Danks led the way in the 6-1 dismantling of Seattle in the South Siders’ triumphant return home after the 4-6 road trip. Paul Konerko smashed his 22nd homer of the season and Juan Pierre (2), Omar Vizquel, Alexei Ramirez and A.J. Pierzynski added RBIs. Pierre and Ramirez had three hits apiece.
To me, when Danks is on his game there’s nobody I’d rather watch pitch– and he was certainly on tonight, hurling eight innings and allowing only six hits in winning his 11th contest of the season.
After the tough road swing, this was an awfully welcome win as the Sox hold on to their one-game division lead over the Twins. And beating King Felix made it even sweeter.
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Hose Returns to the Cell, Hoping to Regain Magic

While we’re surely disappointed, let’s put our 4-6 post-All-Star Game road trip, capped off by today’s 6-4 loss to the A’s, into perspective.

We went into the Midsummer Classic a half-game ahead in the division and after the subpar trip to Minnesota, Seattle and Oakland we’re now a full game up on the Twins. It’s true that we increased the lead to 3 1/2 during that span, but we live in a real world and we knew our torrid play wouldn’t last forever. The important thing is that we’re still in first place.
Our return to the Cell tomorrow night against the Mariners won’t be an easy game to win as John Danks faces Felix Hernandez. He blanked the Sox, giving up two hits and striking out eight in eight innings last Wednesday in the heartbreaking 11-inning loss. But I feel a whole lot better that we’ll be in the comfort of home.
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You Gotta Love the Way These Sox Bounce Back

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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.
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Ozzie: “Our Options are Open Now” After Jenks’ Latest Meltdown in the 11-inning Loss to Seattle

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It wasn’t the colossal disaster that occurred last Sunday in Minnesota, which caused normally sane White Sox fans to consider taking a plunge off of the closest ledge, but Bobby Jenks‘ second meltdown in four days is a cause for great concern.
So great, in fact, that Ozzie is on record is saying that he’s now weighing his options for the closer role: “I get paid to win games. That’s my job, win games,” Guillen said after last night’s heartbreaking 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Mariners where Jenks blew a save. “And I’m going to put the guys there with the best shot.”
This kind of decision involving a pitcher who has been a key cog in the Sox success since joining the club in 2005, can’t be easy for Ozzie. That said, unlike most managers, he does have bullpen depth and legitimate options in former standout closer J.J. Putz, who just set a club record for consecutive scoreless appearances, and All-Star Matt Thornton. You might want to throw Sergio Santos into the mix as well.

The closer decision aside, I’m personally concerned for my health, the health of my Sox posse and Pale Hose fans in general if we have many more of these games. I can intellectualize that it’s a long season, that I need to avoid the peaks and valleys and there is always a chance for redemption the next day–something that happened to the Sox in the two games following Sunday’s debacle. But I’m human and don’t react very well to these losses.
On the bright side, I look at the standings and see we’re still in first place, 2 1/2 games ahead. A whole lot better than in April and May when I thought our season was over.
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It Doesn’t Get Much Worse Than This as White Sox Pen Implodes in Ninth Inning of Twins Finale


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We thought it was the Metrodome, but based on today’s utter disaster in Minnesota maybe it doesn’t matter where we play the Twins in the Twin Cities.
It all looked so promising. A 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth with a lot of positive signs and the chance to even the series and go up 2 1/2 games on the Tigers and 3 1/2 on the Twins. Then the roof fell in. Bobby Jenks imploded and left an impossible situation for Sergio Santos. The Twins scored four in the ninth for the comeback win.
Forgive me for not rehashing the details. I’m spent and just happy I didn’t throw the remote at my new flat screen TV. And please don’t tell me it’s only a game and the Sox are still in first place. I’m not in the mood and it’s a good bet that I’ll be sleepless as the Sox head to Seattle.
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Some Musings as First-Place White Sox Begin Second Half of Season Against the Twins

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With the All-Star Game break, the blog has been dark for the past three days. But the Sox are back in action today–and so am I.
Here are a few thoughts as the Sox attempt to continue the surge that moved them into the A.L. Central lead after Sunday’s win against the Royals.
–The Sox have reported that Jake Peavy‘s surgery yesterday could not have gone better. Jake, see you in Glendale.
–The South Siders’ No. 1 draft pick, Chris Sale (pictured below), has been promoted from Class A Winston-Salem to AAA Charlotte after only four one-inning stints. Seems like he’s doing his Daniel Hudson imitation, only quicker. He could be in Chicago before too long.
–Those Adam Dunn to the White Sox rumors continue. Reports are that the Nationals are holding out for Gordon Beckham. If that’s the case, it won’t happen. Beckham’s 2010 struggles aside, Gordo is a keeper and the Sox know it.
–I haven’t seen it reported anywhere, but if the acquisition of Dunn doesn’t materialize–and I think Prince Fielder is out of the question–how about adding Raul Ibanez as a lefty bat in the Sox lineup? I’ve always liked him (actually hated him) because of his great success against the Sox over the years. Word is that the Phils wouldn’t mind parting with Raul.
–The Sox are hoping to start a new tradition tonight at Target Field. A tradition of dominating the Twins on their home field. The pitching matchups for the weekend:
TONIGHT: John Danks vs. Kevin Slowey
TOMORROW NIGHT: Gavin Floyd vs. Francisco Liriano
SATURDAY NIGHT: Mark Buehrle vs. Carl Pavano
SUNDAY: Freddy Garcia vs. Nick Blackburn

–After the four games in Minnesota, the Sox play three in Seattle, enjoy an off day and then travel to Oakland for three before returning home on July 26 vs. the Mariners.
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Danks, Konerko Give Sox Much-Needed Sweep

Another nail-biter, another win for the White Sox as they sweep the Mariners. On Friday, it was Andruw Jones‘s walkoff, yesterday it was deja vu with Alex Rios the hero and today it was Paul Konerko‘s eighth inning homer that helped the Pale Hose squeak by, 3-2.
Three one-run victories, three dramatic game-winning homers and the Sox have come back to life. And John Danks has proven to be the early go-to guy on the pitching staff, hurling another gem today and improving to 3-0 with a miniscule 1.55 ERA.
The Sox have now played 19 games–eight have been decided by one run with our record in those games standing at 6-2. If the first three weeks are any indication, I guess we have to accept that they’ll be a lot of close games this season. Be prepared.
Sox notes of note: One of the keys to the Sox sweep of Seattle had to be the fact that Sox pitching held their No. 1 and 2 hitters Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins to a mere five hits in 24 at bats in the three games. Keep those guys off the bases and you’ve got a good chance to do what we did…Terrific feature story on Sergio Santos in today’s New York Times. 
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