Tagged: Rangers

If This is a Dream, Don’t Wake Me Up

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After watching the White Sox play during the season’s first two months, this recent surge–which has seen the South Siders win 22 of their last 27 games–is an amazing phenomenon.
The latest development? John Danks‘ magnificent complete game, two-hit shutout against the Angels this afternoon. It gave the Sox the four-game sweep and a five-game winning streak. Think pitching is the name of the game? Here are the opponents’ run totals in the last two series against Texas and Los Angeles: 3, 3, 3, 2, 1, 2, 0, totaling 14. The Pale Hose countered with plenty to spare, scoring 30 during that span. As Hawk would say, that’ll work.
The Royals are next up as the Sox look to continue their dazzling play into the All-Star break. Now a half-game behind the idle Tigers, we have a real shot at being on top of the A.L. Central at the traditional half-way point of the season. Believe it.
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Alexei: “We Are Very Excited to be Where We Are”

mlbf_9671821_th_13.jpgIt was Alexei Ramirez‘s clutch, two-out, two-run sixth inning homer off of Scott Feldman that proved to be the difference in the 5-3 White Sox victory over the Rangers. 

The game was big, according winning pitcher Mark Buehrle, and that it was. It gave the Sox a series victory over the red-hot A.L. West leaders, a respectable 3-3 road trip and, most importantly, it moved the South Siders to within a game of the Twins and Tigers for the division lead. So it’s no wonder Alexei, whose average is now hovering around .280 after his usual mediocre start, voiced his excitement.
Another factor that can’t be ignored is that revitalized Sox pitching. Against a lineup with the likes of Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, the Pale Hose gave up only three runs in each of the three games and 18 total hits, an average of only six per contest. 
What seemed like an impossibility just a few weeks ago, the Sox are seriously knocking at the door of the division lead. Now back home for seven games–four against the Angels and three vs. the Royals–before the All-Star break, it is conceivable that we could have a first place team in a matter of days.
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Will BOTH Konerko and Rios Be Named All-Stars?

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The nation’s sports talk shows, to the point of ad nauseum I might add, have created a new national conversation: Should Nationals’ miracle man Stephen Strasburg be named to the All-Star Game?
Frankly, I’m more concerned about what Sox players will be selected when the teams are announced today. We know we won’t have any starters because the White Sox rarely do, but the hope is that we squeak by with two players–Paul Konerko and Alex Rios–instead of the obligatory lone choice. 
Maybe I’m falling into the trap of glorifying the good old days, but I think most will agree that the All-Star Game isn’t what it used to be. There’s no real rivalry anymore, there are more players selected and even though the winning club gets home field advantage for their league in the World Series, the best players aren’t around when the game is decided. 
All that said, I’m still interested when the teams are announced. So I’ll be watching the TBS Selection Show today–confident Paulie’s name will be called and hoping Rios survives from a group of worthy outfielders.
And I’m still waiting for a Sox player to be the MVP of the the midsummer classic. Maybe this is the year.

The Race Goes On…

In the real world, The Sox are looking to end their road trip at 3-3. A victory tonight in Arlington against the Rangers will do it. Then it’s back home against the Angels and Royals before the All-Star break.
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A Long Night in Texas Ends with an Impressive White Sox Comeback

The opener of the Ranger series started with a two hour and 25 minute rain delay last night in Arlington…

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The Sox treaded water behind another fine performance by Freddy Garcia
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Until tying up the game 3-3 in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Alex Rios and a Paul Konerko sac fly…
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Then the South Siders finished the comeback in the ninth as Mark Kotsay doubled in two runs that proved to be the difference in the 5-3 win. It kept the Sox just two games back of the Twins and a game behind the Tigers.
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A nice way to begin the July 4th weekend against one of the hottest teams in baseball.
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White Sox Starters Need to Rise to the Occasion Against Fearsome Rangers Attack

Michael Young (.316 BA, 11 HR, 51 RBI), Ian Kinsler (.294), Josh Hamilton (18, 58, .343), Vlad Guerrero ( 18, 68, .339), Nelson Cruz (10, 39, .319) and Elvis Andrus (.296, 22 SB) comprise the dynamic offensive core of the first-place Texas Rangers, who now hold a 4 1/2 game lead in the A.L. West.

They also represent the huge challenge the White Sox have this weekend as they look to stay close in the A.L. Central after losing two of three to Kansas City on the heels of demolishing their National League opponents.
Sure, the Sox will have to score some runs to match the Rangers prolific attack, but in the end the burden will rest with the Sox starters, who need to minimize the damage for the South Siders to compete.
We will be counting on Freddy Garcia, John Danks and Mark Buehrle to get the job done. The last thing we need is to lose ground after we’ve gotten within 2 1/2 games of the division lead.
The weekend series in Arlington, which begins tomorrow night after today’s off day, is not do or die for the Sox, but it will say a lot about what we can realistically expect going forward.
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            Freddy, Danks and Mr. Perfect will attempt to quell the Ranger offense



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South Siders Win Pivotal Game, Rumors Say Adam Dunn is on the Radar

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I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that last night’s 4-3 squeaker over the Royals was one of the season’s most important wins. I say that because after two straight losses following the 11-game streak, the Sox could not afford a third defeat in a row with Zack Greinke on the mound tonight and three against the hot Rangers in Arlington on the horizon.
On this night it was the pitching, especially the bullpen, that was instrumental in eeking out the victory. The South Siders scored four early runs to take a commanding lead, but the Royals got to Gavin Floyd with three in the fifth to narrow the lead to one. Then Floyd calmed down, went 6 2/3 and benefited from 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief from Matt Thornton and J.J. Putz, who earned the save. With the Twins win over the Tigers, they move back into first, 1/2 game in front of Detroit and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Sox.
Rumor mill:  While the Sox are mum and Ozzie is on record saying we don’t need a big lefthanded bat right now, rumors have it that the club is exploring the possibility of bringing powerful first baseman/outfielder Adam Dunn of the Nationals (above) into the fold by the trading deadline. There’s no question the Sox could use some lefty pop, but they aren’t the only ones who covet Dunn. Whether it’s the D.C. slugger or someone else, I’m confident Kenny Williams will add a lefthanded bat before July 31.
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I’m Trying, I’m Really Trying to Believe

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Similar to so many other occasions this season, the Sox were in position last night to finally take a step toward turning around their season of major discontent. Coming home off of a winning road trip at Cleveland and Tampa Bay and facing a June schedule of primarily home games, the scene was set.
It all looked so positive. And it got even better when the South Siders jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the Rangers. But as things turned out, it was fool’s gold. Mark Buehrle imploded in the sixth and the Sox couldn’t come through in clutch situations in the 9-6 loss. Sound familiar?
I’m trying, I’m really trying to believe in this team. Games like last night, however, sour the most loyal and passionate fans–of which I am one.
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