It had all the earmarks of another disappointing loss.
Having blown a two-run lead as a result of a pair of solo homers (by Jason Giambi and Ty Wigginton) off of Mark Buehrle, the Sox found themselves tied 2-2 with the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday night. Brian Bruney was on the mound facing Wigginton, who unloaded for the long blast his last time up.
Not exactly the guy you’d choose in an attempt to close the door, Bruney did the job by forcing Wigginton to hit into a double play to end the inning. A huge relief.
That said, it was one thing to close the door because Sox pitching has been their saving grace. It was quite another to think, with all their recent missed opportunities, that they could actually muster a run to take the lead and hand it over to Sergio Santos to clinch the win.
But they did it. Carlos Quentin led off the top of the ninth with a single, coasted to third on a Paul Konerko base hit and scored on an A.J. Pierzynski sac fly that just scored CQ (pictured above). It certainly wasn’t a powerful offensive display and my heart sunk a bit when Alexei Ramirez struck out after the two singles. I had visions of Quentin being stranded at third, like so many White Sox baserunners have so far this season. And as we hoped Santos shut down Colorado 1-2-3 in the ninth for his 16th save and the 3-2 victory.
The yo-yo season moves on. After Tuesday night’s controversial defeat, we’re on the rebound again, back to three games under .500 and four games in back of the Tigers who got clobbered by the Mets.
Let’s see what happens in tomorrow’s matinee with Jake Peavy on the hill in what is shaping up to be a bit of a bizarre baseball season on the South Side.
Notes and quotes on the White Sox’s 3-2 extra inning loss last night to the Rockies:
* The winning run scored from first base on a single in the 13th inning (pictured above) when centerfielder Brent Lillibridge seemed to nonchalant the play.
“We’re playing no doubles in one of the biggest ballparks in this league. (Ty Wigginton) bloops it right there behind second base, and the first thing I’m doing is sprinting in there. Once it stops, I have to make sure. I can’t go in on a bare-hand sprint and miss the ball. I’m not going to make a mistake there. I’m going to make sure I get it.
“Right when I looked to see where the runner (Troy Tulowitzki) was, I saw him rounding third base so I gathered myself, made a one-hop throw to home plate and take a chance and he was able to beat it. It was close, but it was a good call by the third base coach. It was just one of those weird things that you never think a guy would send him, but he knew what he was doing and they got the win out of it.”
* Lillibridge was in center because Ozzie pulled Alex Rios from the game for not hustling.
Ozzie on Rios, who was hitless and committed an error in the fifth:
“(He) don’t run the bases. That’s why I got him out of the game. It’s not (the first time) it’s happened. If you don’t play the game right, you’re out of the game.”
* In a much-too-familiar scenario, the White Sox hit into a pair of double plays in the first five innings that halted ralllies.
Ozzie on the loss:
“I don’t think we should feel bad because we earned it to lose this game. We deserved to lose. I think the way we played from the first inning, I don’t think we should have won this game at all. We had opportunities. The only thing about this game, we pitched well. Everything else was pretty bad.
After last night and the recent hitting woes of Adam Dunn and all the rest the five games in which we trail the Tigers seems like 20.
While Sox favorites Jermaine Dye and Joe Crede are still looking for new homes, a number of other former Pale Hosers are with new teams–for example, Jim Thome (Twins), Jose Contreras (Phillies), Scott Podsednik (Royals) and Jon Garland (Padres). The following is a list of the most recent ex-Sox to sign: one fairly significant, the others not so much.
* The well-traveled, but talented, shortstop Orlando Cabrera is now with the
Cincinnati Reds. For the record, this is the “fairly significant” signing.
* Timo Perez, a reserve outfielder on the 2005 World Champs, signed a minor league
deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
* Josh Fogg, a one-time closer candidate for the Sox, inked a minor league
pact with the New York Mets.
* Lefty hurler Jimmy Gobble, who had a cup of coffee with the Sox, is now with the
Colorado Rockies after agreeing to a minor league contract.
* Catcher Gustavo Molina, not related to Bengie, Jose and Yadier, signed a minor
league agreement with the Boston Red Sox.
* Pitcher Horacio Ramirez, who had a short stint with the South Siders, just signed
with the San Francisco Giants on a minor league deal.
While our Sox failed to make the grade this season, 11 former Chisox find themselves on postseason playoff rosters, including four who won World Series rings with the club, one coach and one manager.
Here’s the breakdown:
Yankees: *Damaso Marte, Nick Swisher
Twins: Orlando Cabrera, Jon Rauch
Red Sox: *Brian Anderson
Cardinals: Tony LaRussa (Mgr.), Dave Duncan (Coach)
Dodgers: *Jon Garland, Jim Thome
Phillies: Scott Eyre
Rockies: *Jose Contreras
* Member of 2005 World Champion White Sox. Anderson was on the team, but not on the postseason roster.
Two more of note: Red Sox Manager Terry Francona managed in the Sox organization and Twins’ reliever Matt Guerrier played in the farm system, but neither made it to the majors with the White Sox.
I have a great deal of compassion for the Detroit Tigers and their fans this morning after last night’s thrilling tie-breaker loss in Minnesota. As a White Sox fan, I’ve seen this movie before.The Twins play the right way (especially in the Dome), make very few mistakes, hit in the clutch and just nibble at you until they’ve done enough to win. Ozzie Guillen said it best, they’re a bunch of piranhas.
As a division rival I hate them. As a baseball fan I admire them. Many are predicting a Yankee sweep in the ALDS and it very well could happen. But the Twins, a tired bunch without playoff-caliber pitching and an injured Justin Morneau, will compete and certainly won’t embarrass themselves.
My prediction: Yankees in 4. The Twins will find a way to win a game, but the Yanks’ lineup is as strong and balanced as any in baseball and the pitching staff should be able to handle the Minny hitters, who are at a major disadvantage without Morneau.
My other predictions:
Angels over Red Sox in 5
Cardinals over Dodgers in 5
Rockies over Phillies in 5
Sox News: Freddy Garcia and Matt Thornton had their respective options picked up and will both be back with the Sox in 2010.
There’s no reason for any us in SoxWorld to wish Jose Contreras anything but the best as he attempts to push the Colorado Rockies into the postseason. By all accounts he is a great guy and a great teammate. And how can we ever forget what he did for the Sox in ’05.