Go-Go White Sox
Interesting choice by White Sox starting pitcher Freddy Garcia to wear black alternate jerseys today. The right-hander added to his attire with a black long-sleeve undershirt. Maybe he knew he would work quickly enough that the black jerseys wouldn’t grow too hot.
"Freddy likes the big games," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He came out today in the first inning throwing the ball from the get-go the way we want."
"Every time Freddy pitches in a big game, he’s right there," catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "If we can get him through the first couple of innings, he’s very good. Today, he gave us a seven-pitch first inning and got us off the field. It was hot out there today."
For those unaware, the day’s starting pitcher chooses the game jersey … regular pinstripes, black alternates or "sleeveless."
Hot, Hot, Hot
A west wind at the start of the game greeted fans entering the ballpark, but the air inside for batting practice was still and heavy. One source had the game-time temperature at field level at 104 degrees (97 air).
I wonder if this is the hottest game in Tadahito Iguchi’s career? His home games in Japan were played in a dome.
"If you want to play in cool weather," manager Ozzie Guillen said before the game. "Play basketball."
A note for fans attending the next two games … watch the heat. Drink plenty of water. Easy on the alcohol. Visit the shower or the rain rooms on the concourses to cool off (two on the main concourse in the outfield and two on the upper deck concourse). There are also cooling stations for overheated patrons and the Sox added a number of medical staff to deal with severe cases. Please seek help if you need it and beware of the sun.
Hit an absolute bullet into the left-field stands in the first inning. The home run was his seventh in 39 at-bats to start his year. One joker commented, "That’s Daigle-esque," comparing the two-time MVP with Class A Winston-Salem firstbaseman Leo Daigle. For those who missed the Carolina League stats, Daigle is having an amazing season, leading the league with 24 home runs, 102 hits, 84 RBI, 46 extra-base hits, a .709 slugging percentage, 60 runs scored and a .367 batting average … all in 71 games.
Frank’s run scored in the first inning tied Hall-of-Famer Luke Appling for the franchise record with 1,319.
Pierzynski, on his power surge this season: "Luck. Lucky. I have no idea."
A typical Sox victory: Scott Podsednik stolen bases, hit-and-run first-to-thirds, big blasts and a little luck (courtesy of the right field foul pole). Credit Ozzie Guillen with all the useless pitchouts by the opposition we have seen so far this season.
"When somebody makes a mistake, we want to take advantage of it," Guillen said. "We’ve been doing that this season. When you do that and catch a little luck here and there, you are going to win games."
Guillen said the key to the 12-2 win came when Tadahito Iguchi was moving on a pitch to Paul Konerko in the team’s five-run fifth inning. "If he wasn’t, that’s a double play," Guillen said. "With Iguchi going, we were able to keep the inning going."
So far this season, ESPN analyst Jeff Brantley has called Dustin Hermanson "Darrin" and Freddy Garcia, "Frankie." To quote a ballpark regular, "I love it when you analyze" …
Today’s Sun-Times had a note on Joe Crede next to a picture of Aaron Rowand.
Most Sox Wins Pre All-Star Break Since 1975
Jim Kaat … 13-6 in 1975
Jack McDowell … 13-6 in 1993
Jon Garland … 12-2 in 2005
Mark Buehrle … 12-6 in 2002
Jack McDowell … 12-4 in 1992
50 And Counting
The Sox became the first team in the major leagues to reach 50 victories (50-22).
Japan’s Johnny Carson … Yo-ko-so Chicago-a
Prior to the game, Shingo Takatsu and Tadahito Iguchi both greeted a famous entertainer from Japan described as "the Johnny Carson of Japan." The poor guy flew from Japan, got off the plane at O’Hare, rode to the ballpark and then sat out in the stands in the heat (seats courtesy of Shingo). That’s a long day in any language.
Way to Go Sox Fans
Maybe it was just me (or a combination of me and the way the game went), but there seemed to be a great representation by Sox fans today. They continue to turn out in force and in uniform, sporting Sox jerseys, hats, banners and flags.
The Great Luis Aparcio
Hall-of-Fame shortstop Luis Aparcio threw out the ceremonial first pitch before today’s game wearing his replica 1959 cap.
"Every time you win, you turn the page and get ready for the next day," Guillen said. "That is the key for this team. Whether we have won 20 straight or lost two straight, we are ready to play the next day."