Off The Ledge

Wednesday, August 23, 2006, 11:18 pm

Hang In There

This is not the end of the world … it just may sound like it and feel like it from moment to moment.

Jimthome_2
We need to win some games.  We need to score runs, and we need to have our starting pitchers step up.  No doubt.  We need to step up.

It is worth noting that in each of the last three games (all key), we faced a pitcher who likely will finish among the AL Top 5 in Cy Young Award voting.  Like a basketball team that doesn’t shoot well, it is tough to look like you have energy when you are facing good pitching.  We know because we did it to Boston, Los Angeles and Houston last October.

While this year has been at times frustrating, disappointing, annoying (etc. … you pick the emotion), if you ask me, last year was worse.  Last year, you had the feeling like we were going to blow this monumental lead.  That it would be a disaster baseball historians would write about forever.  Instead, magically, we came out of it in an amazing way.

So let’s take stock of where we stand …

37 games left

We still hold the lead in the wild card

We play our closest challenger for the wild card six times (three and three)

We rank second in the Majors in runs scored

We have the fourth-best record in baseball

We have a 42-33 (.560) record against teams remaining on our schedule

If we play at that same pace over the final 37 games (21-16), we finish 94-68

But, of course, we need to play the games

Fun And Games

Yesterday was our annual employee golf outing at Cog Hill (which is one reason I didn’t post).

Every year, my foursome is Bob Grim, Don Brown and the great Moose Skowron.

If you haven’t played golf with Moose, you haven’t golfed.

Moose_1
He is an agitator … cheering his ball along or telling yours to "Stop" or "Run off the Green", funny and perpetually cheerful (upon reaching the half way house at 10:30 yesterday morning, he slathered a hot dog with relish and said, "Isn’t this the greatest.  What a life!" … which quite honestly, I have never said over brunch of a golf course hot dog).  He is loud.  And he is funny.  Very funny.

He has a unique style of play, hitting his driver on Par 3s and using a 9-Wood.

And of course, he tells the greatest of stories.

He hates golf, describing it in two words which I can’t write here but if you say quickly enough together, can sound like one word.

Well, yesterday, he had the round of his life, scoring par on three straight holes at one point.  "I hate this game, but I am going to go out and play tomorrow," Moose joked.

MooserecentTwice on Par 3s, his drive (yes, that is the appropriate term) hit the cart path and bounced onto the green.  Once, he ended up 12 feet away.  The second time, he won closest to the pin with his ball ending up 24 inches from the hole.

Another time he hit out of a greenside bunker with his 9-Wood.  The ball dribbled out, ran across the green, hit the flag and fell in.

It was Moose’s day.

And the stories …

About tearing wall paper off the wall at his home … about getting signed after playing semipro ball for the Austin (Minn.) Packers (A Yankee scout saw him strike out twice and beat the catcher’s throw to first base each time.  He offered Moose a contract.  A Cubs scout saw him homer four times and didn’t offer to sign him) … about his dad … about his kids and family (he cares so much for them) … about the Sox … about Steve Alford (he got to know him through his friendship with Coach Knight) … about Seattle Mariners owner Chuck Armstrong (Purdue ties) … and of course about Mickey, Yogi and Hank.

Moosecard_1
One sample:

"I got hit in the head one day by (blank) of the Red Sox.  I had homered off him earlier in the year and he wanted to get back at me.  Split my helmet in two right along the N-Y.  Casey came out and asked me if I could read the scoreboard.  I could.  My roommate, Bob Cerv, was the next hitter.  I told him, C’mon roomie, hit a ground ball … because I wanted to get someone at second base.  Sure enough, he hits a ground ball to short.  Gene Mauch is playing second base and covers second.  I hit him so hard I break his leg.  Ends his career.

"Years later, he comes up to me and thanks me.  Says I helped make him a major league manager."

Another response came when Bob and I were heckling him over a putt:

"I’ve had 40,000 people booing me, you think the two of you are going to make me choke?"

To quote Moose once more, "What a life!"

89 Comments

Moose seems like a great guy. Thanks for the stories! Yes the White Sox can still turn this thing around. Like Hawk said we need to see some hunger and passion out there!!!

Great post, Scott. Moose sounds like a great guy (and I always love to hear about Purdue ties). But as for baseball, I’m not too worried yet about our team. Last year showed me that no matter how bad we play for any given stretch, as long as the guys know they have to get it going, they do.
Let’s just kick our feet up and enjoy the home stretch

I remember seeing a sign in the stands last year when we gave up most of the 15 game lead…”What, me worry?”, with a picture of Alfred E. Newman. Yes, Alfred, I’m worried.

Scott is exactly right in talking about the caliber of pitching the Sox have faced the last three days but unfortunately that’s not the entire story is it?

Do you consider ‘Boof’ Bonser an elite pitcher? How about the two Royals stiffs with ERA over six last Tuesday and Wednesday who shut down the Sox?

This has been an on going problem the entire season… playing ‘down’ to bad compitition and it’s now come back to bite the team when they lose games (as all teams will) to good compitition.

Mark Liptak

What Scott needs to talk about is the caliber of SOX pitching. Hopefully we don’t need to repeat the truism that PITCHING, above all, wins games. And where, other than Garland (and perhaps McCarthy), are we going to find THAT?

Well said. The problem is much much deeper than just facing a few elite pitchers. However, the prize is still there for the taking if we want it. And by the way seeing Freddy get mad everything there’s a fielding error and blaming the hitting is NOT going to solve anything.

Let’s put ourselves in Indians’ fan’s shoes…to go from right in the thick of it, projected as a team to beat after finishing ’05 so strong…to now being 24 games out of first place…kind of puts a different light on this whole thing. Hey, Detroit looks like last year’s Sox, gotta give ‘em credit. But will they look the same in the post season? At least Sox are still knocking on the door, Indians are knocking their heads on the wall.

Sure we can turn it around. Starting today would help!!!

Mark – You make a great point about the clowns we lost to at the start of this most recent dive. If we are going to excuse ourselves for not showing up to play against the good pitchers then we have to beat the guys we are supposed to beat.

We may have the second highest amount of runs scored, but out team ERA is in the bottom half.

I am confident that we can still get in the playoffs and have a chance to repeat, but we have got to get moving now before we bury ourselves!!!

I think the hole has been dug too deep for the division already. I read the stats on what we need to do if Detroit even goes .500, and that doesn’t look good for the Sox considering the schedule ahead of them. We’re still on top for the Wild Card, it’s in our own hands. Take control, Sox, win your own games, forget about everybody else, and take the Wild Card. Forget about Detroit and the division, just win your own games, be them against the bottom feeders, the spoilers, or the division leaders. J U S T W I N !!

You’re right tucker8, I’m sure deanklub is more miserable than all of us poor saps. And Mark hit it on the head when describing our offensive troubles against strong and weak pitchers alike. Boof Bonser? Runelyvs Hernandez?? What next Zach Miner?!? I sure as **** hope not.

And speaking of Marks, when the **** did our ace become Ted Lilly. Aside from blooding Ozzie’s nose, Buehrle and Lilly have put up nearly identical numbers. Guess which is Mark?

*10-11, 79K, 4.87 ERA with 168.1 IP

vs.

*10-11, 119K, 4.64 ERA with 139.2 IP

Hopefully Freddy does get the run support he’s been whining about and in turn, perhaps he can try not getting lit up, putting us in an early deficit. We’re better than this, let’s start showing it tonight.

Taken from the Sox website:

Should the Tigers play only .444 ball the rest of the way (16-20), the White Sox would have to play at a .649 clip (24-13) just to tie Detroit. If the Tigers are a .500 team the rest of the way the White Sox would have to win 26 of 37 to force a tie.

Like it or not, the division is over. These games are no longer important because we’re playing Detroit, they’re important because we need the wins. We don’t need Detroit losses anymore because they’re not going to matter. Winning the wild card is perfectly acceptable, especially if we win it all again.

We win tonight and tomorrow, get back on track for the Minnesota series, and then see what happens from there. We obviously have to start winning, but I am done watching what the Tigers do, the division is theirs.

I keep reading that people just don’t think it can be done and that we’re out of the division race. Does no one out here remember exactly what Cleveland did in the second half last year. They literally won almost every game until the last 2-3 weeks of the season. And what about Minnesota this year?

I know being an optimist about this makes me not as much of a fan and clearly I should just go and be a Cubs fan, but honestly, give the guys a chance. No, they haven’t been playing well lately, and no, they don’t seem to have that burning drive they did last year. BUT, I still wouldn’t trade any player on this team for someone else. Not based on their performance of late, but based on the fact that I KNOW they are better than this. How you ask? Well, because I’ve seen them perform better than this. Now, don’t get me wrong, if they continue to perform at this level I will be very surprised if they make the playoffs and that would be a disappointment. But, I don’t expect them to continue performing at this level.

Cyndi

I along with many others would not have expected a defending champion to have performed like this for 7 weeks now, but they have! People are under performing and it had better change if they want to stay here and have a chance to win again.

Cyndi, Cyndi, Cyndi.

Hoping that los Tigres (because we miss Tom) go

16-20 and the Sox go 24-13 at this point is not realistic, and that’s what the Cubbie fans are all year…unrealistic. Just the same as any Cubbie fan who still thinks their team can jump 11 teams to earn a wild card berth, because they are not mathematically out of it. BUT, nobody says you can’t hold onto that hope, that’s your Sox given right. If you keep that hope, we still won’t kick you out to the other side. We hope, too, but ours has just shifted into Wild Card gear.

So…if nobody expected us to perform this badly, and yet we have, why exactly is it unrealistic to say that just because no one believes the tigers will perform that badly, that there is still a chance (and their performance of late should be increasing this chance) that they will do the same?

Cyndi

For heavens sake, HOW MANY TIMES must Uribe screw up a play by chasing balls too far into the outfield and interfering with our outfielders? Does this team HAVE A MANAGER?

4-3, second inning, only one out and Zach Miner gets in trouble. Does Jim Leyland wait until after the 5th inning to pull him, hoping and praying that someone he will get better (Ozzie’s principle number one)?

NO HE DOES NOT. He sees that Miner is ineffective and pulls him immediately.

And THAT IS ONE MAJOR REASON, Sox fans, why the Tigers are in first place and the Sox are not. The Tigers have a manager who knows how to manage pitchers!

in above post, someone should have been “somehow.” Sorry.

i just came home from a day on the links and i noticed we’re up by three. good job! i’ll have to see how the scoring went, but after reading some of your posts i need to point out (as the resident old guy) that the Giants beat out the BRoOklyN Dodgers after a playoff in 1955. you don’t remember that, but i do. later all…… j.k.

What a start!

Garcia is spotted a 3 run lead before he even steps on the mound (after recently complaining about not getting enough run support)… and then in the bottom of the 1st how does Freddie handle this nice cushion? He proceeds to give it right back to the Tigers! That cookie he hung up and over the heart of the plate on Dmitri Young’s 2 run bomb was pathetic.

Fortunately Joe Crede was able to golf a line drive out over the left field fence and the boys were able to string together another two runs to give Garcia yet another 3 run lead.

Let’s see if Freddie can settle down and give us a solid pitching performance for the next 5-6 innings.

Miner was charged with 6 earned runs in just 1 1/3 innings… the worst outing of his young Major League career. It’s really great to see the Sox bats coming alive tonight. Nice clutch hitting.

Go White Sox!!!

Will the Sox win the Division? No. Will they win the Wild Card? Maybe. If you take the emotion out of the equation and look at the facts, things become more clear. The Sox starting pitchers have given up 880 hits in 800 innings. There have also been 198 BB. That is not a winning formula.

Let’s hope Thome’s injury is not too serious. It would be a major blow to lose Big Jim from the heart of the White Sox line-up heading into this weekend’s crucial series with the Twins at the Cell.

~Hark from Tucson

Poor baseball all around tonight. Freddy was his usual, the defense was bad, letting that ball drop in the outfield, we couldn’t bunt a guy over, couldn’t get the clutch hit. We won the game, but only because Detroit’s pitching was just a little bit worse than ours.

I’m not too thrilled about this win because we still don’t look good. Wins come with consistent, solid play, not the other way around.

Thome will be out at least a week. The only positive I can think that could come from his injury is it forces us to remember how to play situation baseball rather than wait for the home run. I doubt it though.

You can call me pessimistic because i’m not thrilled about this win, but I really don’t see what there is to be excited about. We won without doing the little things. That’ll happen, but not very often. We need to be better.

I’ll take it though, as i’m sure every Sox fan will. It’s good that we won, just nothing to get excited about.

STOP THE MADNESS!!! WINNING UGLY IS STILL WINNING, AND I’LL TAKE THAT OVER AN “L” ANY DAY!!!

— Maria (channeling MANAUSA.)

COOL Maria!! what ever happened to our friend MANAUSA from last year? if i start to add to this post i’ll start to rant about winning ugly, and the twins winning and oh no we can’t make the playoffs and etc…..

so, i’ll calm down and simply say, good win White Sox, let’s get another one tomorrow…. j.k. from tucson…..ah heck, you all know that already….

hahaha, I was thinking about MANAUSA with his permanent caps-lock the other day. maria helped brighten up my mood after reading some more gloom and doom posts

JOE CREDE YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYES!!!

Way to bring it tonight Joe! Yes we did some ugly things tonight like not being able to bunt, but right now a win is a win and you never know what could trigger a streak. Absolute must win tomorrow. Go get em Jon!

Word has it that the air traffic control tower at Logan airport in Boston said that Dimitri Young’s home run off Freddy just passed through their air space and is still climbing.

That’s more like it. Wasn’t the prettiest victory but **** I’ll take a win in any way, shape or form. To Freddy’s credit, he calmed down after the first, even if he got in some sticky situations. Joe and Jermaine, just like in the World Series, have been the true All-Stars of this team the whole year and I shudder to think where we’d be without the two. What a performance. I hope Thome isn’t too hurt, we’re gonna need all the offense we can get coming down the stretch here. Let’s get the split today Garland.

First of all, drumroll….fanfare….
THE KID IS BACK!!!!!

I had some personal business to take care of….and now that 99.8% of that business is finito(Spanish for “it gone”….),let’s review the last two games in Motown….

Tuesday night….the kindest adjective I can use to describe the strike zone of Dan Iassogna is….

BRUTAL!!!!!

Even the Tiger radio announcers were saying that he was simply dreadful….inconsistent….

in other words,he did what people do through the business end of a straw….

For the game itself,Buehrle,when he wasn’t frustrated with the spinning strike zone(as opposed to the spinning salad bowl at Don Roth’s restaurant),had one bad inning,again,and it cost him the game….again….

It didn’t do the Sox any good either when the Captain ended two rallies with double play balls….

Onto last night…..

First inning….very good….

J Dye(my MVP for ’06,by the bye….)with the long ball….

Bottom first….not very good….Los Tigres tie it up off Freddy….then Freddy settles in,the sticks come magically to life,and there is suddenly a lead that never vanishes….Freddy settles in,then has a momentary break down,but then leaves it up to the tremendous troika(not as good looking as Brusa/Conrad/Wagener plus Mc Cormack…but just as effective for making WS Universe smile…..)of Mac Dougal,Thornton and Manchild….who could not only make a cup of coffee nervous,but WS Universe as well….There seems to be no such thing as an easy save for young Jenks…..

So,as predicted on Monday,there is a possibility,with a victory,of a split in the series…which would leave the boys back at square one from whence(whence?)they started the trip….

Honesty compels me to say that the division seems to be out of grasp,unless Los Tigres pull a ’69 Flubbies choke job….so the wild card is like Hallmark cards…the next best thing to being there…and the Twinkies are coming in tomorrow night….

You know what that means,don’t you,WS Universe….

Get the John Wayne picture ready for the blog site,Mr Reifert….tell Mr Reinsdorf to make room in the front row of his suite for the statue of the Duke(not reifer,that’s for damned sure….),and prepare to raise the roof….

More tomorrow….

But before I go,jklein….for gawd sake,the Brooklyn/NY giants playoff was in 1951…NOT 1955….’55 was the only year that the Dodgers beat the Yank-mes in the World Serious when they were sharing the NYC market with the Jints….1951 was the three game playoff with the Bobby Thomson home run off of Ralph Branca…Wednesday,Oct.3,1951,2:57 PM Central time….

(And if Mr Reinsdorf,a Brooklyn fan,is wondering by and reading this….

Sorry…..)

Sorry I have been an infrequent visitor this year, but as you all well know, my Tribe pretty much stunk it up this year. So I have been pretty much keeping to my fellow Tribe fans this year. Not to mention been a crazy year at work and family life a bit hectic as well.

Not sure why, but I am getting a comment spam error …

Ah, all is right with the WS Universe…Mr. Quaid is back!! Let’s hope you are the lucky charm sir! I have to agree that barring some monumental derailment by the kitties and new found consistency by our boys, the division is probably the Tigers and wild card hopes it is. This is one time I would LOVE to be wrong, but doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there. The playoffs are a whole new season as previous wild cards have shown. So let’s hope for afternoon delight in Detroit and come home to put those Twinkies away. Good to have you back TQ!!

I have noticed how a few of your faithful have been down on your squad the last few weeks. Nothing out of the ordinary btw, happens with all teams. But I read somewhere that your current record is only 3 games behind where your team was a year ago. That is pretty impressive to repeat a performance like that. Will you catch Detroit? Doubtful, but hey this is a crazy season. I just hope that it is either you guys or the Twins in the Wild Card. I am so over watching the Red Sox/Yankees hype machine (I was rooting for the Blue Jays, but their manager seems to be tearing that squad apart).

Good Luck, but as always, not too much ;)

i just wanted to see if anyone was paying attention to my year (1955). i didn’t think anyone would challenge me until you showed up again.. TQ to the rescue!! my point is still valid though, and that is it’s never too late, until it is too late…. j.k. go Sox….

Can we just please beat the dung out of Detroit today!

Okay, so one of the young guns looks like he’s starting to unravel. Nice inning and a third, Zachary. Let’s hope Robertson suffers a similar fate today.

Leyland thought he was so smart, changing pitchers in the middle of Pods at bat. Bottom line, you still lost, old man.

Yep, an old-fashioned beating out of the dung would be nice. My nerves are ready for a big win, forget these “the tying run is at the plate” kind of games, for now.

Oh, and welcome back, Mr. Q.

I’m for moving Crede up in the order during Jim’s absence, put him in the three hole, and put Mac in at DH down at seven. What say you all? Who knows, maybe Mac will catch some fire with more at bats.

I thinkg JD will do in the 3 hole for now. 3 for 3 with two homers and a double. Stay hot and we will be campaigning JD for MVP!!!

JD =====> MVP!

I hope this game builds momentum for tomorrow and the rest of the season. I’ll be there tomorrow to witness the pitcher they call Vazquez. I hope he doesn’t **** himself out there.

JD is the MAN! What a season he is having. Both he and Crede are making a mockery of their previous season totals. JD for MVP!

Go Go White Sox!

JK… as a fellow Chicagoan now residing in The Old Pueblo, I was born 5 years after you (1960)… but I know of some pretty monumental end of season comebacks and collapses in MLB history. I think it is far more likely for the White Sox to put together an extended run (.650+ winnng clip) to close out the regular season than it is to expect the Tigers to simply collapse… but there are number of precedents in MLB history in which both have coincided.

In fact, it almost happened last year to a far more veteran ball club than this year’s Tigers… our beloved White Sox.

On September 23rd of last year the White Sox (who held a staggering 15-game lead on August 1st and a 9 1/2-game cushion on September 7th) saw their lead against the surging Indians dwindle down to just 1 1/2 games in the AL Central. We all know what happened from that point forward… as our beloved WS stopped the bleeding… and seized control of their destiny by bulldozing everyone on the remainder of their regular season schedule. Of course, history was written as the White Sox went on to bring Chicago it’s first World Series championship since 1917.

1978 Red Sox, 1969 Cubs, 1995 Angels and the 1987 Blue Jays to name just four recent examples.

Is it in the cards (this season) for this rare combination of a major collapse by the front-runners (Tigers)combined with a lightning in a bottle finish by the White Sox? Not likely!

But (as the examples posted above indicate) there are precedents in MLB history out there.

Back to reality… let’s hope the WS can (once and for all) put together the kind of extended run that reflects the exceptional talent, grit, hunger and character that made this team one for the ages last year.

At this point, a wild card spot (in the post season) would be just fine with me. Let’s just find a way to get into October’s big dance and let the exceptional talent, experience and team chemistry take over.

It all starts with a much needed victory today followed by winning (at least) 2-of-3 from the Twins and a sweep of the Devil Rays and The Cell.

Now were talking… Great start to today’s game by Garland, Dye Anderson and Uribe. What an amazing catch by Brian Anderson. Clutch three run jack by Uribe, two bombs by Dye, 7-0 Sox and 3+ strong innings by Garland so far… and all WS runs coming with two outs. Let’s Go White Sox!

~Hark in Tucson

Off To See The Lion King (Musical) Tonight

WoW! This is sweeet..tight..rocks.. (remember I have teenagers) but most of all, this is fun! I’ve got Hawk & Dj on my extra innings today instead of the Detroit dudes, that must be the reason for the winning.. who knows.. I’m off to watch the last of it!

Toodles in Texas!

I have to defer to Kr-trepac, JD is the man. He’s on fire, what a career year for the big man. You love to see a good guy like JD come up big in his veteran years. (especially since he’s on the Sox now!)

Good move on Ozzie’s part to put him up to the three hole. Funny how Leyland intentionally walked Crede and Dye today! Didn’t help, old man, two bases loaded single followed, and you’re down 10-0!! What a game by Garland, he and Dye must have the same source of fire!

Hey, Weedenft, I’d say we have gotten what we needed and wanted and desired: A good ‘ol “beat the dung out of ‘em” game!

REAL hard to find ANY fault in that win… let’s keep it rolling tomorrow against the twins… go Sox, j.k.

Hoooooowwweeeeee! Feels pretty good to beat those guys. Hopefully all the offense will carry into the Minnesota series. Cyndi, keep the faith! Who knows?

How about big Jon! Were are the people that wanted to dump him early in the year. He is having an awesome 2nd half. 15 wins and he probably has 7 starts left. He has an outside shot at 20! He has really pitched well against the Tigers. As I recall he shut them out twice last year as well.

JD has been flying under the national radar but what a year he is having. Keep it up JD!

I’ve got a good feeling for this upcoming Twins series.

-Mark

I got my Sports Illustrated in the mail yesterday and it had a Detroit Tiger on the cover. Since then the Tigers are 0-2. I guess the SI cover jinx is working for us! The next three against the Twinkies are going to be huge!!

That was nice!!! Jon still on a role being the ace we need, BA coming up with great grab and a nice triple to follow, JD being huge at the plate as usual, and clutch hitting all around today. I think it was 8 runs with 2 outs today. Lets hope this is not a mirage and we can continue to come up with 2 out runs.

Now lets go smash some Twinkies!!!

You watch a game like this and you ask…why the **** can’t we do this all the time? Great pitching, monster hitting, awesome! We need Garland to breath, spit, sneeze…whatever, on the rest of the staff to throw the ball like he did today.

Who would have thought that even resting the Thome-run machine we would whoseyourdaddy the kittens with a two-by-five! Incredible. Can we please build on this? Here is a term that needs to be taken out of the dustbin and revived, ready?? – WINNING STREAK.

With Minnesota, Tampa and KC next, it’s now or never for that WINNING STREAK! If only we didn’t have the Nag on the mound tomorrow!!

On the dream side, it’s been a LONG TIME since McCarthy has pitched! COULD IT BE that the decision has been made to LET HIM START? Or is there some other reason for his absence?

Don’t tease us, Kolsens. I think it sure would fire up the fans. It would be reminiscent of last year when he was plugged in at Boston and pitched that great game, at a crucial time. No other time more crucial than facing the Twinkies. But alas, I don’t think it will happen.

Winning streak has a beautiful ring to it. Somebody say it again!

That would be cool if it happened, but since BMc has been in the pen the entire season, I really don’t think the Sox plan to move him out of it. It would really save me some grief tomorrow at the game though, I wouldn’t have to witness Javier’s break down inning. As long as they pull out a win, I’ll be happy.

i dont know why all of you want to make love to mccarthy…..what has he ever done? anyway….good game today unfortunately i was working..first day back at school. terrible. the team is better without thome. i know that sounds ridiculous but its true

I have been criticle of this team when they have just gone through the motions so it’s only fair to praise them for showing some guts the past 24 hours.

I don’t think they are going to catch Detroit (barring a Tiger collapse) but the wins keep the pressure on the Twins. The ball is back in their court this evening now.

The weekend series may be the biggest of the season… period. The pitching match ups give the Sox a realistic shot in two games…they need to win them.

They may not need ’95 wins’ like Ozzie said, IF they can win some games vs. Minnesota and preferably BEFORE the final weekend, when the Twins would love nothing better then to knock the Sox out of it.

We’ll see what this weekend brings.

Mark Liptak

McCarthy has good stuff, McCarthy has poise. Vasquez has a mental block.

If Javie starts, we’d be having to take him out the third time through the order, anyway, before he gets shelled, because he can’t think of more than two ways to mix things up. So flip it, let BMac start, pitch four/five innings, bring in JV for 3 or 4, finish up with the Scottsman and Manchild.

Sure, BMac isn’t proven, but JV has proven a few things lately, he gives up too many games with the BIG inning. What’s wrong with mixing things up for ONE game? As I recall, O. Hernandez filled in pretty good in the bullpen during last post-season, maybe we shouldn’t wait that long for Vasquez.

I would love to see BMc get the start on Friday. We know that JV can’t get the job done. Why wait until the game is out of reach before pulling his sorry a**. But Ozzie seems to think that JV is a good pitcher, so I’m sure he will start and stink like usual. I hope that I am wrong. We really need to win 2 of 3!!

What has McCarthy EVER DONE?

Well, last year he had ten starts, a 3-2 record, and an ERA of 4.03. This year’s ERA is 3.99. Not spectular, perhaps, but BETTER THAN ANY OTHER 2006 SOX STARTER!

Great Win! Let’s hope the Sox carry this momentum into their weekend series with the Twins at U.S. Cellular.

Although the start of this important road trip was disappointing and frustrating (to say the least)… The White Sox demonstrated amazing intestinal fortitude and resiliency in coming back to take the last two in Detroit to complete the series with a much needed split.

Unlike the Red Sox who buckled under the pressure of losing the first few games of their crucial head-to-head series against their divisional rivals (Yankees) at home no less, the Sox (of a whiter and brighter nature) buckled down and took care of business by winning the final two games of this series on the home turf of the team with the best record in baseball (the mark of a championship caliber team).

The 10-run outburst by the White Sox coupled with some sparkling defensive plays (the Cintron/Uribe 9th inning Curley Shuffle notwithstanding) and a stellar pitching effort by Jon (don’t call me Judy) Garland served notice to their divisional foes that the Sox are still a force to be reckoned with.

Let’s hope that Ozzie & Coop will have McCarthy warmed up and ready to do some damage control (in the 5th/6th inning) if Javier Vazquez succumbs to one of his patented 3rd time through the order meltdowns.

I would love nothing more than to see Javy put together a solid 6 or 7 inning pitching effort (sans grande sabotage).

This series is even more important that the (just completed) Detroit series. Its time for the Sox Players to step up and dominate the AL central for the rest of the season.

~Hark In Tucson

10-0!! That wasn’t good enough! NO! We should’ve scored 12, and Jon pitching a shut out?! He could’ve done better!!!

KIDDING!! What a spectacular game, and I’m sorry, but I had to poke fun at some today.

Just when everyone is so ready to jump the boat- we get some nice wins, picked up a game on the Tigers and enter into tomorrow with some great momentum.

So proud of our guys- a SWEEP this weekend baby!!!

Lets go White Sox!

Great game. Excellent pitching from Jon, great defense, clutch hitting. Very nice to see before this big series with the Twins.

I felt yesterday we just happened to win, but today was an excellent effort. In any event, fantastic effort by the entire team. Great to see the team still has life left in them.

Interestingly enough, Javi has the 2nd best ERA of the five in the month of August. Of course, he’s pitched about half the innings everyone else has. Let’s hope for a clutch performance from him tomorrow.

Go Champs!!

Nice writing, Hark. Me thinks a thespian ye are. Yes, it is time for domination from the Sox nation once again. How about a brilliant, almost unprecedented comeback to take the division of Central nature? Whaddaya say, Cinnabon? Nobody laughing at your optimism today, are they!?!? Funny game, got the wrong name, s/b called, the roller coaster of the acclaimed.

What?? The acclaimed, if they are named, go by JD, Paulie, Crede, Thome, Jonny, and Bobby, and others of fame.

Hey, I like that. ;-)

Imagine that!!!!! Sox beat the tar outta Detroit and that NAG (Kolsens) is still crying about Vasquez. What a crybaby. At least Dreifer tells it like it is. He at least gives a pat on the back as well as a kick in the rear. The duke is ok in my book now.
HEY KOLSENS…..THEY WON TODAY CLOWN!!!!! Did you notice that????? Probably not. Too busy figuring out how many unearned runs Vazquez gives up in home games as opposed to the wonderful Tigers who might as well be handed the trophey…..according to you.

Happy about another win,

Sean – Jax, FL

i think that Pablo has earned at least one more start in left. what a great play on that put out off Joe’s glove. amazing! go Sox, keep it rolling…. j.k.

Vasquez: I have said it the last two months, this guy can be the ace of our staff. He has great stuff and has just run into some unfortunate circumstances. I am excited that he’s going tonight. Let’s GO Sox!!!!

BC, I think you’re the only one excited that Vasquez is going tonight, besides his mom. He’s one under .500 for his career, I don’t see any magic in that. But, I think I’d at least rather see him than Beurhle at this point. Hopefully Ozzie will not leave him in for his “big” inning. We don’t want him “working through it” against the team 1/2 game behind us.

BC,

If memory serves, you’ve also been saying that Detroit would crash. When will THAT happen?

On the other hand, like you, I am hoping that Vazquez will be “going tonight.” I hope that he will be going to the bench in the first inning, and then taking the first available plane to another MLB franchise.

He’ll be a hard one to move, at the price we’re paying him. But, actually, Los Tigres have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games, which would constitute a collapse for them. Our problem is, we’ve matched them, not gaining any ground, while the Twinks have gone 7-3.

Depends on how you define crash, if you look at the Tigers 5-11 record in their last 16, I’d say that’s not a crash, but not good either. However, the Sox have not made them pay as dearly as we would like.

You heard it here, I still believe the Sox will win the division. Let the Sox hang around and the Tigers will pay dearly.

What the h*ll is this comment span ****? I jusdt spent a long period of time,and possible carpal tunnel syndrome on a post,and these goniffs come on and tell me that there may be comment spam????
Come on,folks…. get the bugs out!!!!!

I’ll try again later…..

tq.. not sure what you’re refering to.. want to reiterate?

Because several people continue to discuss/rip on Javy, I just wanted put my 2 cents in. I do math/statistics for a living, and so I almost can’t help keeping track of the numbers. I definitely won’t dispute the ‘big-inning’ issues he has and I am not giving any pesonal opinion on the guy, but he has not consistently been our worst pitcher. Hasn’t always been much better, but hasn’t always been the worst.

I did this all pretty quick, so hopefully my numbers are right. If not, anyone feel free to correct me.

Looking at earned runs vs. innings pitched this year:

In April, he was right in the middle, better than Garland and Garcia, worse than Buehrle and Contreras. In May, he was #4, better than Garland. In June, he was the worst. In July, #4 again, better than Buehrle. So far in August, through 4 games (granted, most of the guys have pitched 5 games so far this month), he is #2, better than Contreras, Buehrle and Garcia.

Overall, it breaksdown like this:

Buehrle ER/IP = 0.54

Contreras ER/IP = 0.45

Garcia ER/IP = 0.56

Garland ER/IP = 0.50

Vasquez ER/IP = 0.57

When it comes down to it, lets be honest, he’s not much worse than anyone else.

Other things I feel are worth noting, he has the most strikeouts of any starter, but has least innings pitched (124 in 150.3). Also, the highest strike outs to walks (43) of any of our starters. And he gives up less hits than everyone except Contreras.

I’m not saying hes the best pitcher on the team, but some of you need to check the numbers on this kid. Hes not what you make him sound like.

And thats my 2 cents. Need to get some work done now. And Go Sox!!

Maria, just noticed the MANAUSA comment high above — that was great, definitely BROUGHT BACK MEMORIES.

Mark/MLB.com

http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

And now to the statistics that matter:
ERA

Contreras….4.04

Garland……4.47

Buerle…….4.87

Garcia…….4.99

Vazquez……5.13

Not much difference? On one level (Buehrle, Garcia, Vazquez) there isn’t, and Kenny can ship ALL OF THEM out when the season ends.

But between the above trio and Garland/Contreras, there is a HUGE difference, and anyone who has sat through Sox games knows what I mean.

kristine: what I was referring to was this….I spent quite a bit of time on a post that….1)apologized to Joe Crede for slighting his efforts the other night in Detroit–2 HR’s in the Garcia win….;2)praised J Dye for his efforts,along with Garland,in yesterday’s win in Motown;3)was hoping that the Twinkies would have had long extra inning game,with a rain delay included,last night in Baltimore so that they would be limp and tired tonight—no such luck….;4)was expressing the thought that it’s about time for the boys to beat the whoop-dee-doo out of Santana tomorrow night,to get that jinx out of their system;5)was basically hoping for a sweep of Minn.this weekend,to put some distance between the WS and the tenacious Twins…..
That was what I tried to do,but….the gremlins thought I had some sort of comment spam—whatever the h*ll THAT is….

Come on,Mark/MLB.com….what gives?????

kolsens,et al….You can crunch numbers from now until Bill James reforms,but I believe that it was either Mark Twain who said that there were three kinds of liars….Liars,damned liars…and statistics….
The bottom line remains the standard,no matter HOW it is accomplished….

Or,as Brooks Boyer so aptly put it in last year’s propaganda(I’m sorry,promotional)campaign….

WIN,OR DIE TRYING…..

It was either Mark Twain,or it was someone else…..that’s genius,isn’t it?
If I knew what I was doing,I swear that I would be a serious threat…..

By the way,Scott…is it rue that Moose Skowron is such a good golfer,that the best wood in his opponent’s bag….would be the pencil they use to write their scores down with?

The word I tried to write was “true”, not “rue”…but I also had to deal with the comment spam gremlins again…
Oh,Mark/MLB.com?….we need to talk…..

TQ, I wonder if it has anything to do with that little can of meat, made out of who knows what?

Let’s show the Twinkies they really aren’t in this race. Swept them once earlier this year when they thought they were crawling their way back into things, let’s sweep them again!!!!!!!1

Of course that sweep was back in April, but we spanked them good. Beat Lindsey Johann 7-1!! Let’s do it.

Emappel, I appreciate your stats. When I watch Vasquez, I’m always impressed with the movement on his pitches and the way his fastball seems to rise. However, the most telling stat was the number of walks combined with HBP.

Vasquez is averaging .43 more runners that he is putting on base than Contreras and 1.43 more runners than Garland who is the best of the starters at 1.96 runners put on base per nine innings. My high school coach use to harp about the importance of making batters hit their way on base.

Keys to the game tonight, make the Twins hit their way on base. Play solid defense.

I’m hoping Gload gets another start with Thome hurting. He’s solid defensively and I think could hit 300 if he played regularly.

Fellow White Sox bloggers and readers: One of us will be featured as MLBlogger of the week on MLB radio tonight. Adam Hoge will appear at approx. 9:15 CST. Interviews are archived if you miss it. Don’t know Adam? He blogs at http://soxpride.mlblogs.com

(P.S. I’m Adam’s proud dad.)

Hark’s (Cool-Aid Induced) Prognostication for the remainder of the 2006 regular season for the White Sox, Tigers and Twins… projected from an optimistic (but somewhat viable) perspective:

Chicago White Sox

Current Record (thru 8-24-06): 75-52

8/25-27 MIN: 2-1

8/29-31 TB: 3-0

9/1-3 at KC: 2-1

9/4-6 at BOS: 2-1

9/7-10 CLE: 3-1

9/11-13 at LAA: 1-2

9/15-17 at OAK: 1-2

8/18-20 DET: 3-0

9/21-24 SEA: 3-1

9/25-27 CLE: 2-1

9/29-10/1 at MIN: 2-1

Projected Record Remaining Games: 24-11

Projected White Sox Final 2006 Regular Season Record: 99-63

Detroit Tigers

Current Record (thru 8-24-06): 81-47

8/25-27 CLE: 2-1

8/28-30 at NYY: 1-2

9/1-3 LAA: 1-2

9/4-6 SEA: 2-1

9/7-10 at MIN: 2-2

9/12-13 TEX: 1-1

9/15-17 BAL: 2-1

9/18-20 at CWS: 0-3

9/21 at BAL: 1-0

9/22-24 at KC: 2-1

9/26-28 TOR: 1-2

9/29-10/1 KC: 2-1

Projected Record Remaining Games: 17-17

Projected White Sox Final 2006 Regular Season Record: 98-66

Minnesota Twins

Current Record (thru 8-24-06): 74-52

8/25-27 at CWS: 1-2

8/29-31 KC: 2-1

9/1-3 at NYY: 1-2

9/4-6 at TB: 2-1

9/7-10 DET: 2-2

9/11-13 OAK: 1-2

9/14-17 CLE: 3-1

8/19-21 at BOS: 1-2

9/22-24 at BAL: 2-1

9/25-28 KC: 3-1

9/29-10/1 CWS: 1-2

Projected Record Remaining Games: 19-17

Projected Twins’ Final 2006 Regular Season Record: 93-69

Are these projections somewhat optimstic? Of course! But are they viable? Yes!

Even if my Cool-Aid sours somewhat… the White Sox still have an excellent shot at winning the Wild Card Race.

Either way, it should be an interesting 5 1/2 week stretch run… Let’s Go White Sox!

~Hark in Tucson

Presently Getting Blasted By Heavy Monsoon Rains

Tom,

I received that same spam warning when I attempted to post some comments yesterday…

This blog site must be calibrated to either filter out select words and/or symbols or (more likely) is set to reject any posts that exceed the maximum number of characters that are allowed for each post.

My post was lengthy… and I kept getting that same spam warning message (to which you are referring) each time I attempted to submit my post. However, when I edited my message down by 20-30% of its original size, I was finally able to post my comments.

~Hark

I like your new math, Hark!

Detroit did their part by losing their series opener to Cleveland.

Unfortunately, this was as painful a loss as any White Sox fan could imagine. Watching this game on my Extra Innings Subsciption Package (from my home in Tucson) with the Minnesota annnouncers calling tonight’s game, made tonight’s loss even harder to stomach. Watching Bert Blyleven circle gleeful Twins fans on the screen throughout the game at US Cellular tonight just added insult to injury. The Twins announcers sure didn’t express much respect for the White Sox throughout the game… It seemed as though they were expecting the Twins to come back at any time and snatch this victory away from the Sox (which sadly they did).

There were several key missed opportunities and mistakes made by the WS tonight.

In the 2nd inning… when Cora sent Gload (to try to score from second) on Mackowiak’s hard hit single to left… you knew unless there was a wild throw, that he would be a dead duck as the cut-off man took his time and easily nailed Gload at the plate. That play killed a rally that had the makings of burying the Twins early in this game… Consider the difference between a 3-0 lead with runners on 1st & 3rd with the top of the WS line-up coming up with just 1 out… vs. Minnesota shifting the momentum with a clutch out at the plate and two outs! Of course, Podsednik flew out to center field to end the inning… and the rally was squelched.

As usual, the man on the mound “with the great stuff”, Javier Vasquez looked brilliant the first two times through the Twins order… but holding true to form, Vazquez imploded the 3rd time through the Twins batting order. After Castillo flew out to left on a solidly hit ball… Punto drilled a hanging breaking ball up and out over the plate for his 1st HR of the season (only the 8th of his entire MLB career). Next, Mauer drilled a scoarching line-drvie that Gload makes an excellent diving catch on to save a base hit (perhaps even an extra base hit). At that point, it was prettty obvious that Vazquez wasn’t fooling anyone at the plate (with 3 straight hard hit balls)… but instead of patting Vasquez on the back, congratulating him on a nice outing… and bringing in McCarthy or Riske to close out the inning, Ozzie decided allow Vazquez to pitch to the always dangeous Michael Cuddyer (who came into tonight’s game having gone 7 for 9 over his previous two ball games). On the 1st pitch Cuddyer proceeded to smash a base hit to left. Finally, Ozzie elected to bring in (the struggling) Neal Cotts in attempt to end the inning with a lefty-lefty match-up against Twins MVP candidate, Justin Morneau. Cotts unceremoniously gave up a quick single and was promptly yanked out of the game by Guillen. In comes Riske to face Torii Hunter who (on the 1st pitch) proceeded to take Riske deep into the right field stands for a crushing 2-out, 3-run jack… and just like that the White Sox’ 3-0 lead was gone… and the Sox were on the wrong side of a 4-3 game in the 6th inning.

Fortunately, AJ (serving as the great equalizer) pulled the Sox even with a 1st pitch lead-off bomb to right in the bottom of the 6th! But sadly.. this would be the last run the WS would score tonight.

The Sox just couldn’t drive in any runs down the stretch and left a crucial 8 men on base tonight including 4 left in scoring postition.

It was sad watching previously solid Mike MacDougal give up the go-ahead run with two outs (after he had battled so hard throughout the top of the 9th inning).

Oh Well, What else can you say?

Shake it off boys… you better bring your “A Game” tomorrow… as you will be facing the the dreaded Johan Santana. We need for Jose Contreras to battle Santana and the Twins with the focus and intensity of a playoff game.

~Hark In Tucson

Frustrated but still hopeful

It’s really funny that someone writes a story about Skowron who batted righthanded and puts up a picture of Yogi who hit lefthanded..

This is really getting old. The Tigers lose 7 of 9 and the Sox only pick up one game!! How about Mackowiak in center field. What a joke! BA would have caught the ball that Rob misplayed. Thank god football starts this week.

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