Friday, April 2, 2010
Opening Day Preparations
Work continues here at the ballpark in preparation for Opening Day on Monday (and the weather forecast keeps getting better and better … but no jinxes)
The White Sox take on the Braves tonight and tomorrow before heading home for a 10 am workout on Sunday (closed to the public). First pitch comes at 1:05 p.m. Monday.
The Sox have been picked everywhere from second to fourth in the AL Central, but How about this shout-out from Ken Rosenthal of FOX?
Two Great Left-handers
Mark Buehrle is scheduled to make his eighth career Opening Day start on 4/5 vs. Cleveland, breaking a tie with Billy Pierce for the most in club history. Buehrle made five straight season-opening starts from 2002-06 and then again in 2008-09, while Pierce started the openers
in 1951-52, ’54, ’56-59 … Buehrle’s streak of five consecutive Opening Day assignments from 2002-06 was the longest by a Sox pitcher since Wilbur Wood made fi ve in a row from 1972-76. Buehrle has gone 2-1 with a 3.99 ERA (17 ER/38.1 IP) and four quality starts on Opening Day, while Pierce was 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA (20 ER/54.1 IP) in season openers.
Mark Buehrle and Billy Pierce’s Opening Day starts:
Yr W-L IP H R ER BB SO
02 W 6.0 2 1 1 2 5
03 L 7.0 6 2 2 3 1
04 ND 6.2 8 3 2 1 1
05 W 9.0 2 0 0 1 5
06 ND 4.0 4 3 3 1 1
08 ND 1.2 7 7 7 1 1
09 ND 5.0 6 2 2 3 3
Yr W-L IP H R ER BB SO
51 W 9.0 10 3 2 2 6
52 L 8.0 6 3 3 4 4
54 L 6.1 11 5 4 3 5
56 W 9.0 5 1 1 3 5
57 W 11.0 8 2 2 3 9
58 L 6.0 9 4 4 1 6
59 W 5.0 7 4 4 1 1
Other Notes of Interest
Paul Konerko is expected to make a club-record 10th straight Opening Day start at first base for the White Sox … the Sox projected lineup features five players who will make their first Opening Day start with the club (Gordon Beckham, Andruw Jones/Mark Kotsay, Juan Pierre, Alex Rios and Mark Teahen).
How the projected lineup has fared on Opening Day:
Pierre — .321-0-1
Quentin — .000-0-0
Konerko — .370-2-12
Jones — .200-3-4
Kotsay — .250-0-0
Rios — .467-2-4
Pierzynski — .300-1-4
Teahen — .235-0-1
Ramirez — .000-0-0
SOX OPENING DAY HEROES
1959 – Nellie Fox hit a game-winning, two-run home run in the
14th inning, to lead the Sox to a 9-7 victory at Detroit.
1960 – Minnie Minoso belted a pair of home runs, including the
Sox last Opening Day grand slam, vs. the K.C. Athletics.
1981 – Carlton Fisk, in his return to Fenway Park, hit a dramatic,
three-run home run in the eighth inning to lift the Sox to a 5-3 win
against Boston, his former team.
1996 – Frank Thomas hit the earliest home run in major-league
history when he connected on a fi rst-inning, two-run shot off
Seattle’s Randy Johnson on 3/31/96 at The Kingdome.
1999 – Darrin Jackson broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run home run
in the fi fth inning at Seattle, and Paul Konerko hit his fi rst home
run in a White Sox uniform, a two-run shot.
2002 – Mark Buehrle (23) becomes the youngest Sox pitcher
to make an Opening Day start since Britt Burns (22) in 1981.
2005 – Buehrle and Shingo Takatsu combine on a two-hitter in
the White Sox 1-0 victory over Cleveland.
2006 – Jim Thome, playing in his fi rst game with the White Sox,
hit a three-run homer vs. Cleveland, his former team, to lead the
Sox to a 10-3 victory.
2008 – In a 10-8 loss at Cleveland, Thome became the fi rst
White Sox player since Sammy Sosa in 1991 to hit two home runs
on Opening Day.
2009 – Thome hit a game-winning, three-run homer in the eighth
inning and Buehrle tied Billy Pierce’s franchise record with his
seventh Opening Day start in the Sox 4-2 win over Kansas City.
Not Really Celebrating
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter against the White Sox on April 16, 1940. Feller will be at the ballpark Monday as a guest of The Chicago Baseball Museum, and will be appearing downtown on Tuesday to talk about his 70-year-old feat.
This from an email sent in by a fan:
My eight-year-old son and I recently attended spring training in AZ and were very pleased with the players from the White Sox organization. While we did not have the opportunity to attend a game, we did watch the White Sox practice before the Dodgers/Giants game at Camelback on 3/31/10. Several of the players were accomodating and encouraging towards the children, but I was especially impressed with relief pitcher Randy Williams. While most players get easily annoyed by ‘persistent’ children, Randy was very friendly and gave the kids ample attention. My son, who aspires to be a left-handed pitcher, especially enjoyed the interaction (as did I, since he handled my teasing back very well). I think it’s great that some players go out of their way to inspire kids, and this reflects well on the White Sox organization. We look forward to seeing the White Sox play when we next have the opportunity. Thanks, Terra
Let me know who you think will lead the White Sox in the following statistical categories:
Save your answers and let’s compare them in September.
Remember, we are asking every White Sox fan attending Monday’s game to take a photo of the first pitch from your seat and send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will compile an online scrapbook of the moment (and really any other shots you want to take and send in to us that day) for all Sox fans to visit later Monday and in the week ahead. Our goal is to create a virtual, 360-degree series of photos — all done by our fans — of Mark Buehrle’s first pitch.
Remember to send your photo in on Monday …