White Sox Target Twins After Sale Gem

Monday, May 13, 2013

Today’s News

Tonight’s Game

White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field, Minneapolis (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: Hector Santiago (1-1) for the Sox, Pedro Hernandez (1-0) for Minnesota.

Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Rios, RF; Viciedo, DH; Dunn, 1B; Keppinger, 3B; Wells, LF; Flowers, C; Greene, 2B.

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Sale and History

As a result of his magnficent outing in last night’s 3-0 victory over the Angels, Sale is the 12th Sox pitcher to throw a shutout while allowing one hit with no walks or hit batters, and just the sixth since 1958 to equal those numbers when facing 27 or 28 hitters.

The five others since ’58 are: Billy Pierce (6/27/58, 3-0 vs. Washington), Gary Peters (7/15/63, 4-0 vs. Baltimore), LaMarr Hoyt (5/2/84, 3-0 vs. New York Yankees), Floyd Bannister (9/13/87, 2-0 at Seattle) and Zach Stewart (9/5/11, 4-0 at Minnesota).

Sale also joined St. Louis’ Shelby Miller, Boston’s Jon Lester and the New York Mets’ Matt Harvey who worked 9.0 scoreless innings and allowed no more than one batter to reach base via a hit, walk or HBP this month. This is the first time in the modern era (since 1900) that four pitchers have accomplished the feat in a single month.

Back to Reality

Last night, Chris was enjoying the fruits of his labor. This morning, he was off to the dentist to have an abscessed tooth pulled. Don’t worry, it won’t affect his next start.

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My Personal “Wow” Pitching Performances

Last night’s overpowering one-hitter by left-hander Chris Sale got me thinking about how lucky I have been during my 23 seasons with the White Sox and how many awesome pitching performances I have been fortunate enough to witness.  According to the record books, there have been two perfect games, two other no-hitters, five one-hitters and 10 outings with 13 or more strikeouts during my time with the Sox.

So, if you’ll allow me, here are my personal Top 10 White Sox pitching outings since 1991. Hopefully the list will bring back a lot of good memories for Sox fans:

10.  You can’t have a list without mentioning Jack McDowell, who threw a one-hitter at Milwaukee in July 1991.  Mr. Complete Game from 1991-93, Jack won the Cy Young Award in leading the Sox to the division title in 1993.

9.  Javier Vazquez struck out 13 to beat the Royals in 2007.  There were nights when he was unhittable.

8.  Jason Bere’s 14-strikeout performance on June 28, 1995 at Minnesota.  His second 14-strikeout effort in consecutive seasons.

7.  Alex Fernandez’s one-hitter on May 4, 1992 vs. Milwaukee.  He, too, was dealing.

6.  Sale’s 15-strikeout performance at Tampa Bay on May 28, 2012.  He fell just one strikeout short of Jack Harshman’s club record.  I sense Chris likes pitching in front of friends and family.

5.  Chris Sale last night.  Just electric.

4.  Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter vs. Texas in 2007.  First, we were amazed that a pitcher with stuff like Buehrle would throw a no-hitter, and then came that day in 2009!

3.  Philip Humber’s Perfect Game in Seattle last April.  Great guy.  Truly sorry it hasn’t gone better for Philip.

2.  Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter in Baltimore on August 11, 1991.  It was an amazing story as he was just up from Class AA, his first White Sox start. I had just worked for the White Sox for 20 days and this was my first trip on the road with the team.  It also happened to be my first wedding anniversary (note to others: if you are going to work in baseball DON’T get married during the season). My wife and I spent the entire night in the hotel room answering phone calls from Venezuela.  We ate room service.

1.  Mark Buehrle’s Perfect Game of July 23, 2009, of course.  Nothing comes close.

Honorable mention for me was a performance by an opponent, Bret Saberhagen of KC on August 26, 1991.  Moreso than the no-hitter by Minnesota’s Francisco Liriano, what I remember most from this game was just how dominating Saberhagen was.  You had a sense after just two innings–a little bit like you did with Sale last night–that there was a chance for something special.  And although we took the loss, you just had to be impressed by his performance that night.  I don’t think a pitch ever came up above the knees.  It was my second no-hitter in five weeks on the job and I thought, “Man, this is easy …”

On the Way Back

Gordon Beckham, recovering from a broken bone in his left wrist, took flips in the batting cage today and said he felt great. Of course, that makes all of us feel great. Can’t wait to get him healthy and back in the lineup.

Play of the Day

What else? Here’s Sale in action during last night’s virtuoso performance.

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=27081555&topic_id=28033182&c_id=cws

Quote of the Day

Tuesday’s White Sox starter Jake Peavy stepped out into the Sox dugout on Sunday and immediately zipped up his jacket.

“Wow,” he said. “I just looked at the weather for Tuesday in Minneapolis, and it’s supposed to be 90 degrees. That’s like a 50-degree change. Crazy.”

Tomorrow’s Schedule

White Sox vs. Twins at Target Field, Minneapolis (7:10, CT, WCIU). Starters: Jake Peavy (4-1) for the Sox, Kevin Correia (4-1) for Minnesota.

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Did You Know…

…that as a result of last night’s win, Robin became the 27th White Sox manager to collect at least 100 victories?

Photo/Video of the Day

Sale was last night’s headliner, but Alexei Ramirez’s clutch two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning got the Sox on the scoreboard in what had been a scoreless deadlock.

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=27080573&topic_id=8879206&c_id=cws

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