Tyler’s Night to Remember
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
White Sox vs. A’s at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP John Danks (9-10, 5.12) for the Sox, LHP Jon Lester (13-10, 2.54) for Oakland. Danks is 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 10 career starts against the Athletics.
Plays of the Day
With two strikes, two outs, nobody on base and the Sox trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning last night, Tyler Flowers tied the game at 4-4 in dramatic fashion with his 13th home run of the season. Then, in the 12th, Tyler added to his heroics by smashing No. 14, a solo walk-off blast with one out to give the Sox a thrilling 5-4 triumph over the A’s (click on top link below)…Hector Noesi had a quality start, giving up three runs and four hits in 6.1 innings…Conor Gillaspie connected for his seventh homer, a solo clout (click on middle link)…Michael Taylor came in the game to play left field in extra innings after pinch-hitting in the ninth. He prevented the potential go-ahead run from getting on base, maybe even an inside-the-park homer if the ball had gotten by him, with a diving catch off the bat of Coco Crisp in the top of the 10th (click on bottom link)…Daniel Webb (1.0 IP), Ronald Belisario (1.2), Javy Guerra (2.0) pitched scoreless relief with Guerra winning his second game of the season.
Sox Notes of Note
Flowers’ extra-inning home run was his first career game-ending homer and the fourth by a White Sox player this season…on September 2, he had his first career multi-homer game and just six days later he did it again…Tyler became the first player in the majors to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth and a game-ender in extra innings since Paul Goldschmidt in August of last year. Flowers is the first Sox player to accomplish the feat since Joe Crede did it in August of 2002…Last night’s victory marked the Sox’ 31st comeback win and it exceeded the Sox win total from last year (64)…Webb recorded his fifth straight scoreless appearance (5.2 IP)…for those of you who keep stats of all kinds, there were 819 dogs in the house last night for Bark in the Park Night.
Looking Ahead to a Successful 2015
Excerpts from a White Sox analysis by Jonah Keri of Grantland.com:
“Thanks to the offseason acquisitions of Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton, a helpless White Sox offense now has two vital pieces: an on-base machine at the top of the lineup, and an MVP-caliber slugger in the middle. The Sox also have Chris Sale, who’s one of the best left-handers in the game and who’s signed to one of the league’s most attractive contracts; Jose Quintana, who’s arguably the most underrated pitcher in baseball; and Alexei Ramirez, a quality shortstop who’s signed through 2015, with an option year in 2016.
“…If (No. 1 draft pick Carlos) Rodon can perform the way management hopes, the White Sox will employ the best trio of lefty starters in the game…the foundation is in place for Chicago to assemble one of the best and youngest rotations in the majors.
“…Offensively, the White Sox have improved considerably over the team that lost 99 games and finished last in the AL in runs scored last season. Eaton, Ramirez, and Abreu held down the top three spots in the order this year, and we should expect the same next season. The Sox are also high on Avisail Garcia, the 23-year-old slugger acquired in last year’s three-way deadline deal for Jake Peavy; Garcia has struck out nearly five times more often than he’s walked so far in his brief major league career, but scouts like his power potential. Flip through the rest of this year’s lineup and there are more talented twentysomething players with upside, namely third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who’s hitting a smidge below .300 with doubles power, and 22-year-old Carlos Sanchez and 23-year-old Marcus Semien, who figure to compete for the second base job next year.
“Best of all, Chicago’s young, affordable corps allows the team to do some major shopping this winter, if GM Rick Hahn & Co. think this team is ready to contend. Money can buy that midtier veteran starting pitcher (Brandon McCarthy? Jason Hammel? Brett Anderson, if the Rockies decline his option?). It can upgrade the bullpen without breaking the bank (Pat Neshek? Luke Gregerson?). And it can give the Abreu-and-Eaton-led lineup the lift it needs to form a top-five AL offense (Russell Martin? Melky Cabrera? Nelson Cruz?). With $46 million committed for next season and an exponentially brighter outlook now than they had a year ago, the White Sox could be one of the biggest sleeper teams entering 2015.”
A Parting Gift
Adam Dunn, back in town with the A’s, received this “going away” gift from ex-mates John Danks and Chris Sale–a golf cart adorned with the logo and colors of Dunn’s beloved Texas Longhorns.
Congrats to Gene Honda
Last night was Gene Honda’s milestone 2,000th game as the White Sox Public Address Announcer. Quite an accomplishment.
Upcoming Series Activities
Quote of the Day
GM Rick Hahn on improving the team in the offseason:
“We’ll have to decide based on the options available to us whether it makes sense to invest heavily in one or two targets or try to spread it around between a half dozen or so. I don’t think anything is going to be precluded from us in terms of opportunities. It’s going to be a matter of allocating the resources most effectively when the time comes.
“We’ve known this was going to be a multiyear process for us from the start. Obviously we were pleased with some of the things we were able to do in the first year, but at the same time it’s readily apparent there are still other items that need to be addressed.”
White Sox vs. A’s at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, WCIU). Starters: RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1, 7.36) for the Sox, RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-5, 3.70) for Oakland.
Photo of the Day
Show us your PK memories for a shot to be featured in a video: