From Joe Jackson to Frank Thomas, A Look at the Chicago White Sox, Both Past and Present
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Cheat, who’s the former author of his ChiSox blog, has moved on and joined up with the Sportsblog, Inc. group. You can now find him at his new website, South Side Sox. The cool thing about the new site is it’s very interactive, so be sure to check it out.
Okay, I finally figured out the “Joe Crede at shortstop” mystery. Thanks to Will Carroll’s Under the Knife, I found out that Pablo Ozuna, Tadahito Iguchi, and Juan Uribe were all nicked up, so Ozzie had to get very creative. As part of that, Joe Crede got dropped at shortstop. What’s even funnier was after he got ejected for the whole HBP/didn’t get out of the way call, Jermaine Dye came in to play shortstop.
I just picture it being like some of the softball games I’ve played in where you get slappy near the end, and everyone switches spots. Jermaine was probably the first to say “I can play shortstop,” so he got the chance.
I hate going out west. It rarely seems to turn out well for us.
The White Sox lost their second straight game, and lost their first series of the season. This one had it’s controversy as Joe Crede (who was playing shortstop) wasn’t allowed a free pass when the ump ruled he didn’t try to get out of the way of being hit by a pitch. I’ve seen no explanation on why Crede was playing shortstop, so if anyone knows, please drop me a line. I couldn’t find him ever playing there before.
Now the Sox come home to face the Tigers. I smell another sweep.
The White Sox play game two in their West Coast series with the A’s. Late last night, Jon Garland threw a gem to give the Sox their eighth straight win. The win also gave them a nice five game cushion in the AL West.
And with Jose Lima shutting down the Twins tonight (they’re tied 1-1 in the seventh), the Sox have a chance to widen that gap even further if the Royals can pull out their game.
In the meantime, I’ll throw out a Brandon McCarthy Update. He’s dropped to 1-2, but his strikeout to walk ratio has been nothing short of phenomonal (29/7 in 23 innings). He’s been a little prone to the long ball (3) and his ERA is nothing special (3.91), but you can’t argue with that strikeout total at this level. If the pitching weren’t performing so well at the big league level, you’d wonder why he wasn’t pitching for the Sox.
Centerfield prospect Brian Anderson has turned his season around. He’s now hitting .328 with an OPS of 1.045. Twelve of his twenty hits have been for extra bases. And again, you can never argue with a 16-4 start, but you wonder if Podsednik was the right guy to trade for.
It’s not to often when your team makes four errors, yet you still pull out the win. I’m not sure if this is just the great luck the Sox have had, or whether it’s the futility of the Royals, but a wins a win, and the White Sox swept their opponents for the third straight time. Once again the Sox had a hard time getting the bats going (six hits), but they found a way to win.
If you’ve never checked it out, the Hardball Times has a very cool set of team stats that you can’t find elsewhere. The White Sox have outpeformed their Pythagorean Win/Loss by three games, meaning they’ve been winning the close ones. Their 4.53 runs per game are below the league average of 4.77, and they’re only hitting .212 with runners in scoring position. None of those would point to a team with the best record in the American League.
Until, of course, you get to the pitching. Their 3.33 runs against per game is almost a full run lower then the next closest team (Angels, 4.03) and their pitchers have held opposing hitter’s to a .350 slugging percentage, which is just shy of the league leading Indians (.345). But in just about every category, they’re above average.
So it’s all come down to good pitching, and timely hitting. In the process they’ve amassed a four game lead over the Twins, and they’re going to Oakland to play a struggling A’s team. All we can hope is that they keep it going.
Timely hitting and excellent pitching have been what’s carried the White Sox this year. And things didn’t change Saturday as they beat the Royals by a run in extra innings. Aaron Rowand came up with the big hitting, driving in A.J. Pierzynski with a single in the tenth inning. Joe Crede continues to hit the ball well as went two for five. His batting average is up to .333 and he extended his hitting streak to fourteen games. What’ surprising is his ability to hit right handed pitching (.937 OPS) vs. left handers (.692 OPS). That’s very encouraging because you’d hope the average against left handers would be more likely to come up.
Of some concern was Jose Contreras leaving the game in the fourth inning. Reports say it’s strained lower hamstring. When he was in there, he was impressive, giving up only one hit (a solo shot to David DeJesus) and one walk, while striking out six batters. The pen was equally impressive as Damasco Marte closed the door in the ninth and tenth to allow the White Sox to win. He improved to 2-0, and has a microscopic 1.17 ERA.
Hopefully the Sox can finish the sweep this afternoon. They’ve already pushed themselves out to 3 1/2 game lead, so it would be nice if the can widen that further.
I know it’s only two games, and I know the Tigers are struggling, but you take them when you can. The Tigers had a 3-1 lead going into the sixth when Paul Konerko singled in a run to cut the lead to one. Then in the seventh, Scott Podsednick drove in two runs to put the White Sox up for good.
Joe Crede went two for four and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He’s now hitting .296, and he’s only struck out five times in 54 at bats.
Mark Buehrle looked mortal, but still held the Tigers to three runs through seven. He’s now 3-1. Takatsu got his ERA under 10.00 by pitching a shutout inning in the ninth to garner his fifth save.
The White Sox improved to 7-0 when they hit two or more homers with their win over the Tigers last night. Jermaine Dye struck early with a two run shot in the first, and Joe Crede added a ton of insurance in the sixth with a three run shot of his own. Jermaine Dye ended the game with four RBIs in the 9-1 beating.
It’s really nice to see Joe Crede hit the ball well. After a really rough start, he now has an eleven game hitting streak, and he’s had extra base hits in four of his last five games. Since last Thursday, he’s raised his OPS from .516 to .788, and hopefully it keeps rising.
I’m really bummed. I found a local bar that has WGN and was excited about watching the game tonight, until I found out there was no game “tonight.” The Mark Buehrle/Jeremy Bonderman match-up is an afternoon game, and I’ll be stuck at work.
It’s a good time to be a White Sox fan. Paul Konerko is making an early bid for the MVP, and Sox haven’t lost back to back games yet. Throw in the fact that we’re now 4-1 against the Twins, and it puts a smile on this White Sox fan’s face.
This game wasn’t without drama. The Twins scattered fourteen hits in this one, despite scoring just a single run. Twelve was the operative number, because that’s the number of baserunners the Twins stranded.
In a somewhat encouraging move, Ozzie Guillen pulled the struggling Takatsu in the ninth, and gave the ball to Damasco Marte, who locked down the Twins and walked away with the save. Takatsu has been all over the board and he was well on his way to blowing his second save of the season.
The Sox go to Detroit for another short two game series. Mark Buehrle vs. Jeremy Bonderman should be a good game to watch, considering Buehrle (along with really everyone else) has owned the Tigers the last couple of years. Be sure to check out Tigerblog if you want a look at the competition.
It’s nice to see the Sox are finally getting some recognition. While they’re still behind the Twins, who ranked third, eighth place in the entire major leagues isn’t anything to scoff at. They put them ahead of the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets.
The most surprising team has to be the Yankees, who stand at 27. I think this was before their 19 run blowout last night though.
All the Sox have to keep doing is hit more homers.
While I was resigned to sitting in front of the computer and “watching” the game online, I was pretty happy to see my favorite player hit the big shot to win the game. Joe Crede hit a two run shot in the fifth to put the White Sox up for good. Once again, the White Sox scored half of their runs from homers, and are a perfect 6-0 when they hit two dingers or more.
The pen tried to give this one away, but held on. It’s kind of sad when your closer gives up a run in the ninth, and his ERA actually comes down because of it.
I know it’s very early, but anytime you can pick up games against the expected division champ is an opportunity. As it stands, the Sox and Twins are tied 1-1 in the fourth. Contreras has been choppy but has held the Twins to a lone run. And the small ball White Sox got their run on, you guessed it, a home run. Carl Everett hit a solo shot to give the White Sox the lead in the first inning.
Down on the farm, the Charlotte Knights have gotten off to a very rough start. Their 1-9, and their only win was on a gem by Brandon McCarthy.
Winner tonight gets the division lead. Hopefully the Sox can pull it off.
A lot has been made early in the season about the White Sox adopting a one run at a time small ball strategy. Joe Morgan likes to call it small ball, but regardless, the Sox have started 8-4. Ozzie Guillen has been praised for getting back to basics, manufacturing runs, and in the process, winning ball games.
But when you take a look at the results, small ball has little to do with the White Sox current success. The Sox have scored 33 runs in their 8 wins. In five of those games, they’ve scored at least half of their runs because of homeruns, and in those same five games, they hit two or more homers. Two of the games where they didn’t win because of the long ball were 1-0 and 2-1 victories. It was only in their win last Wednesday that they scored more then five runs, didn’t hit a homer, and won the game.
Freddy Garcia got bounced around today. The White Sox tried to stage a comeback, but fell short. One more homer might have sealed the game up.
What a game. Once again, the White Sox offense was stagnant (only four hits), yet Mark Buehrle put them in a position to win by giving up only three hits, all three of which were to Ichiro Suzuki. Buehrle struck out twelve batters. Paul Konerko did it all on offense by hitting two solo shots for the only two White Sox games.
Here’s another interesting number, courtesy of the Yahoo recap. Mark Buehrle has gone six or more innings in 31 straight starts. That’s pretty incredible, and very consistent.
What a line. I know he gave up a couple of runs, but two hits and two walks through seven innings is very impressive. What’s equally strange is, despite Garland throwing seven+ innings, the White Sox used five pitchers. I know the game got close near the end, but Marte came in, hit a guy, and it looks like he immediately then left.
It’s nice to see Juan Uribe finally hitting out of his slump. He hit his first homer of the season, and his four RBIs last night exceeded his previous total (3).
John Sickel’s Minor League Ball did a nice write up on White Sox minor leaguer Gio Gonzalez. You can always use lefthanded arms, so it would be nice to see this guy still throwing well two or three years from now when he gets his chance with the big league club.
You can check out the graphs for the season at Baseball Graphs. While not as bad as the Senators, the White Sox don’t fare too favorably in any of these.
No new Bios this time around either. Guess the Sox from this era weren’t as popular as the ones around the Black Sox team.
The White Sox are back home against Seattle. Hopefully they can keep their streak of consecutive series wins alive by taking at least two of three. It’s Jon Garland vs. the return of Joel Pineiro tonight.
Brandon McCarthy actually got hit today at Charlotte. In his second start of the spring, he went 4 2/3 innings and struck out five. But he gave up three runs and five hits, including a two run homer by DeWayne Wise.
You can check out the box score here.
It almost makes you wonder if this is the White Sox year. The only down side is, if they win, it will validate Guillen’s one base at a time style of play, which isn’t neccesarily a good thing.
Juan Uribe got it done in the tenth by hitting a sac. fly, and the Sox walked away with an extra inning victory. Contreras struggled as he walked five and gave up four runs in 6 1/3.
Amazingly, the Sox are first in the division despite having a .240 batting average and a .268 OBP. Only the A’s and Indians have hit worse. But their pitching has been their. as they’re third in the league in WHIP with 1.19.
I just hope they can keep it going. The Mariners are in town this weekend, and hopefully the can finish up the sweep of the Indians.
Unfortunately, we need outstanding pitching performances to throw notches up in the win column. For all the talk of small ball, or as Joe Morgan puts it, Smart Ball, the White Sox seem to be the same old team. Basically their unable to put up runs unless it’s leaving the park. Fortunately they got two, but that’s all the needed as Garcia threw eight innings, gave up only four hits, and allowed only one run. Good enough to put the White Sox at 5-2 on the season heading into a day off.
It’s nice to Joe Crede get out of his funk. Hopefully this is a trend as he went two for three. On Wednesday, Contreras takes the mound against Cliff Lee, so hopefully they’ll be able to keep things going.
Record – 60-77, Finished Seventh Place in the American League
Pythagorean Record – 58-79
Starters (Note – I couldn’t find a set lineup, so I’m listing the players who got the most time at their respective positions)
C – Ed McFarland (.209/.264/.279)
1b – Frank Isbell (.242/.266/.332)
2b – George Magoon (.228/.303/.288)
3b – Nixey Callahan (.292/.324/.387)
SS – Lee Tannehill (.225/.263/.276)
LF – Ducky Holmes (.279/.335/.328)
CF – Fielder Jones (.287/.348/.340)
RF – Danny Green (.309/.375/.425)
Homeruns – Danny Green (6)
Batting Average – Danny Green (.309)
OPS – Danny Green (.800)
Best Fielder – Danny Green, but almost by default as most of the Sox in 1903 had negative FRAAs (5 Fielding Runs Above Average)
SP – Doc White (300/17/2.13)
SP – Patsy Flaherty (293.7/11/3.74)
SP – Roy Patterson (293/15/2.70)
SP – Frank Owen (167.3/8/3.50)
Wins – Doc White (17)
ERA – Doc White (2.13)
Strikeouts – Doc White (114)
This was one of the worst White Sox teams in the first quarter of the century. Their 77 losses wouldn’t be topped until 1918, and the .438 winning percentage wouldn’t be matched until 1921. New coach Nixey Callahan had his hands full as the Sox had the second worst slugging percentage (.317) in the league. Their pitchers finished last in strikeouts and were one of only three teams to finish with an ERA above 3.00 (3.02).
The team did have it’s stars though. Danny Green led the offense in just about every offensive category, and he finished fifth in the league with a 144 OPS+. Doc White led the rotation and finished fourth in the league in ERA (2.13) and seventh in the league in WHIP (0.902). Unfortunately his 16 losses were good for sixth in the league, but it was nothing compared to the 25 losses put up by Patsy Flaherty (he also led the league in hits allowed with 338).
Fortunately, the Sox would bounce back in 1904 and would have a winning record for the next six years.
White Sox drew first blood. Pablo Ozuna singled and moved to third on a double by Iguchi. With runners on second and third and nobody out, they could only manage a single run on a sac. fly by Carl Everett.
Guillen’s “one base at a time” offense has “manufactured” a run. Uribe singled, stole second, then was bunted over to third. He scored on a sac. fly by Iguchi. White Sox 2, Twins 0.
Wheels came off the wagon as the Twins put four up in the third. Torii Hunter hit a three run shot to cap off the inning. Now all of a sudden, things aren’t looking so good. Twins 4, White Sox 2.
The Twins added a run with another RBI by Torii Hunter, and even worse, Santana is in a groove. He’s now up to eight strikeouts. Twins 5, White Sox 2.
Santana struck out 11, and the White Sox couldn’t do anything past those first few innings. They won the series though, and that’s what matters.
And what a pitching matchup we’ll get to see. Being stuck in a hotel room in the middle of no where isn’t fun, but seeing two of the best left handers in the American League go head to head (Santana vs. Buehrle) makes it a little more palatable. If it turns out being a good game (for the Sox), check back for updates.
It’d be nice if the White Sox could hand Santana his first loss in a long, long time and complete the sweep.
I don’t know how long they can keep this guy down. He was dominating in his first start of the season yesterday. You can check out the box score here, but he went seven innings and struck out ten. Unfortunately one of the two hits he gave up was a solo shot, and the end result was a no decision, but Charlotte won it in the ninth.
And if you haven’t checked it out, Minor League Baseball, which was an awesome site before, made some nice changes. It’s even easier to navigate now and still has a ton of information.
I know it’s early, but anytime you face the three time defending division champs, it’s an important series. And the Sox came out on top, bouncing back from that horrible loss on Thursday.
El Duque was awesome. Seven innings, one run and only six hits with five strikeouts. Hermanson then sealed the deal by throwing the final two, shutting out the Twins and striking out three.
The big inning for the Sox was the sixth. Paul Konerko hit a solo shot, and the two batters later, Aaron Rowand hit a two run shot to put the Sox up 4-1. They added a run in the seventh, but didn’t end up needing.
If you’d have asked me if I’d take the Sox being 3-1 at this stage with their current schedule, I was would have said absolutely. But they’re coming up on Radke then Santana, so a series win still isn’t a given.
It’s funny how when you blog, and you’re paying attention to a game, the story begins formulating in your mind. While I couldn’t watch this game, I was at least able to follow it by flipping over to Yahoo now and then to see what was happening.
And for most of the game, nothing was happening for the Sox. They were down 2-0 most of the game and the Indians tacked on what looked like an insurance run in the ninth. But the White Sox wouldn’t stay down as Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye hit back-to-back homers to tie, and Juan Uribe later drove in Aaron Rowand to win it.
So the Sox are 2-0 and they already stand as the only undefeated team in the division. Maybe all those fourth place predictions were a little premature.
Part of the problem with living in parts unknown is you don’t get to see a lot of your team’s home games. You can check out who’s playing on ESPN in your hotel room now and then, but this hotel doesn’t have WGN so I don’t get to see my Sox play too often. I was working this afternoon anyway, but I was closely watching updates of the game on the net.
And what a game. Despite only getting five hits, the White Sox squeaked by the Indians 1-0. Mark Buehrle was about as stingy as you can get, giving up only two hits and a walk through eight innings. Aaron Rowand’s RBI single in the seventh was the sole run the Sox needed to win the game.
So I guess Guillen’s one base at a time strategy will work, as long as we get near perfect pitching. Hopefully Wednesday the Sox will be able to get the bats going and take Millwood out of the game early.
No story had me more worried then the stress fracture turned stress point turned non-issue then what happened to Mark Buehrle. Even with the addition of guys like Orlando Hernandez and Freddy Garcia, Buehrle remains the ace, and according to this story, he’s ready to go for opening day. Great news.
In other news, Chris Widger won the job of being the back up catcher. He hit .250 in 36 at bats.
And finally, MLB.com has their preview of the Sox, including their projected lineup and rotation.
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