Sunday, April 30, 2006

Somebody's Gonna Hurt Someone (16-7)

Jose Contreras won again, giving up one run in 8 1/3 to the Angels. A Thome homer and a long-sequence rally by the White Sox plated two runs and the bullpen held on in the ninth when Edgardo Alfonso lined out to Juan Uribe with the tying and winning runs aboard.

Kelvim Escobar, obviously still annoyed at AJ Pierzynski about the ALCS, hit him with a 1-1 pitch in the second inning. This prompted the umpires to issue the usual warnings. Mike Scioscia whined about being warned when Escobar did the obvious, Guillen complained about the constant parallel warnings when his batters get hit, saying his batters get hit all the time and he doesn't have a history of retaliation. He has a point. For the record, last season White Sox hitters were hit 79 times, Sox opponents 52. The year before, it was 62-42. So far this year, it's 11-7. So, over the last 345 games, Ozzie's teams have been hit 152 times and hit opponnets 99 times. Ozzie's right. The umpire should either have only warned the Angels or, actually, simply tossed Escobar on the spot. Pierzynski is the only batter Escobar has hit all year. Given that he hit him the first time he saw him, on the third pitch, the idea that the action could be random strains credibility to the breaking point. At this point, the league should probably just tell Mr. Escobar he can take 5 games off; if they don't do something, the White Sox will be in the position of having to retaliate at some point, baseball being slightly savage about such things.

I assume Chris Widger starts tomorrow's day game, giving the Angel boo-birds a day of rest. Now, Widger's 1-for-13, and because last season was anomalous, you have to look down at the minors and ask yourself what's there. Chris Stewart is there; Stewart's a brilliant defensive catcher without much of a bat, kind of like Chris Widger.

Other note: Cleveland lost 7-5 to the Rangers, in part because Grady Sizemore got caught off first base on a line drive on a game-ending double play. Nice to see Grady pull a rock. Maybe it will bother him for a week?

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