Friday, April 07, 2006

Working My Way Back To You (1-2)

I didn't post a thing in spring training. The reason why is pretty simple: it's hard to get worked up about meaningless spring training games when your team won the World Series. But now they count again, and the opening shots are fired. And I'm roused by kind words from Super Nova at the always must-read Black Betsy. (I only wish I'd thought of his excellent Cato pun, Minnesota Twins delenda est first. If his link brought you here, welcome to my own little bit of White Sox insanity.)

The White Sox won a rain-soaked opener in a blowout, lost a blowout, then lost a hard-fought 1-run 11-inning game in their opening series. Having actually won a 1-run game against the White Sox, Indian fans are planning their postseason already. Some White Sox fans are already considering which brand of straight razor would be most effective.
  • Ozzie's being roasted in blog-effigy for using Boone Logan to face Travis Hafer with a one-run lead in the eighth in game 3. Hafner, of course, tagged a solo shot to tie the game. This ignores the obvious point that, in game 2, Logan had coaxed a GiDP from Hafner, and that Hafner's career stats against LHP are (.242/.353/.418). So, should Cotts have been in the game at that point? Well, maybe, but both pitchers had racked up 30 pitches in game 2, and Neil wasn't terribly effective when he did pitch. Sooner or later you have to let Logan face the Hafners of the world, or else you have to get somebody else to do it. Given that, I think Guillen's risk was worthwhile, especially since we are discussing the tying run, and not the go-ahead run, in a home game.
  • Konerko looks like he's carrying the weight of his offseason contract. He had two chances to win the game, in the ninth with the winning run at second and two outs, and in the eleventh with the tying run at first, and struck out both times. He went 1 for 13 despite facing mostly pitchers he's pounded (Cliff Lee, 7-for-21 with 2 homers; Westbrook, 13-for-35 with five extra base hits).
  • In general, you can't worry too much about losing 2 of 3 when you can see most of your players playing well below their norms. Konerko's not the only one sucking; Podsednik 0 for 13; Uribe, 1 for 9; Crede, 1 for 6. Considering that Thome, Pierzynski, and Iguchi ripped the cover off the ball, you can't say it was all Cleveland pitching. Several of the hitters were just out of synch.
  • Further, both Garcia and Buehrle were just awful. Both pitchers have very long track records, and certainly you expect them to turn it around.
The White Sox send Garland, Vazquez, and Buehrle against the Royals. I'm sure they aren't looking forward to it.

No comments: