Haha, just kidding. The White Sox relinquished their brief hold on .500 last night with an ugly 10-2 loss to the Red Sox. Apparently Brian Bruney thought it’d be really fun to turn a 5-2 deficit into a 10-2 deficit, all in one inning! Thanks, Brian.
As per normal, I don’t know the exact details of Bruney’s apparent implosion, since, as it has been for about 90% of the season, I do not get the game broadcast on TV. Good thing the Yankees are coming into town this weekend. Four glorious games, all streamed into my living room via the YES Network…
Wait, that’s THIS week?!
Guess I’m a hard-luck fan once more. That cheesy segue was my way of telling the blogosphere that I will be on a mission trip with my youth group until late Friday night, which means I will be without TV/cell phone/WiFi/computer/36 innings of White Sox baseball. It’s definitely a series that I’m sorry to miss, especially considering what happened last time the Sox met the Yanks.
Sorry. I could watch that play forever.
Anyways, I’ll be back here on Saturday, hopefully not writing about some sort of pinstripe-coated collapse. Off to a land where no one will mention the White Sox or baseball or the fact that the Indians just got Ubaldo Jimenez and put a significant crimp in the Central race. (Oops, I guess I just did.)
And it’s only the first of June. I’m not sure that I knew who Brent Lillibridge was last June. But, I guess he wants to change that, since I certainly know him now. The solo home run he just hit to put the Sox up 4-3 over the Red Sox is only the latest item on his list of 2011 heroics.
Then again, I’m not quite sure if there is anything specific that Lilli has done this season that would be considered “heroic”, aside from those two game-saving catches against the Yankees back in April. It is more his production compared to years past that surprises me, and makes me want to wax poetically. Let’s make a couple of lists to compare:
2010 2011 (as of May 31, 2011)
At-bats 98 60
Runs 19 14
RBIs 16 9
Home Runs 2 5
Batting Average .224 .300
So, less than halfway through the season, Lillibridge has already surpassed his home run mark from 2010, and is on pace to surpass the 2010 run, and RBI totals as well. Obviously, this season’s totals aren’t exactly eye-popping, but considering that the starting lineup has hardly been potent, it’s pleasantly suprising to know that we can get productivity from the bench. (Not to mention his versatility; on the depth chart, Lilli’s name is listed under every outfield position plus second base and shortstop.)
If you haven’t seen video of Lillibridge’s game-saving heroics yet, you seriously need to. Here’s a link:
I think you now understand why in my eyes, Brent Lillibridge can do no wrong. Until he makes an error that allows three runs to score, of course
I never like waking up in the morning feeling sore, but I’ve also never pitched a major league baseball game. I guess after a few innings of work, albeit in a spring training game, you do get sore, and it’s not a bad thing. Unless you happened to have recently undergone surgery to reattach a muscle to your bone, then you might be more paranoid about soreness than the average pitcher.
Thankfully, Peavy was sore in what he deemed to be appropriate places, so his continued rehab will go according to plan: a simulated game today and a start on Wednesday. I am very pleased. With every pitch, Peavy is closer to returning sooner than anticipated (originally the target date was July 14, the first date after the All-Star break). While our rotation is strong, it’s always nice to have another guy to help shoulder the load. (Excuse the pun. I’ve been hanging out with theater kids for the past two weeks.)
Ozzie, as always, has something to say after the Sox have opened spring with an ugly 1-5 record. Apparently, if things do not come together soon, he will begin “throwing people under the bus.” In Ozzie-speak, that means sending people down. Candidates look like Dallas McPherson, who partnered with that obscene Mark Teahen to commit three errors at third in the last game, and Brent Lillibridge, who killed a potential rally by getting picked off at first. I know it’s only spring, but tension already seems to be in the air. Maybe they just need to get the jitters out of their system before the run to the division crown? I hope…
Finally. Tomorrow afternoon, I will come home from school and watch the White Sox spring training opener against the Dodgers on MLB Network. I am so excited. I realize that spring training essentially meaningless, but after such a long and dreary winter, I can’t wait to see my boys. Before every game, White Sox VP Scott Reifert tweets the game’s lineup. When I saw “Lineup for tomorrow’s Cactus League #WhiteSox opener: JP7, Beck4, Rios8, Dunndh, PK3, Q9, AJ2, Ram6, Morel5. Play Ball!” appear on my Twitter feed, I grinned. I forgot the little things that I miss when there is no baseball.
Among other exciting storylines in tomorrow’s game is the debut of new acquisition Adam Dunn, who will be hitting third in the lineup (that tweet above is inaccurate. It was posted very early, so I guess some tinkering was done after the fact). It’s very exciting that we now have a true DH in the lineup, and even though it’s very early, it’d be nice if Dunn could make a good first impression. I don’t want to be making this face by the bottom of the ninth.
Poking around the depth chart, a couple of interesting things catch my eye. One is that Brent Lillibridge is apparently Utilityman Supreme. The depth chart has his name under second base, shortstop, left field, center field, and right field. That’s quite a list. Whether or not he actually makes the 25-man roster remains to be seen. After all, a .194 career batting average isn’t desirable. But it would be nice to have someone to call on for defensive purposes when in a pinch.
Another thing I see on the depth chart is that Brent Morel is currently listed ahead of Mark Teahen in the third base slot. According to an article on MLB.com, the two are currently in a “friendly battle” for the starting spot. We may be a ways off from decision time, but just the notion of Mark Teahen sitting on the bench makes me jump up and down inside. Lindy’s Baseball Magazine has these glowing words to say about him:
- Continues to leak bat speed and power
- Substandard 3B
- Has lost range to both sides and struggles throwing.
They ultimately give him one star, which according to their key means he is a bench player. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. Hopefully with Morel at the hot corner, I won’t have to do this every time a ball is hit to third.
(I just realized that in previous entries, I have consistently referred to Brent Morel as “Brett”. It’s even in my tag cloud. Whoops.)