Saturday, August 09, 2008
White Sox and Boston Red Sox
Last night I attended my first White Sox game of the season - the Friday night opener of their four game series vs. Boston. The game went well for the White Sox, with Mark Buehrle shutting down the Red Sox for seven innings and the offense getting enough going to win 5-3.
This series is pivotal because the White Sox series vs. Boston last year was literally the worst baseball I have ever seen in my life. The White Sox were absolutely destroyed by the Red Sox in a series when they were swept by incredibly lopsided scores (i.e. 10-2 per game or so). The fall from the 2005 world champions to 2007 doormats was brought into stark relief, especially against one of the top teams in baseball. After that series you couldn't even give away White Sox tickets, and the season ground on towards its sad conclusion.
2008 started out with low expectations for the White Sox, after the 2007 debacle. Not only weren't the White Sox expected to be good, but their division was supposed to be awesome, especially since Detroit went out and traded for some serious talent during the off-season like Willis and Cabrera from Florida. The order was basically going to be Detroit heavily favored with Cleveland next, and with the White Sox, Twins and Royals back in the pack.
But new White Sox players came seemingly out of nowhere; Carlos Quentin wasn't even penciled in to start and now he is in the MVP chase, leading the AL in home runs (and getting another one last night against Boston). The Cuban Alexi Ramirez is also a big help, and their young pitchers Danks and Floyd are playing great ball. The White Sox really pulled this season seemingly out of thin air; when previously their off season acquisitions were a bust now they are spinning into gold. Hopefully Griffey continues this trend.
Not only was the game a victory over the Red Sox (hopefully more to follow), and the weather beautiful, and the stands full... but they also had fireworks! I think it was some sort of 60's rock montage but the fireworks were great, too.I've got one beef with Ozzie, though (back from his suspension). Late in the game AJ hit a ball that he tried to stretch to a double but he was clearly going to be way out and was caught in a run down; AJ went back and forth between first and second and was ultimately tagged out - but while he was in the run down it took long enough that the runner on third was able to score, putting a critical insurance run on the board. Per the Chicago Tribune
"I think A.J. didn't hustle out of the [batter's box]," Guillen said. "He hit a ball and thought it was out, and a bad play turned out to be a great play. I bet you nobody in the stands knows about it."
Hey Ozzie - I was up in the stands, and I recognized that delaying the run down long enough to allow the runner to score was a good play, and I said so at the time. Some of us do watch the game from time to time...