The Sox picked themselves out the AL Central cellar last night with a victory over these Kansas City Royals. Jim Thome hit career homer No. 493, tying Lou Gehrig and -- what the? -- Fred McGriff on the all-time list. And it certainly would be nice if he were able to reach 500 this season.
The things you learn on Wikipedia. For example, today's starting pitcher Brian Bannister, former Sox hurler Floyd Bannister's oldest son, graduated Cum Laude from USC with a fine arts degree. Fancies himself quite the photog. His work is here.
If this is not news to you, I apologize. I'm a little slow.
In the other clubhouse we have Sox starter Jose Contreras, who has led an interesting life himself. It's been well documented, as have his struggles this year. He leads the majors in losses with 15.
Yeah, you're right. This doesn't make up for the performance on the field.
Meanwhile, Bill Murray pinched in Sweden for driving drunk in a borrowed golf cart. Classic.
Furthermore, the lineups.
I didn't catch the entire pregame show, so I missed the part, if there was one, when they talked about Scott Podsednik's injury. But he aggravated his rib cage strain running to first base, as you know, but I don't know the severity. If they say anything, I'll pass it along. Joey Gathright tries to bunt his way on but fouls it off. Gathright grounds to Juan Uribe, who back-hands and gets rid of it quickly to get the runner. As for my picture and that refrigerator/monitor it's gone; replaced by a nice flatscreen number. Contreras beans Mark Grudzielanek right in the head. Fortunately it got him on the top of the helmet, "a glancing blow" Hawk calls it, and the GMan takes first. David DeJesus falls behind 2-1 before slapping a single to left. Grudzielanek, a bit disoriented by the blow to the head, runs into right field. No, he takes third. Wait, which uniforms are you guys talking about, the big-collared navy blue Chet Lemon ones? Wasn't a fan. Though, the hats that went with those are nice. Billy Butler drives him home with a flyball to center. With the immortal Ross Gload at the plate, DeJesus steals second. Gload knocks home DeJesus with a single that bounces into center. Emil Brown pops up near the Royals' dugout and Toby Hall hustles over and makes a nice catch reaching out.
Royals 2, White Sox 0
Man, sorry about the confusion in the top half. It was DeJesus who stole second and scored on Gload's single. Jerry Owens lines one right at the drawn-in third baseman Alex Gordon. Josh Fields strikes out swinging at a high fastball. Jim Thome foils the shift with a bloop the other way that falls for a double. Paul Konerko walks on four pitches. Full count to Darin Erstad, the runners on the move and he slaps it into right to knock home Thome. Konerko takes third. Jermaine Dye ties it with a single to left. Uribe pops it up to shallow right. Brown comes on and makes the catch. The young Bannister threw 30-something pitches there.
White Sox 2, Royals 2
Alex Gordon sends one deep to left. Erstad turns one way, turns back the other way and makes a leaping catch on the warning track. Erstad makes nearly an identical catch on a drive from Jason Smith. I thought that was the replay of the catch before. To make matter worse, the infernal South Paw is in the booth and they keep showing him and his hilarious hijinks rather than the game. Show this loser the door already. Jason LaRue walks. And are we seriously going to debate this tired attendance argument all day? South Paw has put me in a bad mood. Lost in the replay of Gathright flying into the stands last night is an underage McLovin lookalike sitting there with a beer in his hand, hoping no one notices him and hauls him off. Full count to Gathright and we've seen a lot of pitches from both guys yet far. Gathright singles up the middle; LaRue with the play right in front of him, cuts the bag and keeps on motoring to third. Not sure what Jerry Owens is doing, but how about coming up throwing rather than lolly-gagging it. Grudzielanek singles to left and LaRue scores. ... DeJesus singles to right, driving in another run. Dye throws to third, allowing Grudzielanek to take second. Contreras retires Butler to end it.
Royals 4, White Sox 2
Couple of things: Jim Thome may be old but Ross Gload? You kidding me? And, no, it's not time to start Kyle Orton. It's never time to start Kyle Orton. Danny Richar grounds out. Hall lines out to left. Owens strikes out looking and we move on.
Royals 4, White Sox 2
Here he is, the answer to all the Sox's woes, baseball's answer to Kyle Orton: Ross Gload. Contreras has thrown 50 pitches in two innings. Gload strikes out, on three pitches, looking at a fork ball. Brown strikes out swinging. Someone must've told Contreras the game had started. Contreras saws off Gordon's bat and a weak grounder to short ends a quick top half.
Fields flies out to center. Thome pops out to shallow center. Konerko grounds out to third. Both pitchers have settled down big time.
Royals 4, White Sox 2
Jason Smith leads off the fourth and drives it deep to center. Owens tracks it down right in front of the wall. Nice play. Contreras plunks LaRue on the shoulder with a forkball. Gathright bounces back to Contreras, who turns and gets LaRue at second but no chance getting the speedy Gathright at first. It looks like a great day to be at the Cell enjoying a Churro. Gathright swipes second on the first pitch to Grudzielanek. Gathright takes one pitch off and then steals third. Grudzielanek finally puts the ball in play and grounds out to short, so all that fancy footwork by Gathright is wasted.
Erstand singles to left. Martin, I've got to disagree with you in a way. Yes, in a perfect world, those things don't matter. But there has never been a team put together where top to bottom all 25 guys produce. There are different levels of ball players and different roles to fill. And frankly even with insane salaries none of those things you mention is a given. Not every guy hustles, not every guy is good in the clubhouse. Not every guy is plugged into the game or grinds it out. I think those things matter. But I also agree that those labels get tossed around way too much. It's like an "energy guy" in basketball. Anyway, back to the game, Dye flies out to right. Uribe lines out to second. Erstad scampers back to first. Jason Smith robs Richar of a hit with a diving catch of a line drive.
Royals 4, White Sox 2
DeJesus flies out to Erstad in left. Butler swings at the first pitch and flies out to right. The great Ross Gload flies out to center and Contreras goes to find his seat on the bench, which probably is still warm.
Hall grounds out to short. Stunningly and out of nowhere Hawk launches into an ode to homeplate umpire Adam Dowdy. Huh. Owens chops one towards first and there's Gold Glover Ross Gload to make the play. Two outs. Bannister throws one up and in to Fields. He gets out of the way and then draws a walk. Cali Sox fan, personally I think I feel like most Sox fans feel on Uribe. He need not come back next year. As for a replacement, I have no idea. As you say, it's not the easiest position to fill. Mike Caruso is playing in some unaffiliated minor league somewhere. Thome strikes out looking.
Royals 4, White Sox 2
Contreras strikes out Brown on a fork ball in the dirt. Brown, looking for something else, had no clue and no chance on that. Gordon doubles to the right-field corner. Newish old guy Mike Myers gets up in the pen. Smith chops one to short and the consensus lame duck Uribe makes a nice play on the move. Gordon takes third. LaRue grounds one to third. Fields with no clue how many outs there are nearly throws home, but comes to his senses and pegs across the diamond for the third out. Nearly a brutal brain cramp there, though it woud've been fun had he nailed Gordon at home for the final out.
Gathright robs Konerko of a hit with a diving catch in left. Drew, I agree, but the comments thing is harder to fix than you or I would think. Miggy, I agree, too. Though, not sure what beating our gums means. Must be a Dominican saying. Wait, is that a saying I've missed my entire life? Hate when that happens. Erstad bounces out to Gload, who makes a nice pick of the short hop. Dye pops out. The Photog has thrown five scoreless innnigs.
Royals 4, White Sox 2
Enter the lefty Myers. Now I have that creepy, tinkling "Halloween" theme in my head. The sidewinding Myers strikes out Gathright, who slams his bat to the ground, breaking it in two. Grudzielanek rolls out to Uribe. OK, and comparing Josh Fields to Derrek Lee based on numbers this year, nice try, but no. DeJesus reaches with a nicely placed bunt past Myers. Man, the Bears have had some hideous quarterbacks in the last 10 years. But for my money no one will ever touch Jonathan Quinn. He was the worst professional athlete to ever suit up in Chicago in any sport, including all those busters Jerry Krause trotted out during the Tim Floyd era. Yes, that includes the Hungarian Michael Jordan, Kornell David. Butler drives one deep the other way to right for a two-run homer. Ross Gload grounds to his lesser counterpart Paul Konerko, but the Royals get two more.
Royals 6, Sox 2
Everyone's favorite Juan Uribe leads off the bottom of the seventh with a single to center. Richar bloops one to shallow left that only Gathright could reach. That dude is fast. No problem, Just Wondering, my own eyesight gets worse by the day. The bunt is in there. You just have to wade through all the other mumbo jumbo about Kornell David and Kordell Stewart. Hall pops out to LaRue behind the plate. That's all for the young Bannister, who pitched himself a nice ballgame. He'll be futzing with his cameras in the clubhouse, if you need him. The unbelievably-named Jimmy Gobble is the Royals' new pitcher, a lefty with a three-quarters-to-sidearm delivery. He goes 3-0 to Owens and Hawk blurts, "Don't help him out!" Gobble throws two strikes down the middle before walking Owens. Bob McClure, the Royals' mustachioed pitching coach, comes out to have a word with Gobble. Gobble will pitch to the right-handed hitting Fields and strikes him out. Gobble, gobble. At this point and time, we move to the eighth inning.
Royals 6, Sox 2
Gavin Floyd will pitch the eighth for the Sox. Emil Brown will lead off the eighth for the Royals and bloops a single over Richar's head and into right. With Brown running, Gordon lines a 3-1 pitch to right for a single. Brown takes third. With Smith at the plate, Hall makes a snap throw to third but Brown gets back. Smith then strikes out on the next pitch. LaRue batting, Gordon steals second and Halls' throw sails into center, allowing Brown to score. LaRue pops out in foul ground. Konerko drifts over near the seats and makes the catch. He then lapses into a temporary coma and Gordon tags and takes third on the popup. Gathright flies out to Dye.
Royals 7, Sox 2
The Gobbler stays in the game to pitch the eighth for the Royals and strikes out Thome swinging. Konerko takes Gobbles deep to center for a solo shot. Erstad bounces out. Seriously, a pitching change? Joakim Soria will replaces Gobble. It's not like Buddy Bell is mananging for anything. He's done after the year. What's the point? Soria will pitch to Dye with two outs in the eighth up four runs. Dye takes a called third strike. Soria remains on the mound for a bit wandering around. Hey, where'd everybody go? Three outs, cap'n. Get off the field already. It's safe to say certain members of both teams already are in the offseason. Or just clueless. Most likely both.
Royals 7, Sox 3
Grudzielanek grounds out ot Uribe. Floyd's still in there. DeJesus grounds to Uribe, as well. Hawk and DJ are having simultaneous conversations with themselves. Neither is interested in what the other is saying. Now DJ is answering his own questions. Butler pops out to second and now the guys in the booth are talking to each other, which is nice. It was kind of awkward for a bit.
Tony Pena takes over at short for the Royals and Uribe leads off the ninth. Uribe lines a double into the right-field corner. Richar bounces one up the middle where Pena makes a nice lunging grab, spins 360 and throws out the runner. Uribe takes third on the play. Toby Hall strikes out, I assume. Safe bet. I wasn't watching for a second. Yes, he struck out. Owens walks. Hawk: "Here's Josh [Fields]. He's 0-for-3, so he's due." Just on cue, Fields jacks a three-run homer to left. Thome is the tying run. Thome lines a single to left. Podsednik runs for Thome. Podsednik is the tying run. Konerko would be the winning run. He falls behind 1-2. Lays off a breaking ball and we're evened up 2-2. But then waves a curve right down the middle for strike three. Game over.
Final: Royals 7, Sox 6
That's it. The Sox fall back into last, but certainly made it interesting in the ninth. Thanks for reading.