Well hello. Long time no write. How's the family? OK, pleasantries done. Let's get down to business.
I was in Detroit last Sunday for my annual "Try to find the Arby's in Albion, Michigan" pilgrimage. I found it, but after waiting in line for 20 minutes without any service...I left, sans curly fries. Luckily, my afternoon picked up from there. Ford Field. Fun times.
Anyhoo, guess we should discuss baseball. I'm running a bit late today (Took forever to dry my hair. It's hard being a girl). White Sox finally won their first game of the season yesterday, behind Joe Crede's bat and Jon Danks' arm(s).
We've got Jose Contreras, the ageless wonder, on the mound for the Sox today. He was a less than stellar 0-2 with a 9.50 ERA against Detroit last season. So this should be a fun game. But hey, the Royals (yes, those Royals) swept the Tigers in the opening series. So anything is possible.
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Looks cold in Detroit as Nick Swisher leads things off against Tigers pitcher Nate Robertson. Ball one. It's 41 in Detroit, with a chance of rain. Peachy. Swisher chases strike two, and it's now a 3-2 count. And he whiffs on strike three as well. One gone. Orlando Cabrera, who according to Hawk has faced Robertson nine times and has six hits, stands in there. He runs the count to 3-2 too...fouls off the next pitch...and then he too strikes out. Jim Thome gets ahold of a Robertson offering, and he has himself a stand-up double with two outs. No boos for Thome in Detroit; I'm sure they are saving 'em for A.J. Here's Konerko. Paulie takes the 2-2 pitch deep to right field, but Magglio Ordonez is there to make the catch. Yuck, Maggs still hasn't cut his hair.
How is it baseball season already? See, even the birds are confused. Clete Thomas leads off for the Tigers. Seriously? I have never heard of this dude. He looks about 15. Clete (seriously?) has himself a lead-off single. Oh, that Clete Thomas. He played for the Erie SeaWolves last season. I'm all squared away now. Here's Placido Polanco. Polanco hits it to Juan Uribe at second, but he misfires the throw to second...and everyone is safe. And that's an error on Uribe, who I'm told plays second base now? Gah, I really should start paying attention to this baseball thing. Here's Carlos Guillen. Full count to Guillen, and Contreras walks him. Bases loaded, no outs for Ordonez. Sigh. Ordonez hits a grounder to second on the first pitch and Uribe converts the double play. But Clete scores from third, Tigers 1-0. Polanco moves to third. Miguel Cabrera is up. Runs the count to 3-2 before fouling off a few more. And then Contreras walks him. That's 22 pitches thus far for Jose. Not good. Here's Edgar Renteria. Former St. Louis Cardinal right? Renteria strikes out on four pitches (one foul ball). Well done.
Oh joy. Tyler Hansbrough was named AP college basketball player of the year. You know, he does everything way harder and way better than everyone. Everything. He bugs me. Jermaine Dye leads things off this inning. Swings at the first pitch, right back to the pitcher, Robertson makes an ugly throw to first for the out. Very low throw, nice pickup by the first baseman. One gone. Here's AJ. He smacks it throw the hole at second for a stand-up double. Carlos Quentin smacks the first pitch he sees for a homer over the left field wall. White Sox 2-1. Guess Ozzie was right about his team against lefty pitchers. That's why he gets paid the big bucks. Here's Joe Crede. Tall socks for him. And a strikeout for him; he whiffs at a fastball. Two outs. Juan Uribe is up. And oh my, he doesn't swing at the first pitch. He swings at the second pitch though, and grounds out to SS.
White Sox 2-1.
No San Antonio for Amanda. Couldn't get the time off work. Besides, I'd rather cubicle with you folks. OK, that's a lie. Ivan "Don't call me Pudge, I've lost weight" Rodriguez is first up. 0-2 count, then one ball. He hits the next pitch to the fence in LF for a double. It was "a cookie," according to Hawk. Sure. Here's Jacque Jones. When did the Tigers get him? Wasn't he just on that Northside team? I am so confused. Adam tells me it happened in the offseason. Thanks. 0-2 count for him, then he strikes out. One out. Brandon Inge. 0-2 count for him (I see a pattern!) and then he chops it to SS for the second out. Clete Thomas strikes again, as he singles up the middle to score Rodriguez from third. Tied 2-2. Polanco stands in there. Thomas steals second on the 2-2 pitch, throw is just a bit late. CLETE (shakes fist in the air)! Polanco then grounds it to Cabrera at shortstop, nice throw for the third out.
Some dodo keeps shouting "You can do it," ala Waterboy. I prefer Happy Gilmore quotes. Something about a golfer, with an arm...you know. I promised my mom I would stop saying it. Nick Swisher is first up. He flies out to CF. CLETE! One out. Orlando Cabrera lines to Inge at third base (subbing for Cabrera, who is DH-ing for an injured Gary Sheffield) for the second out. Thome is plunked by Robertson on the elbow. Ouch. No mound fight. Here's Paulie. He walks. Such patience at the plate. Tigers have a meeting at the mound to discuss something. JD...2-0 count, foul tip, then takes the next pitch deep to CF. One hop off the top of the fence. Thome will score on JD's double; White Sox 3-2. Konerko rolls into third. AJ takes the first pitch deep to LF off the bottom of the fence for a double. That will score Konerko and Dye, White Sox 5-2. Second double for AJ. Here's Quentin. Quickly 0-2 count for him. And it's a called third strike for him.
White Sox 5-2.
Can Jose hold this lead? Oh boy. Carlos Guillen is first. And he draws a walk. Here's Maggs. 1-0 count. And that's five straight balls thrown by Contreras. AJ comes out for a chat. Maggs hits the next one right to Swisher in CF for the first out. Here's Miguel Cabrera. Ball one, low. Ball two, lower. Ball three, waaaay inside. Ball four, outside. Ozzie comes out for a chat. He's quite animated out there, probably wanting Jose to stop being...well, Jose-like. Here's Renteria. He hits a soft grounder to Crede at third for the second out. Runners move to second and third. Rodriguez hits it up the first base line for a double, that will score two. White Sox 5-4. Here's Jones. Jose throws behind him, ball gets away and Rodriguez steals/goes to third. Jones smashes it up the middle for a single, that will score Rodriguez. Tied 5-5. Sigh. Remember when Contreras won 17 games in a row? That was fun times. Here's Brandon Inge. He grounds it to Crede, who throws to second for the force out.
KU hater: I don't think Stacey King would appreciate you calling him a fluke. I'm sooooo telling on you. Crede is first up. One pitch, one out as he lines out to Renteria at SS. Uribe now. Again, doesn't swing at the first pitch. This guy is on fire. 1-2, 2-2, hits the next one high to LCF and Jones is there for the second out. Here's Nick Swisher. WGN cameras show the Tigers mascot with a plastic bag over his head. C'mon, this game isn't that bad. Swisher draws the walk. Orlando Cabrera grounds it to Inge, who throws to second for the force out. That was uneventful.
Yes, the Cubs game has started. But don't leave me. Sox nemesis CLETE Thomas is first up. Single to RF. CLETE! In my head, I am cracking myself up. Gotta love Amanda on five hours of sleep. Here's Polanco. 1-1 count. Contreras makes a few pickoff attempts to first, but no luck. CLETE has already stolen one base on the day. Nick Masset is warming in the Sox bullpen. I'm sure that makes you guys happy. Polanco hits it to Cabrera at SS, but it takes a funky bounce and Cabrera misses it completely. Runners at first and second. Charge an error to Cabrera. 72 pitches for Contreras. In a bit of a pickle, again. Here's Carlos Guillen. 2-0 count. Guillen has walked twice today. Chopper to Uribe, and he completes the double play. CLETE moves to third. Maggs flies out to Dye in RF. And no one scores. Wow, how did that happen?
Jump to inning link fixed. My bad. I need a few cubicles to get back into cubicle-shape. I promise that by my next Kaschubicle (heh), I'll have an updated picture. I'm not a fan of getting my picture taken, but I'll suck it up. Maybe I can get a star to pose with me. Thome takes ball one to start things off. Gah, fifth inning only? SLOW. Ball two now. And hits the next pitch in foul territory, Polanco makes a run on it...but it tips off the corner of his mitt. 3-2 breaking ball, and Thome swings and misses. Here's Paulie, who yes, trots. That commercial is kinda dumb, no? Paulie has himself a single to LF. Here's JD. He rips it to LF, and Paulie digs hard for third! Look at those wheels. JD pulls into second with double. Second and third, one out. Zach Miner up in the Detroit bullpen. Here's AJ. Robertson jams AJ, AJ pops up to third base. Pitch was right on the hands. No runners move. Duh. Quentin takes the second pitch and flies out to shallow LF. Sox strand two.
I saw Joakim Noah at my Starbucks two weeks ago. He's quite tall. And his hair is....ummm, frizzy? Contreras is still in for the White Sox. Miguel Cabrera leads off. Single to RF. Edgar Renteria stands in there. He's 0-for-2 today. DJ tells us that Cabrera is not a threat to steal second. See, he's lulling us into a false sense of security. Renteria hits a ground ball up the middle to Cabrera, but the flip isn't in time from Uribe. Safe at first. Throw kinda pulled Konerko off the bag. Ivan Rodriguez smacks the first pitch for single, Renteria moves to second. Here's ex-Cub Jones. Wild pitch from Contreras advances the runners. Second wild pitch of the game from Jose. 1-1 count for Jones. 2-2 pitch almost gets away from AJ, but he blocks it. Two foul balls, into the stands. AJ runs after the second, and almost falls into the Detroit dugout. Nice. Jones grounds out to Uribe, throws to first for the out. Then Konerko throws back to second to get Rodriguez sleeping for the second out. It all happened very fast. Then WGN went to commercial.
I'm gonna need to see a replay. Let's see...yes, just like I said. Go me. Uribe to Konerko, Konerko to Cabrera. End of inning. Here's Joe Crede to face new Tigers pitcher Zach Miner. He pokes a single through the space between SS and 3B. Uribe bunts (who knew?), and Crede moves to second. Well done. I think the dugout is giggling over the thought of Uribe bunting well. Maybe it's just me. Nick Swisher now. 3-0 count. And then low ball four. Two one, one out. Here's Orlando Cabrera. O-Cabrera? Let's go with that. and M-Cabrera will be Miguel. Deal. 2-0 for O-Cab. Miner having some control issues early. O-Cab flies out to Maggs in RF. Two outs, runners stay put. Here's big Jim Thome. 2-2 count...2 outs...and it's called third strike. Sox strand two. Again.
Contreras still in there. Inge gets Detroit's tenth hit of the game. And that will be it for Jose. Boone Logan coming in. 92 pitches (56 strikes) for Contreras. Five runs (four earned), four walks, ten hits and two strikeouts. CLETE Thomas stands in against Logan with a runner on first. He shows bunt. Takes a few pitches, 2-0. What the? Looks like the pitch hit Thomas, but no, he bunted it...and he's out at first. Runner moves to second. CLETE. He had no clue where the ball was. Polanco now. Chases strike two down in the dirt. 1-2. Oh my. Logan's goatee is down to his knees. Polanco flies out to Swisher in CF. Runner stays put. Carlos Guillen now. 2-0 count with 2 outs. Now 3-1 from Logan. Man, that goatee is not attractive at all. Strike two right down the middle. Full cout for Guillen...grounds it to Cabrera, who falls on it and throws to first for the third out.
Yep, used to work for the Topeka Capital-Journal when I was a senior in college. Very hard to sit in the pressbox and not cheer. But you do get free ice cream...so it's a push. Konerko up first. Takes Miner deep to LF for a double. He trotted. My bad. New pitcher is Jason Grilli. Konerko takes Grilli deep. JD bloops it to RF; Konerko goes to third. Runners on the corners for AJ. A bomb from AJ...three-run HR and White Sox now lead 8-5. Quentin now. He singles up the middle. And the crowd boos Grilli. Fourth straight hit he's allowed. Pitching coach comes out to chat with Grilli. Crede continues the hit parade, with a single back up the middle. Yorman Bazardo (awesome last name) warms in the Detroit bullpen. Uribe shows bunt, but the ball goes flying to the backstop (almost off Uribe's head) and the runners move to second and third. Oh sheesh. Uribe grounds out to third, and he's out at first. Then Crede and Quentin get caught in the middle of the bases...rundown...and Quentin is tagged out. Nice baserunning ding-dongs. Crede stays at second after the double play. Geez. Swisher gets a 3-0 count, then is intentionally walked to bring up O-Cab. 0-2 hole for O-Cab. One ball. And then he strikes out swinging.
White Sox 8-5.
Just terrible baserunning. Oh well. Moving on. Pitching change for the Sox. Octavio Dotel comes in for Boone Logan. He'll get Ordonez, M-Cab and Renteria. And Ordonez has a single off Dotel. Speedy. Here's M-Cab. He flies out to Swisher in CF for the first out. Someone cut Maggs' hair. I'll pay you $10. Renteria now. He's got a 2-2 count, and then he strikes out swinging. Rodriguez has two doubles on the day. Let's hope it's not three. 2-2 count after he whiffs on the second strike. And then he whiffs at strike three.
White Sox 8-5.
Dotel is fired up in the dugout. He must have picked the correct Final Four. New Tigers pitcher is Denny Bautista. Jim Thome leads things off. Takes the second pitch very high in the air, but then it comes down to CLETE in CF. Here's Paulie. 3-2 count. Random ball hanging around in CF. CLETE throws it back into the crowd. Darn kids. And Paulie draws the walk. Barely. Here's JD. Chopper to Inge at third, who converts the double play. And no runs on the board.
White Sox 8-5.
Thanks board for the props. New Sox pitcher is Scott Linebrink. He's also got some facial hair going on, but it's not as scary as Boone's. Oh Boone. Jacque Jones is up first. Flies out to Swisher in CF. One gone. Here's Brandon Inge. He strikes out on four pitches. Geez, the Cubs game is already in the seventh inning. I can hear someone singing the stretch. It's painfully bad. My arch nemesis CLETE is up now. 1-1. Now 1-2 after a swing and a miss. Swing and a miss for strike three...ball dropped by AJ, but he fires to first for the out. HA! Take that CLETE. I've got a lot of rage. For no reason.
White Sox 8-5.
Today's player of the game is AJ, according to Hawk. Can't disagree with that. Dude is 3-5 with 5 RBIs. That's like five out of the Sox's eight runs. Math is fun. And lookie here, AJ is starting things off this inning. New Detroit pitcher is Todd Jones. One pitch, one out as AJ flies out to CF. Here's baserunning genius Quentin. High pop-up to SS for the second out. Crede up. He's sporting a turtleneck. Oh wait, he just has a band around his neck. That's an odd look. 0-2 count for Crede before he pops it to Inge in foul territory for the third out.
White Sox 8-5.
Oh boy. A lead. In the ninth inning. Sox pitcher will be Bobby Jenks. With an odd goatee as well. What's with the weird facial hair on this team? Dorks. First up is Polanco. 1-2 count, couple foul balls, then the second ball goes flying over Polanco's head. Good thing he's not a few inches taller. Eek. Foul ball, then a grounder to Uribe for the first out. Carlos Guillen now. Lotsa yelling from the Detroit fans in the stands. 2-2 count for Guillen, foul ball, foul ball, ball, delay, delay, delay...and...foul ball...FINISH HIM! Ah, Mortal Kombat. Ball four. Geez. Here's Maggs, the hairy one. Flies out to LCF and Swisher for the out. Here's M-Cab. He walks on four pitches. Runners on first and second. Renteria stands in there. 0-2 count. And he lines it to RF, Dye makes a diving catch for the final out. Nice catch dude.
White Sox 8-5.
Final thoughts: AJ has a nice game at the plate. Some clutch pitching (I know, random) in some tight situations. And the Sox are back at .500. Oh yeah.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun