After a blistering first 2 games against the Cleveland Indians, the White Sox have come back to earth. The offense is still cruising right along, but the bullpen has hit a bump in the road.
First the offense. Is there any stopping Gordon Beckham and Carlos Quentin? The 2nd baseman and right fielder are hitting .471 and .438 respectively. After a disappointing 2010 last year for both guys, the start of 2011 has been nothing short of awesome. Quentin is even playing good defense, taking good routes to fly balls and making the proper throws when he has to make them. In spring, Beckham looked and acted like a different player, and I wasn’t sure if that wasn’t just a mirage. If the first 5 games are any example, than the only mirage is last years season for Beckham.
Game one .vs the Royals looked like it would be another White Sox laugher as they scored 4 runs in the first inning. But this is a different Kansas City team, as they scored 2 n the bottom on the 1st, and added to more in the 2nd. Gavin Floyd, making his first start of the year, didn’t have the location he needs to be successful, but gutted it through 7 innings. Chris Sale promptly came in and gave up 2 quick runs. He isn’t gonna be, and cant be expected to be perfect. Tony Pena on the other hand, isn’t expected to be perfect either, but he has to have some scoreless innings. He faced 3 batters in the 12th inning, 2 of then reached base, one of them scored, game over. Sox lose 7-6 in 12 innings.
The Sox played the 2nd and final game without slugger Adam Dunn, who underwent an emergency appendectomy. Dunn, who looks like Paul Bunyan, will be back by the weekend, I would think.
In the 2nd game the Sox came out swinging once again, at least late in the game. The Royals were cruising along with a 5-0, and 6-3 lead, but the Sox overcame them all and actually led 7-6 in the 9th. The Royals did push across a run to tie, but the sluggin’ Sox eventually pulled off a 10-7 win in 12 innings. So in two games the Sox had 29 hits, and 16 runs. WOW!
Carlos Quentin is now hitting .500. Hitting in the 5th spot today, the right fielder went 4-6, with a home run and 3 RBI. he started spring out meekly, but from about the 4th week on he has found his stroke, and is just mashing. I regret not interviewing him when he asked me if I needed to talk to him. Or, maybe he’s angry that I didn’t talk with him, and he’s taking the anger out on the ball. haha
Alexei Ramirez is getting his stroke ironed out as well, adding 3 hits today. All an all, 5 of the 9 Sox starters are hitting .300 or better. One guy who is surprising me is Brent Morel, who I thought would struggle hitting, but dominate fielding. It’s been the exact opposite though. I watched Morel all spring and never saw him commit an error, but he now has 3 through the first games. 180+ errors is not what Ozzie Guillen expected–I am joking, of course.
Pitching struggled a bt, but came around when it counted. Matt Thornton gave up a run in his 2 innings of work, but he usually won’t be pitching 2 innings. He is forced to because Pena is a fire starter right now, and Will Ohman, well, isn’t that good. He only gave up an unearned run in his 1 inning of work. Congrats to Phil Humber, who relaxed long enough to throw 2 scoreless innings, and to Chris Sale, who picked up the win with 2 scoreless innings.
You know when the Sox are doing well when I don’t even mention Paul Konerko, who is hitting .333.
The Sox play their home opener tomorrow, against the struggling Tampa Bay Rays.