Chicago's Inside Pitch
Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 22:07
If Carlos Quentin is able to tolerate some pain in his fractured right wrist and rejoin the White Sox at some point next week, this is going to be a team that should probably be feared in the postseason.
Without Quentin, though, the Sox don't figure to scare anyone, assuming they hold off the struggling Minnesota Twins and win the AL Central.
As the White Sox again showed in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees, they are very vulnerable when not hitting home runs.
The Sox have scored nearly half of their runs this season on homers, the highest percentage in baseball, and Quentin is still leading the AL with 36 HR even though he's missed the last 15 games.
Get him back, and the White Sox have a shot. If not, it's going to be a real struggle to make it out of the first round.
Posted by Bruce on Wed, 09/17/2008 - 18:45
Kind of a mish-mosh of stuff with Lou before the game today. He started talking about the whole idea of clinching and then stopped himself.
"I don't like all this talk of clinching until we clinch," said Yogi, er, Lou.
Well, with a magic number of 4 heading in to tonight's game, they'll do it soon enough, and Lou will be able to get rest of guys who need it, like Ryan Theriot. The couple days off because of the hurricane did a world of good for Derrek Lee. Theriot, who wore down last year, is sure to benefit from a few days off in the final week.
Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 22:21
So, who is most likely to heat up as the White Sox head down the stretch?
I'm going with Jermaine Dye.
The Sox' veteran right fielder is having another big year _ 32 home runs and 88 RBI _ but Dye has been quiet lately.
After bouncing back from a dreadful April, Dye hit 7 homers and had 14 RBI in May, 9 HR and 26 RBI in June, 7 HR and 18 RBI in July and 7 HR and 16 RBI in August.
In September, Dye is batting a sturdy .278, but he has not hit a home run and is stuck on 5 RBI for the month.
With Carlos Quentin and Joe Crede out with injuries and Paul Konerko just coming back from a knee scare, the Sox need to find some big production from one of their established hitters.
Dye fits the profile.
Posted by Bruce on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 15:28
Here are a few tidbits to hold you over until I get back with the lineup around dinner time:
Keep an eye on Cubs reliever Jeff Samardzija. His numbers in September aren't too hot. He's pitched 4 innings this month, giving up 5 hits and 4 walks. That translates to a WHIP (walks plus hits per 1 inning pitched) of 2.25, which is a little feverish. Samardzija's WHIP for the season is 1.24. He just got done doing some work in the bullpen, without a ball (base or foot, although he did throw a football to a teammate). No, he wasn't doing the towel drill.
Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 18:28
Yankee Stadium is located in the Bronx, which makes the White Sox' South Side home look like Lake Forest by comparison.
There's always a lot of trash flying around in and outside the ballpark, and the blaring speakers stacked high out in center field are almost guaranteed to leave you with a headache before the third inning.
The obvious reaction to Yankee Stadium's demise at the end of the season is: Good Riddance.
I've been coming here for 15 years, and "The House that Ruth Built" has definitely seen its better days.
Still, it's almost unbelievable to think that this is the last series the White Sox will play at the old place, and that Yankee Stadium will prepare for the wrecking ball after New York plays the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
Posted by Bruce on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 12:55
Don't look now, but the Cubs' magic number for clinching the NL Central is 7, meaning they can clinch as early as this week. One of my regular readers cites a Bill James formula that says the Cubs have virtually clinched. Something about no team has ever come back to win when the square of the number of games behind they are exceeds four times the games remaining. I'll let others do that math, but suffice it to say, the Brewers are 7 1-2 out and 9 in the loss column.
Posted by Bruce on Sun, 09/14/2008 - 18:14
The Cubs had full run of the "home" clubhouse here at Miller Park. Well almost full run. The door to Brewers manager Ned Yost's office is locked, meaning Lou had to use the coaches room.
"That's all right, I'm in the coaches room," Lou said. "Perfect. Nice and roomy in there."
The Astros were none too happy about flying up from Houston today for a pair of "home" games. Looking around at the crowd, it's a sea of blue. Even so the Astros were making the best of the situation. But they did have plenty to say.
Posted by Bruce on Sun, 09/14/2008 - 15:05
First off, the drive wasn't bad. A lot of rain, but not a lot of cars on the construction-riddled Tri-State.
For starters, the Cubs have the Brewers or "home" clubhouse here at Miller Park. I thought that, too, might make Astros owner Drayton McLane mad, but apparently, the Astros wanted the more "familiar" visitors clubhouse. Maybe the Cubs can find a few state secrets in the Brewers' clubhouse. But with the way the Brewers have been going lately, maybe not.
Most of the stadium workers here aren't doing any actual work. They're watching the Packers game on TV out beyond left field, and they yell every time the Packers do something.
Posted by Bruce on Sat, 09/13/2008 - 21:02
What took 'em so long? Major League Baseball finally announced tonight that the Cubs and Astros will play single games at Milwaukee's Miller Park tomorrow night at 7:05 and Monday afternoon at 1:05 to make up for two of the games lost in Houston to Hurricane Ike.
A third, game, if necessary, will be played Monday, Sept. 29 in Houston. That game will be played if it affects the postseason.
The Astros will be the home team for both games in Milwaukee. More to come in Sunday's Daily Herald.
Posted by Bruce on Sat, 09/13/2008 - 15:53
Been waiting all day to hear from the Cubs about what they're plans are for the Astros series. Late this afternoon, a Cubs person said the team will not travel today, to Houston or anywhere else. That means it's unlikely the Cubs and Astros will play tomorrow, as teams almost never travel on day of game. The Cubs say they don't know what will happen.
The Astros have been clinging to the hope of playing at least two games in Houston by Monday, but the effects of Hurricane Ike may prevent that.
A couple days ago, I suggested the teams move the proceedings to Miller Park in Milwaukee, but the Astros wanted no part of it, even if it meant they could get all three games in and not have to worry about playing after the scheduled end of the regular season.