Chicago's Inside Pitch

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Wanted: Complete games for Sox

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 23:19
You thought the White Sox’ bullpen was bad last year? Didn’t think it could get any worse than Ryan Bukvich, Andrew Sisco, David Aardsma, Dewon Day, Nick Masset and Mike Myers? Maybe you missed Friday night’s game against the Indians. D.J. Carrasco, Mike MacDougal, Ehren Wasserman and Horacio Ramirez made last year’s shaky crew look like all-stars while melting down in a game the Sox desperately needed. Hopefully, GM Kenny Williams was looking in all of their eyes Friday, and he’ll act accordingly. Mining bullpen talent is the greatest challenge for any GM. For the second year in a row, Williams has failed miserably in his search for relief pitchers, and it’s probably going to cost the White Sox a playoff berth.

Lou makes his point

Posted by Bruce on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 18:49
As you've probably read here, Lou set the rest of his rotation for the NLDS. Following Ryan Dempster will be Big Z, Rich Harden and Ted Lilly. It's interesting to note, as Vin Scully might say, that Lou announced Dempster yesterday and saved news of the rest of the rotation for today. To me, he was saying that Dempster is the ace of this staff and that he's earned the nod for Game 1 of the playoffs, which open next Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

Sound of silence

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 00:02
As expected, it was pretty quiet in the White Sox' clubhouse following Thursday night's 7-6 loss to the Twins in 10 innings. With the exception of one inning, the Sox' bats were silent as well. It's been a crazy season, but it looks like it's coming to an end unless the White Sox rebound and sweep the Indians at U.S. Cellular Field this weekend. Staying with the crazy theme, maybe the Twins lose one to the Royals at the Metrodome. We'll see how it plays out.

Dempster and DeRo

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 09/25/2008 - 18:16
Carlos Zambrano was right: Lou is no Dusty. Instead of enabling and rewarding bad behavior and poor performance, Lou did the right thing today by announcing Ryan Dempster as his Game 1 starter for the NLDS, which starts next Wednesday at Wrigley, where Dempster is 14-3 with a 2.86 ERA. Lou says the rest of the rotation hasn't been finalized. Mark DeRosa may not play again for the remainder of the regular season because of his strained left calf. He was wearing a boot today and limping noticeably. The Cubs say he'll be ready for the playoffs.

'Outsiders' anger Ozzie

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 23:13
Ozzie doesn't mind being criticized by reporters he actually sees at the ballpark, but he's quick to blow his stack when outsiders start taking shots. ESPN and Fox got under his skin for questioning Guillen’s motivational strategy with starter Javier Vazquez, who was shelled by the Twins on Tuesday. “I was trying to motivate him,” Guillen said. “If people think it was the wrong way, (bleep) them. They don't know me; I don't know them. They can say whatever they want about me. I've know Javy since he was a baby. I know Javy’s family, I know Javy’s kids, mother-in-law, father-in-law, everybody. That’s between Javy and me.” It was widely reported Ozzie said Vazquez was not a “big-game pitcher.” The Sox’ manager said that was taken out of context.

Lou and Big Z

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 09/24/2008 - 18:03
Lou had to shoot down one story during today's pregame. No, not that he and Big Z are still feuding. No, he had to dance around speculation that he might quit as Cubs manager if the Cubs win it all this year. Sounds a little like the Ozzie story of a few years ago. Lou created this one himself, telling the New York Daily News' Bill Madden the other day that the job can take a toll and that he wasn't sure how much longer he wanted to do it. When pressed, Lou said he would honor his contract, which runs through next year with a club option for 2010. Cubs chairman Crane Kenney already has talked of giving Lou an extension.

Pressure squarely on Twins

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 18:54
Ozzie's been heaping a lot of love on the Twins since he took over as White Sox manager in 2004. At times, maybe he's gone too far, but Ozzie hit the brakes before Tuesday night's big game against Minnesota at the Metrodome. "It seems like when we come here, we're going to play against the 1957 Yankees," Ozzie said, although he probably meant the 1927 Yanks. "We haven't played well here in the past but this week, I have a great feeling. I have a lot of confidence in the ballclub." This is a much bigger series for the Twins, and the Sox know it.

Roster games: Pie? Ward? Hoffpauir?

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 09/23/2008 - 14:11
I'm sitting here at Shea Stadium trying to hear myself blog as the planes fly about nine feet overhead. Won't miss this place. But I'll say one thing. It looks better here only because of the new Citi Field going up beyond the outfield. It's going to be quite a change, and the greatest part appears to be the Ebbets Field-like entrance way. Here are some thoughts before I come back with the lineups later: If the Cubs take 11 pitchers to the playoffs, you've got to figure these guys are in: Dempster Lilly Zambrano Harden Marquis (yes, he'll be on the roster) Marshall Samardzija Cotts Marmol Wood

Big Z no lock for Game 1

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 09/22/2008 - 18:06
Lou has juggled the rotation slightly for the Mets series this week. Sean Marshall will pitich tomorrow night instead of Rich Harden, who goes Thursday instead. Carlos Zambrano will pitch Wednesday as scheduled. Lou says Harden is fine and that he foresees no limits on him Thursday. The interesting question is whether Big Z pitches Game 1 of the NLDS next Wednesday. Lou wouldn't say. He said only that he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild will set the rotation this weekend in Milwaukee.

Sox in bind with Linebrink

Posted by scotgreg on Sun, 09/21/2008 - 17:43
Maybe Scott Linebrink can move back into the setup role he so capably filled before injuring his shoulder and get the job done again. It looks like the White Sox won't find out until next season. Linebrink has made 5 appearances since coming off the disabled list, and he actually had success in his last outing (Friday) with 1 scoreless inning. Before that, the veteran right-hander pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs. Ozzie said he's going to throw Linebrink back into the fire and hope for the best, but I don't think it's going to happen this year. Linebrink has yet to be called on in a tight game, and Sunday, Ozzie called on closer Bobby Jenks with one on and two outs in the eighth inning.