Chicago's Inside Pitch

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Ready for Game 4

Posted by scotgreg on Mon, 10/06/2008 - 15:52
It's football season in most parts of the country, but there is some great baseball weather on the South Side for Game 4 of the ALDS. It's do-or-die for Gavin Floyd and the White Sox today, so we'll see what happens. Here are the lineups for the game, which you can catch at 4:07 p.m. on WTBS: Tampa Bay Iwamura, 2B Upton, CF Pena, 1B Longoria, 3B Crawford, LF Floyd, DH Navarro, C Gross, RF Bartlett, SS Sox Cabrera, SS A.J., C Dye, RF Thome, DH Konerko, 1B Griffey Jr., CF Ramirez, 2B Wise, LF Uribe, 3B Note: Floyd is making his first-ever appearance vs. the Rays today. Only five Tampa Bay hitters faced Floyd when he was with the Phillies. DH Cliff Floyd (3-for-11) had the most success, hitting a home run off Gavin.

Sox look good for Game 4

Posted by scotgreg on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 21:16
I’m still sticking with the original prediction after Game 2 of the American League division series. The White Sox, after dropping the first two in Tampa Bay, win the next two at home before losing Game 5 back at Tropicana Field. The Sox have an obvious advantage in the Game 4 pitching matchup. Gavin Floyd has been a beast this season, and the big right-hander leads the staff with 17 wins. Floyd is 10-3 with a 3.55 ERA at home. Floyd’s mound opponent, right-hander Andy Sonnanstine, is a 13-game winner and 6-5 (4.35 ERA) on the road. Sonnanstine looked like a Cy Young candidate while pitching a complete-game, 3-hit shutout against the Sox at the Trop in April. As the season progressed, Sonnanstine faded. He hasn’t won a game since Aug. 18 and is 0-3 in his last seven starts.

Is it do-or-die yet?

Posted by Bruce on Sat, 10/04/2008 - 17:06
Oh, I think it is. They say it never rains in California, but we had some light showers today, and the tarp is still on the field. I think it's the first time in my 11 years of coming here that I've ever seen the tarp on the Dodger Stadium field. Lou gave us the lineup yesterday. I'll post it here and update it this evening if need be: Soriano, LF Fontenot, 2B Lee, 1B Ramirez, 3B Soto, C Edmonds, CF DeRosa, RF Theriot, SS Harden, P Fontenot's an interesting story. If you recall, he's one of three guys the Cubs got for Sammy Sosa. When he came up early last year and hit a double off the wall at Shea Stadium, it made a big impression with Lou. Now, we'll see what he does in a pressure situation.

Do Sox have a chance?

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 22:00
Think the White Sox’ goose is finally cooked? I think the Sox are going to win both games at the Cell to pull even with the Rays in the ALDS, but they’ll go down in Game 5 when the series moves back to Tropicana Field. The Sox have stunk it up in domes this season (4-18), specifically the offense. Even if Mark Buehrle comes back and pitch Game 5 _ which is highly likely _ he’d probably have to pitch a shutout to give the White Sox a chance to win.

Back in black

Posted by scotgreg on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 18:17
The White Sox are still talking about how impressive Tuesday night’s “blackout’’ crowd was at U.S. Cellular Field. Fans were asked to dress in black, and they were given black towels to wave. I’ve never been too big on crowd stunts, but hey, whatever. Anyway, the Sox gave the crowd a lot of credit after they beat the Twins 1-0 in the AL Central tiebreaker. Now that they’re in the playoffs, the White Sox want to do a “rolling blackout,” where fans continue dressing like Johnny Cash for all October home games. The first one is Sunday at 3:07 p.m., Game 3 of the ALDS vs. Tampa Bay.

'There's no curses here'

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 10/02/2008 - 19:45
Lou was nice and loose before tonight's game. Rightfully, he said "this isn't life and death," although he'd have a hard time selling that to a lot of Cubs fans. Anyway, all that silliness about a "curse" came up, and Lou was told a Greek Orthodox priest, apparently at the behest of Cubs chairman Crane Kenney, sprinkled holy water in the Cubs dugout yesterday. Final score in Game 1: Dodgers 7, Cubs 2. Lou reacted in typical fashion. "There's no curses here," Lou said. "I don't know how many times I have to answer about curses. Who did it? Crane graduated from Notre Dame. He might have had somebody from South Bend."

Fukudome back in there

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 10/02/2008 - 17:36
Lou has stuck with Fukudome, but he's batting him eighth and Theriot second: Soriano, LF Theriot, SS Lee, 1B Ramirez, 3B DeRosa, 2B Edmonds, CF Soto, C Fukudome, RF Zambrano, P As I've harped on all week, the Dodgers are game-planning the Cubs exactly the way the D'Backs did last year. And the Cubs are biting. Once Soriano figures it out to lay off the low-and-away sliders, the better off the Cubs will be.

Start Richard over Vazquez?

Posted by scotgreg on Thu, 10/02/2008 - 15:43
What’s the biggest difference between this year’s White Sox and the team that won the World Series in 2005? You saw it in Game 1 of the ALDS at Tampa Bay Thursday. In the first round of the 2005 playoffs against Boston, the White Sox went with starters Jose Contreras, Mark Buehrle and Freddy Garcia. They swept the Red Sox in 3 games, so they didn’t even need Jon Garland, who was 18-10 during the regular season. And had the series vs. Boston gone longer, Garland was probably going to be skipped. That’s how good _ and fresh _ the White Sox’ starters were. Against the Rays Thursday, the Sox had no choice but to start Javier Vazquez, and the results were predictable.

Weary Sox get some rest

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 10/01/2008 - 19:35
The White Sox really needed a break in the schedule on Wednesday. Landing in Tampa Bay at 4 a.m. after gutting out a 1-0 win over the Twins in the AL Central tie-breaker Tuesday night, the Sox looked like zombies while going through an brief workout at Tropicana Field in preparation for Game 1 of the playoffs. “I got to bed around 5 (a.m.),” Jermaine Dye said. During batting practice, backup catcher Toby Hall brought out a cowbell, which have become crowd favorites at the Trop this season. It didn’t seem to wake any of the White Sox up much. With a good night’s rest, the Sox should be ready to go today. They’ll try building on a three-game winning streak.

Fukudome bats second

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 10/01/2008 - 17:17
Let's get the lineup out of the way first: Soriano, LF Fukudome, RF Lee, 1B Ramirez, 3B Soto, C Edmonds, CF DeRosa, 2B Theriot, SS Dempster, P "I'd like to stay just the way we are," Lou said. "Fukudome is very capable of having a nice postseason. With the wind blowing and everything else, we went with good defense in the outfield. The fact that DeRosa also had that little strain in the calf, second base is a little easier for him." Lou said they talked long and hard about the decision to keep Felix Pie over Micah Hoffpauir. The Cubs chose "versatilility, the defense, the speed," of Pie. Lou added that the Cubs weren't going to play Hoffpauir in the outfield anyway.