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Sox Sign Jesse Crain

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Heads22

Sox fan, first and foremost.

While not official yet, the White Sox have reportedly signed right handed reliever Jesse Crain to a 3 year, $13 million contract. Crain will likely function as the top right handed setup man for the Sox.

The grand old Duke of Earl...

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

The White Sox/Red Sox game tonight is reportedly postponed on account of Hurricane Earl.

Good to get that canceled early so that everyone can stay safe.

Another day for Becksy to heal as well.

MVPaulie!

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Yeah, I know there are guys with better numbers, and Paulie won't win any trophies this year, and the other guys deserve it. I've heard worse MVP chants than giving it to 14 right now though.

Garcia was on the mound to start today. Did the usual Garcia dance through 4 innings...2 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, usual Garcia type line. However, Freddy was pulled after 4 innings with tightness in his lower back. No word yet on his future status.

Tony Pena came in for the 5th, and promptly gave things up. 2 quick runs in the 5th. He even got the double play (1 run scored on the double play) but managed to add baserunners afterwards and give up a 2nd.

That was the 4 runs for the Tribe. The Sox really tried to help them out today. They were credited with 3 errors, and there were a couple other plays that weren't counted, like Teahen throwing wildly in the 9th inning and as such missing the double play.

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Sox hang on to beat INDIANS

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Ok, now I know no one actually reads this blog. How do I know? Dumb*** me yesterday morning prior to coffee kicking in wrote "Twins" in the blog post headline instead of Indians...and not a soul commented on it. Sigh.

Anywho, Sox beat the Indians again last night, winning this series. Positive sign, it just took us way too long to beat the Indians this year.

Big story last night...the benching of Manny Ramirez. Not the arrival of Manny Ramirez, the benching of it. Manny arrived with the usual fanfare, gave a press conference in Spanish for some reason, had Joey Cora translate for him, no idea what was up with that. He was in town 4 hours or so before game time, parked in his usual spot for facing his original team, flew out of L.A. at about 6:00 a.m. (so he ought to have gotten most of a night's sleep) and yet, he didn't get inserted in the lineup.

It's at best a puzzling choice. You're paying the guy $125k/game, he's been off for weeks on the DL, and you think he's jetlagged. I dunno. Ozzie said he wasn't fully happy with how Manroid responded to Ozzie's are you ready to play question.

Since the Sox won, I guess we can live with it for one day, but I don't know if we'll ever really understand the reasoning here. Ozzie power play, Manny power play, who knows, but there's something behind the scenes there we're not being told about, I think we can all believe that.

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Sox dodge big bullet, beat Indians

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

I was totally convinced when I saw Gordon Beckham go down last night that he was out for the season with a broken wrist. 95 mph fastball riding in, late in the game from a relief pitcher, off the back (right) wrist dead on. Ow. He was letting his hand go limp on the way down/while sitting there. I'm amazed that the Sox are just calling it a deep bone bruise. Ow. That looked awful.

Anyway, Sox beat up on the Indians last night, but it took a while. Sox got to scoring early, popped 5 in the first 2 innings on Mitch Talbot, who had absolutely owned the Sox in 3 previous outings this season. He gave up more runs in the first 2 innings last night than he did his previous 3 outings against the Sox.

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White Sox officially acquire Manny Ramirez

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

You've probably seen this elsewhere, but I should note here that the White Sox have officially acquired Manny Ramirez and his needles from the Los Angeles Dodgers on a straight waiver claim. No one was sent back, and the White Sox assume nearly $4 million in salary.

Erik Threets to the DL

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Erik Threets felt something wrong in his elbow last night during his 2nd inning of work against the Yankees. He was immediately taken out of the game. Today, an MRI has revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

Threets seemingly will be joining Strasburg in having the Tommy John surgery. Damn. He was looking good enough that he had a shot of being the 2nd lefty next year and was holding down the fort while Thornton was out.

Carlos Torres has gotten a callup.

White Sox claim Manny Ramirez on Waivers

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

The White Sox have, by a number of sources, put in the winning waiver claim on LA Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez.

The Sox and Dodgers now have until about Midday Tuesday to work out a deal for Manny. If no deal is worked out, then the Dodgers could either pull Manny back or could let him walk to the White Sox, with the White Sox absorbing the $4 million or so in salary remaining on Manny's deal. The White Sox also can not trade anyone who is on the 40 man roster without that player passing through waivers first (so no Viciedo, Flowers, Sale, Harrell, or Torres, for example).

I think everyone thinks the most likely scenario is the White Sox flipping a minor prospect to LAD in exchange for a bit of money, and the deal happening. Worth noting is that the Rosters don't expand until Wednesday, so the Sox would still have to send someone down to clear a roster spot, even if it's only a day.

A little bit of commentary; yes, I cheer for laundry. I've looked the other way about Albert Belle and a number of other cheaters. I'll find a way to cheer for ManRam. However, I still reserve every right to chant "Steroids" every time he comes to the plate, and I'm still going to feel dirty every time he walks to the plate.

Something really bothers me about the Sox claiming Manny Ramirez, a guy who appears to have used Steroids over at least a period of years, maybe even decades, on the same weekend that they're honoring Frank Thomas, one of the only clean players of the last 2 decades.

Anyway, I'll find a way to cheer for him and I'll hope he gets us past the Twins. But my soul will feel a little dirtier for it.

Awesome Edwin

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Edwin Jackson threw perhaps the best outing last night of any White Sox pitcher all year.

I've ranted about the deal enough. That was absolutely outstanding. If he hadn't had a 1 inning outing last week, he'd be in line for pitcher of the Month in the AL. The guy who's going to beat him appears to be Trevor Cahill from Oakland, who has a 0.92 ERA this month...but Jackson is right behind with a 0.96 ERA.

It's not even worth adding superlatives to his line. 8 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 0 runs, 10 K's. That's not fair. About the only ball hit hard all game was a double by Roberts. Nothing else even went 300 feet.

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Buehrle, Sox fall to Orioles

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

It's not that Mark Buehrle was bad last night, he wasn't. The Orioles were just a bit better. The O's played the timely hitting game well last night, and the White Sox didn't play the "hitting" game at all.

Mark legitimately was on cruise control for the first 4 innings. He retired 8 in a row starting in the 2nd. Had a bit of trouble in the 2nd, but it quickly went away with an induced double play. The 5th inning though didn't go well, and it all turned on a leadoff walk to Pie. Mark's first walk of the game led off the 5th. In the end, he'd walk 4 in the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. 2 of them were leadoff walks, both came around to score.

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Matt Thornton, JJ Putz go to the DL

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Matt Thornton and JJ Putz have both been placed on the 15 day DL today. Lucas Harrell and Erik Threets will take their roster spots.

 

Considering the tribune said the opposite today about Thornton, I find that at least somewhat odd. Hopefully we can get some success out of these guys, we need the help.

Gordon Got it

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

The White Sox struggled through some opportunities early in the game yesterday. 2 runners on in the 2nd, leadoff man on in the 3rd, 2 men on in the 4th, bases loaded nobody out in the 5th. But thanks to a combination of double plays and pickoffs, the Sox only managed one run there.

Gordon Beckham though came up in the 7th and did something about that. Beckham got on base his first 2 at bats; a slow roller down the 3b line for an infield single (on a very weird hop), and a hard HBP on his hand that brought out the trainers. Beckham came up in the 7th with 2 men on, and got a little revenge for that hand. Jeremy Guthrie was staying away from him with the fastball, Beckham fouled a couple of them off, then got an elevated fastball on the outer half of the plate, and he did not miss it. 3 run, game keying homer to CF. The guy who caught the ball in CF seemed to enjoy taunting Felix Pie over it.

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Sox lose 2 of 3 to Royals in 24 hours.

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

The White Sox and the Royals just played, by my count, 31 innings of baseball in the last 22 hours. That was pretty ridiculous.


The Royals took 2/3. I haven't watched a lot of it and I'm sorta glad. Joe West's crew was doing the umpiring and West was behind the plate today, and despite Hawk's rantings, he actually had a point, and he took the time to prove it with split-screen views. The Royals got call after call, West made sure he made all the calls himself, and he blew a lot of them.

 

Today's brightest spots were bullpen guys; Tony Pena and Bobby Jenks. Pena was battered around for 1 inning last night...the 4th inning, gave up 4 runs, then suddenly snapped out of it and retired 12 straight.

 

Bobby Jenks came in as just about the only guy in the bullpen who hadn't broken down completely today, and he threw 3 innings. Not only that, they were effective innings. Even in 2005, when Jenks would throw more than 1 inning, his velocity would drop 3-4 mph each inning. Today, he was still popping 98 after 3 innings. Jenks really stepped up today and I'll give credit.

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WTF?

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Ok, seriously...what the Hell Fox? These blackout rules are insane. A double header...starting with game 1 at 7:05 local time? I won't even be awake by inning 3 of game 2. That's ridiculous.

Congratulations to the 2010 Central Champion Twins

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Considering that now, it'd take another run of .800 ball by the White Sox to catch the Twins, I figured I'd start by offering polite congrats. It's only fair.

Now seriously...the White Sox's announcer starts off the game by telling everyone who was still watching how Delmon Young had done a bushleague play the night before. They showed the replay repeatedly, Hawk pointed out all the sordid details, Young leaving the line to go after AJ, Young going after AJ's face instead of the ball. Scott Merkin wrote the "tensions rising!" article. Hell, there was even a great time early in the game to give Young a fastball to the backside, after falling behind him in the count in the 2nd inning. Hell, he even walked that at bat. Nice to know that the Sox only talk a tough game.

Ozzie Guillen continued the tough talk for everyone except the opponent, ripping into anyone who wanted to blame him for Thome departing. Yes, Ozzie, you didn't win much when you had Thome. You also never won a division with a lot of guys. Doesn't change the calculation that you decided you wanted a worse ballplayer and you wanted a legendary Sox killer on the Twins.


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Bah

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

I'm not even sure I want to waste time on a rundown of last night's White Sox season-killing loss to the Twins. Basically all you need to know is that:

1. John Danks can't pitch against the Twins
2. The White Sox have no one in their bullpen they can trust other than Thornton
3. The White Sox can't trust Thornton for 2+ innings just because they have no one else to try
4. Jim Thome remains as big of a White Sox killer as he ever was.

Did anyone ever seriously believe that once we let Jim Thome walk to the Twins...there wouldn't be a singular, somewhere in the range of 450 foot moment where the epic White Sox killer from the Indians days stepped up to kill the White Sox once again?

Oh, and while we're at it, I can't let this game go by without noting that the Sox were 3/14 with RISP. AJ doubled to lead off the 6th, Sox couldn't get him over and stranded him. Bases loaded in the 5th, Kotsay hasn't had a hit all season against LHP, Kotsay stays in against left handed relief while Jones stands there with a bat in his hand looking sad, Kotsay grounds to 2b (The Twins announcers spent 4 inning ripping this decision). Bases loaded 1 out in the ninth, Konerko grounds to 2b for the double play. 2 runners on against Rauch in the 10th, and the Sox only come away with one.

I don't know if I can even bring myself to watch how they implode tonight. They've broken me this year.

Collect call for Mr. John Danks?

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Mr. Danks, I have the 2010 season on the line. Do you accept the charges?

This time, I just have to laugh

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

The Sox actually tried to get me a bit excited there today. Down 5-1 early. Sale comes in and rips through the Tigers for an inning. The Sox come storming back from that huge deficit...take the lead on a Konerko monster shot, and look like they've pulled themselves up by the bootstraps to win the series and go into Minnesota on a positive note.

Then...JJ Putz and Andruw Jones teamed up.

The 8th inning was a debacle. An absolute debacle. Raburn started Putz off with a solid single to LF. Putz again didn't have much control of his split finger pitch or his fastball, but he got the next 2 guys to strike out. Things then imploded with 2 outs. Austin Jackson came up and walked.

Damon was next. That's sorta the ideal place for a dominant Lefty...like Thornton...but reality is...we needed Thornton for the 9th since Jenks is unavailable, and Thornton's been used a ton lately too, so Putz faces Damon. Damon crushes a ball to CF, Jones gets turned around but I don't think he catches it even on a perfect play, and Damon winds up with a 2 RBI triple to give the Tigers the lead again. Jones looked awful trying to field that one, but it was a legitimately rough play. Maybe if he fields it cleanly he keeps Damon to a double, but I think catching it was out of the question.

Next batter, Flyball to CF...bounces off the edge of Jones's glove and Damon scores. Yeesh.

That whole sequence sums up the implosion of our bullpen. No one lately can be counted on for anything. The guys who look like they could be counted on get moved into higher pressure situations and implode. With a solid Jenks...Thornton could have gone against Damon. Without that, we needed Thornton for the 9th. Putz looks awful since he moved into the quasi-closer's role. What more can you do?
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Damnit why is closing games so hard!

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

JJ Putz was flat out money the last couple months during our winning streak. Money. You couldn't have scored on him if you'd wanted to. This is a guy who legitimately put up one of the best seasons as a relief pitcher/closer in MLB history a couple years ago. There was every reason to believe, when he went on a streak of nearly 30 straight scoreless appearances...this was the guy Seattle had and he was over his injury.

Then...Bobby Jenks resumed his struggles. So the obvious solution was...make Putz the closer. He's done it before, he's been great at it before, he's been great this season, why can't he be great at closing?

Man, how do things go this wrong?
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Sox win!

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

You know what I'm finding right now? After that crappy, crappy showing against the Twins, I have vastly less urge to watch this team. Yeah, I tuned in last night for a good chunk of the game, but it wasn't exciting me like it was a couple days ago. That frustrates me.

Mark Teahen made his triumphant return from the disabled list against Bonderman, couple of hits and a 2 run homer. Bonderman's numbers this year show that no one hits him the first time through the lineup and everyone hits him the 2nd time through, and that's how it went this time. Last time he tore us apart, this time people started hitting him hard. The legit scoring started in the 5th and was keyed by a 3 run opposite field HR by Becksy. I don't know how that ball went out, it didn't look like he hit it that hard, but it kept carrying. Pitch was a fastball out over the plate.

Long rain delay in this game, long enough that I went to bed and Buehrle's night ended on it. After the delay, Alexei added his 12th HR of the year.
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That was terrible and I don't want to talk about it.

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Ok, I'll admit...after the 3rd time in this game that the Sox blew a bases loaded situation without scoring...I turned the TV over to Futurama.

I think the worst one was the 5th inning. Bases loaded, noboby out. Rios comes up, grounds into what could have been a 1-2-3 double play, but Mauer doesn't take the throw to first to force an interference call on Rios running inside the line. Konerko and Quentin then both strike out, Konerko looks terrible on the slider and goes down on 3 straight sliders, Quentin fouls off a lot of pitches then goes down.

At least Sale looked good.

After the game, Viciedo was optioned to AAA after another 0-fer night. He did nail one ball with the bases loaded only to have it caught on the warning track in CF. Sadly, this will certainly mean more at bats for Kotsay. Jenks also went down with back spasms in this game, and he's likely unavailable for a few days. Sox are 4-8 against the Twins this season. Left 12 men on base yesterday. That's how you lose a division.

John Danks brings the Sox Back

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

After watching his performance, I don't think last night was the best night of John Danks's pitching career. He walked a couple guys, went deep in the count on a couple guys, had to pitch out of a couple jams, balked, that kind of stuff. But when it was said and done...in this game, we're focusing on results, and the results say: 8 IP, 1 ER, and most importantly,  the big W, to pull the Sox back into the tie for the Central.

D1: the pitching Danks started off the game a little weird but was bailed out by the D on the opening play. Span doubled to CF, but was thrown out on excellent throws by Rios and Beckham on the relay. 2 batters later, D1 genuinely set the tone against Mauer; Mauer gave him hard at bats all night, fouled off a lot of pitches especially when John would try to get in on his hands...this at bat though, I really have no idea what the pitch was that D1 struck him out on. It was a spectacle of a pitch. Broke hard down and away from Mauer, moved like a changeup, but the radar gun said it came in at 90 mph. Had to be some sort of 2-seamer I guess, but that was a ridiculous pitch.

D1 got into trouble in the 2nd with a leadoff walk, followed immediately by a Cuddyer single, but he pitched around it and kept it scoreless. From that point he got into a groove, and had 2 streaks of 6 in a row retired, with a Mauer double in-between them. Johnny had the changeup working well enough last night...it didn't make your jaw drop, but around inning 5 you realized that every bloody batter seemed to be popping out either to Pierre in LF or Quentin in RF. They couldn't get the timing down on Johnny's pitches, and that was what got them.
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Twins massacre Garcia

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Freddy Garcia was just flat out awful last night.

Garcia lasted just 2.1 innings, and I worry that he strained his neck looking over his shoulder at HR balls. Garcia was weak in the first, all of his breaking stuff was up and his fastball wasn't located well, but he only gave up 1 run. The power onslaught began in the 2nd, when Thome cranked one out to left center. Oh, if only there was something we could have done to keep his bat away from the Twins! Woe is us!

Hardy followed up a couple batters later with a solo shot on a hanging breaking ball, and Mauer a few batters later demolished a high fastball. Garcia was out of there early in the 2nd inning...by that point, both Mauer and Thome had started the game off with a double and a HR each.

I don't like being hard on Freddy Garcia, because he really has gone above and beyond what was expected of him this season, 10 wins out of the 5th starter spot, but there's no way to excuse that. Big game, game we needed, and Garcia totally failed.
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This concept of baseball confuses and infuriates us!

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

If I had to sum up last night's White Sox loss to the Orioles in 1 word, my choice is easy; frustrating.

The Orioles tried as hard as humanly possible to gift wrap that game for the White Sox, and the White Sox weren't interested in taking  it. I don't know if they were looking ahead to the Twins series, if they were just tired from having too many games on the road, if they had a bad hotel, whatever, but they did not come to play at all last night, and it showed, as they dropped into a first place tie with the Twins.

There's a number of ways to sum up the game last night, but I'm going to have to go with the image stuck in my head; the weak pop foul back. This game I'm going to hang on the offense. Brian Matusz was on the mound for the Orioles, and while I'm not going to say he pitched poorly, he did not pitch "3 hits in 6 innings" good. He clearly has some talent, but his location was pretty poor all night, the Sox just didn't take advantage.

Some of the images that pop into my head from last night's game are; Matusz floating a completely straight, 80 mph changeup with no break at all up in the zone to Andruw Jones, and Jones fouling it back. Or Carlos Quentin coming up with Alexei on 3rd and 1 out, Matusz giving him a fastball up and out over the plate (if you wanted to fly out to center or right field you couldn't have asked for a better pitch) and Carlos fouling it off. Or Dayan Viciedo getting ahead in a count 3-0 and coming back to strike out swinging...or Dayan Viciedo swinging over the top of an offspeed pitch low and in over and over and over again (hint: Dayan, this pitch is now in the scouting report on how to beat you).
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"The Club" wrapup

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Over the last 2 weeks, MLB Network has broadcast the final 4 episodes of the series "The Club" about the White Sox front office.

My final thoughts; it was an interesting show, it held promise, but either by its own decisions or by the rules of what they could film, it wasn't as good as it could have been.
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White Sox bats can't handle the slider

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

For the 2nd time in a week, the White Sox faced a pitcher with a low 90's fastball and a good slider. For the 2nd time in a week, that guy has shut down the White Sox bats almost completely. The new thing here is...the Twins are handling their business, so the Sox's lead in the central is now cut to a miniscule 1/2 game.

The front of the Sox's lineup hasn't been wont for hits today. Pierre's hitting streak continues going up, Vizquel has a hit and a good bunt, Rios has a couple of hits including the Sox's only RBI, and Konerko has a hit.

The first problem...the sox bats didn't wake up until they got to the Orioles bullpen, and it was just a bit late.

The second problem...the White Sox are 1/8 with RISP. The Sox have been one of the top teams in the AL in batting with RISP this year, and that's not held true the last few games.

Jeremy Guthrie was on the hill against the Sox today. Sox have hit him in the past, even in recent years (4 HR against him in 3 outings last year, for example). But he had their number today, especially when people got on base.
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Gordon Beckham leaves game with injury

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Gordon Beckham saved a run today in the 2nd inning, a diving stop on a ground ball up the middle. He turned around and threw out a runner at home trying to score at 2b.

A couple innings later, Beckham has been pulled for Lillibridge as a pinch hitter.

Edit: later report is that Beckham left with a strained Groin muscle.

Sox come back, win against Orioles

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

Gavin Floyd gave up 2 runs. I know...everyone panic! The world is clearly ending.

Anyway, Gavin spotted the Orioles a whopping 2 runs. One of them was a homer by Adam Jones. Otherwise, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, over 7 innings.

The Sox bats made the comeback happen. Carlos Quentin with a deep HR to CF for the first run. The Sox then tied it up in the 7th...Alexei took a walk (after Kotsay singled and was thrown out by a mile by Markakis trying to stretch it into 2...horrible, horrible decision, running on a guy with that arm, yeesh), and AJ hit a chopper that bounced just far enough over 1b to go down the line.

Alexei came around to score. AJ was doing something, pointing to home, while running to 3rd, and he wound up stumbling into the bag after overstepping it. He fell hard on his backside, and wound up twisting something. Did not look good.
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A.J. Pierzynski leaves game with injury

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

A.J. Pierzynski just hit a ground ball RBI scoring the tying run in the top of the 7th inning. Going in to 3rd, AJ overshot the base, did a half slide, tried to plant his legs off-balance and had everything fail. He at least turned an ankle on the way down, swore loudly and obviously on the way off, and was taken out. He at least appeared to limp off under his own power.

Sox lose game in 10

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balta1701

White Sox fan, Dr. of Geology

John Danks took the mound for the White Sox tonight. It wasn't the sharpest game for D1 that he ever threw, but he was good enough. Some of that might have been, you know, that he was facing the Orioles, but the Sox wound up the same way.

D1 started off the game with 3 straight hits; Roberts, Markakis, and a line drive RBI single past Alexei for Wiggington. D1 wasn't entirely sharp with his changeup, especially to those 3. He started dealing with that more as the game went on. John never really threw his good changeup today, but he worked around it, mainly using the fastball. He kept them off balance enough using the fastball, inside and out, and used the changeup only as a change of pace. The big thing for D1 was that he didn't walk anyone, that kept them slowed downn.

D1 threw 120 pitches in 7 innings, and only gave up that first run. The Sox bats though, couldn't make a dent in Brad Bergesen.
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