Tagged: Opening Day

Opening day embarrassment

Well that certainly did not go as planned.

My own personal holiday every year is Opening Day.  It is a day where I schedule a day off work, grab some beer, order a pizza and plan to watch baseball all day.  Yesterday certainly did not go as planned.

The day started off similar enough with some coffee, breakfast and blogging while watching the MLB.com feed.  Then I had a pizza delivered by noon and cracked open a beer.

Opening Day1

I began watching the first few games in my new apartment.  One game on my laptop and one on the t.v.  Then I got a call from my roommate that he would be coming home soon and his parents were bringing their truck so we could go and grab my bed, dresser, desk and some other big things to move in that could not fit in my car.

That interrupted the flow of my day.  Just as the White Sox game began at about 4pm, and I had 4 games going on the laptop in quad screen and one on the t.v., they arrived.  I’m not upset, it’s just not what I had planned.  I actually didn’t get to watch it till about 7pm.  Thank God for the DVR function on my MLB.TV subscription.

As I watched the game and the White Sox fell behind early I had a feeling it was not going to end well.  And it did not. The Sox were killed 10-1 by the reigning AL Central Champion Royals.  Jeff Samardzjia’s White Sox debut was a rough one as he surrendered five runs on six hits, walked three batters and hit two more with just one strikeout.  One or maybe both of the batters he plunked may have been intentional too, which will add to the rivalry as the season goes on.

After Avisail Garcia was hit by a pitch in the 2nd inning, in the bottom of that frame, Samardzjia hit Alex Gordon in the thigh.  Then after a Mike Moustakas solo homer in the 5th, the next pitch Samardzjia threw hit Lorenzo Cain.  Cain certainly did not like it and looked like he was going to charge the mound.  It will be interesting to see if there is any retaliation in the next game from Kansas City.

That was about the apex of excitement in this game other than a Jose Abreu homer in the top of the 7th that cut the score to 4-1 before the Royals broke the game open against the White Sox bullpen in the 7th.  Dan Jennings and Kyle Drabek each struggled as Jennings walked two batters and surrendered a weak Alex Gordon single that should have been covered by the Sox defense that eventually allowed two runs on the play.  Drabek’s first batter he faced, Alex Rios, hit a 3-run blast to make the score 9-1.  The Royals scored another run in the 9th.

It was not what I envisioned for my team.  Not what I had planned for my day.  But alas, a new season of baseball is upon us and that is a good thing.

Opening Night

Spring Training baseball is now over and the regular season is ready to kick off tonight with a game between NL Central rivals the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.

cards-vs-cubs

Tomorrow is Opening Day for all the other 28 teams in MLB which includes the beginning of the season for my beloved Chicago White Sox who will open the season ay 4:10pm ET in Kansas City against the Royals.  Jeff Samardzija will be the Opening Day starter with Chris Sale beginning the season on the DL.  Not much has happened over the last few months as far as roster activity other than some players being sent back to the minors.  The lineup is set as follows:

Opening Day lineup

Samardzija’s opposition on the mound will be Yordano Ventura who will now carry a lot of the load with former ace James Shields now in San Diego.  The current AL Champions will have a much tougher time getting back to the World Series, let alone out of their own division with their opponents making a lot of off-season moves one of those teams being the White Sox.

Chicago’s 25-man roster is as follows right now:

SP: Chris Sale (Set to return April 12th), Jeff Samardzjia, Jose Quintana, John Danks, and Hector Noesi

RP Zack Duke (LHP), Dan Jennings (LHP), Eric Surkamp (LHP) Zach Putnam (RHP), Jake Petricka (RHP beginning season on DL), Javy Guerra (RHP) Kyle Drabek (RHP) Matt Albers (RHP) and David Robertson (Closer).

Catchers:  Tyler Flowers and Geovany Soto

1B/DH:  Jose Abreu (1B) and Adam LaRoche (DH)

IF: Micah Johnson (2B), Emilio Bonifacio (2B/3B/SS), Carlos Sanchez (2B/SS), Gordon Beckham(3B/SS), Alexei Ramirez (SS) and Conor Gillaspie (3B)

OF:  Adam Eaton (CF), Melky Cabrera (LF), Avisail Garcia (RF) and J.B. Shuck (OF)

That’s 28 players with Sale and Petricka beginning the season on the DL.  That means that as of right now the Sox have 26 players and need to get down to 25 today.  Most likely it wll be Drabek and Surkamp going for the last spot.  The Sox only have 4 starters, although Drabek could be penciled in for a start if needed and that is why I think he may make the team over Surkamp.  Outside of that, I do like the lineup and depth the Sox have this season.  It’s going to be a great year.

Let’s go White Sox!!!

White Sox win on Opening Day!

Opening Day is one of the best days of the year. I honestly wish it was a national holiday. However, it is not, so for now I will use ETO (Earned time off) or Vacation time and take the day off. Which is what I have done over the last 7-plus years.

Yesterday was great. I began the day having coffee and breakfast, writing a few blog posts, and reading a ton of baseball articles in anticipation of the day. I knew ahead that I was not going to be leaving my apartment all day, so I already had a few beers in the fridge and I ordered a pizza for lunch. When the games began around 1pm, I began with watching the Tigers vs Royals game. I watched a bit of a few other games too. But as Alex Gonzalez hit his walk-off single for the Tigers to give them a 4-3 victory, the White Sox game was set to begin.

It was so great to have Hawk and Stoney back on my laptop as I was watching the game through my MLB.TV subscription. The game was great. The Chicago White Sox earned their eighth straight Opening Day victory by defeating the Minnesota Twins by a final of 5-3 at U.S. Cellular Field yesterday.

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(Charles Rex Arbogast/Star Tribune)

Chris Sale was fantastic. Over 7 1/3 innings Sale allowed three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out eight batters. His lone bad inning was in the 3rd where he allowed a lead-off walk, followed by a single by Aaron Hicks, and a sacrifice bunt by Pedro Florimon. After Brian Dozier was called out on strikes, Kurt Suzuki delivered a 2-run single. After that though Sale retired 13 out of the next 14 batters. At one point he retired 10 straight Twins.

Meanwhile, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia (in his first full season with the Sox), and Jose Abreu shined on this day. It was awesome to see the new guys bring excitement to the team. Eaton hit in the lead-off spot and had two hits and scored a run. He clearly makes a difference at the top of the lineup with his speed, energy and contact. Avisail Garcia added two hits and Jose Abreu added two hits and his first RBI in the majors. Can you say rookie of the year for Abreu? I’m calling it now.

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(Charles Rex Arbogast/Star Tribune)

On top of all that, Alejandro De Aza hit two homers on this day, driving in three runs. It was the first time a Sox player had 2 homers on an Opening Day since Jim Thome did so in Cleveland in 2008. And it was the first time a Sox player had a multi-homer game at home on Opening Day since Mini Minoso in 1960.

Alexei Ramirez added two hits and Conor Gillaspie added a hit too and scored a run on a great call by third base coach Joe McEwing on a sacrifice-fly by Adam Dunn. The ball was taken into foul territory by the wind and caught by shortstop Pedro Florimon. But with his back to the plate, McEwing had Gillaspie tag up and score on a great slide.

The Sox led 2-0 early on De Aza’s first homer as he was in the 7th spot in the order. His 17 homers last season in the lead-off role was a good number for a batter at the top of the order. If he does that in the 7th spot, those homers will be much more valuable with more RBI opportunities. His second homer came in the 6th inning on a solo blast.

033114a7 Sox Baseball
(Charles Rex Arbogast/Star Tribune)

After the Twins tied the game at 2-2 the Sox came back in the bottom of the 3rd and took the lead once again. After a lead-off single by Adam Eaton (his second hit of the game, as he led off the game with a single in his first at-bat) and a 1-out double by Conor Gillaspie Jose Abreu came to the plate. In his first at bat in the 2nd inning he hit a rocket line drive that flew over the head of Oswaldo Arcia. In this at-bat, on a pitch in on his hands, he singled on a line drive to left getting his hands and going opposite field. What a fantastic at-bat. Two of them in fact. I know it is just one game, but the talent is clearly there. After Abreu’s RBI single, Conor Gillaspie scored on Adam Dunn’s sacrifice-fly.

With the 5-2 lead after Sale left the game with a runner on 2nd base, Ronald Belisario came in the game. After striking out Brian Dozier, he did allow a RBI single to Kurt Suzuki. The run was charged to Sale. Donnie Veal entered the game and got Joe Mauer to ground out for the final out of the 8th inning.

The other big news in this game was that Matt Lindstrom was the guy given the first shot at the closer role. He did allow a 1-out double, but recorded the final three outs for his first save of the season. Lastly, the Sox had NO ERRORS in this game!

All in all it was a fantastic Opening Day! I ended it with watching the series finale of HIMYM…sad to see the show end. But now it is on to baseball.

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(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Sox have a day off today and are back at it against Minnesota on Wednesday at 2:10pm ET. Felipe Paulino (0-0; 0.00 ERA) will take on Kevin Correia (0-0; 0.00 ERA). Paulino who last pitched in a regular season game on May 5th, 2012 is coming off a major surgery. The Sox are hoping that he can come back in good form and be a solid starter for them. Let’s keep it going boys!

LET’S GO WHITE SOX!!!