It was a good weekend for the South Siders, no two ways about it. The late inning heroics definitely made for fun viewing. Andruw Jones is the player of the month, with Konerko pulling a close second. What is a concern is if this was meant to be a “new look” Sox team the design and execution are miles apart. Currently the Sox are second in the major leagues in home runs, last in batting average and on base percentage. The good news is that when the Sox actually get on base they are stealing bases at a pretty good clip, leading the league with 21 steals and only 7 caught. I’m interested after tonight’s loss in Texas how many wins the Sox have without a homerun. My guess is zero, but I’ll check that after the current series. Ultimately I agree with Ozzie’s comments after the series finale. A sweep is great, but the bats need to come alive among the majority of players, players they are counting on or they are not going to be much of a factor come June. Beckham, Pierzyski, Quentin, and Pierre are all in the low .200’s or lower and they really haven’t produced in other ways; they really haven’t been getting on base, there is almost no power there and in fundamental situations they are not executing. I’m not asking for a hit at every at bat, but none of these guys has been able to advance a runner, lay down a decent bunt, or hit a sacrifice fly. For a team that is struggling to put up runs, scratching out runs needs to happen.
Overall, the pitching was solid over the weekend, especially John Danks and Freddie Garcia. John Danks has had a great April and if Jones is the best position player, Danks has been the stopper of the pitching staff. I think this is what we’re going to see from Freddie all year; one good start, one bad start, etc. etc. However, if only half of his starts are strong, that is a bonus. Freddie just isn’t the pitcher he once was and getting some mileage out of him is more than many teams can count on from their fifth starter. Gavin Floyd hasn’t been looking too sharp, but after April last year he was on a stretch that was simply lights out. Hopefully it is a matter of being a slow starter.
I did have the pleasure of taking in Sunday’s game and it was a great experience. In my first three games this year I’ve attended in three distinct, but equally enjoyable ways. I took my son to opening day; I went to the Rays game with my friend AJD and on Sunday I got to fly solo. All of these different ways of attending games has their charms. With my son it is definitely a labor of love. My son has questions, and questions, and questions, all of which come before the cotton candy. The boy loves watching, eating and playing at the Fundamentals Deck. Watching him is as entertaining as the game. His curiosity, his energy and his enthusiasm are just wonderful. Hanging with AJD is guys night out, married dad’s night out. I’m not sure if we enjoy talking about the food or the game more. Either way, my voice is hoarse by the end of the evening, I’ve eaten too much and I wouldn’t trade it. Finally, going alone is an oasis in an otherwise busy week. I keep score, I wander around the park and watch the game. When I’m alone it’s always fun to be around when something big happens, like Konerko’s go ahead home run. When a game changing play happens, everyone is your friend, high-fives all around, cheers and comments to everyone and anyone who feels like talking.
Now it’s off to Texas and New York, two places that haven’t been hospitable in years past. An overall split on this trip would be great, but if they only mange two wins I can’t say I’ll be surprised.