Thanks for reading last weeks blog. It was exciting to watch opening night and I’ve followed up with the last weeks games starting from Tuesday 7th April. It was cool that I was able to get 4 games in over the opening couple of nights. Due to life and work, I’ve not been able to get in as many games this week but what I have watched is below.
Game 5 – LA Angels @ Seattle Mariners – As Live – BT Sport
Starters – James Paxton & CJ Wilson
Crew – Root Sports – Mike Blowers, Jay Buhner, Dave Sims & Angie Mentik in the studio
The Opening innings were scoreless with James Paxton looking sharp showing off a beautiful curveball. CJ Wilson also looked very steady and I could tell early on that I was going to be treated to a pitchers duel.
Its interesting how Root Sports use Angie Mentik in the studio. She is the Twitter queen and she has the Mariner fans tweeting on poll questions and where they are watching the game. They really seem to focus on getting the max out of Twitter and the Mariners fans really respond to her.
The first sign of Paxton cracking was when he left one in the zone for Fat Albert to hit a double, the Mariners Commentary were chirping in the background hoping to see Pujols thrown out at second, however their hopes were dashed when David Freese brought home Fat Albert with a 2 run bomb to Right Field. (For those not quite up on nicknames, Fat Albert is Albert Pujos)
Wilson continued to make the Mariners hitters swing and miss. He used a variety of different speed pitches with a fastball, changeup. slider and a sinker as part of his arsenal. The Mariners do boast an impressive line up with Cruz and Cano leading them and it was quite an achievement for Wilson to carve through that line up. I suspect not many teams will do that this season.
Paxton went 6 innings giving up 2 runs and looked very good against the Angels. The Mariners seem to have a smashing young pitcher.
Meanwhile Wilson continued to dominate as he takes a 2 hit shut-out through 7 innings. Normally when you see hitters struggle against a pitcher, you might see some bunt hits to try and disrupt the rhythm of the pitcher but the Mariners aren’t that style of team.
With Paxton gone, Trout hits a 2 out double in the top of the 8th but the Angels can’t capitalise. Last season, the Mariners bullpen was really dominant and I’ve noted this hit as there wasn’t a lot of hits throughout the game.
CJ Wilson went 8 innings with 0 runs and 2 hits given up. The Angels brought in their closer, Huston Street in the bottom of the ninth to shut out the Mariners and get a good win against a very strong Mariners team.
Final Score – Angels 2 Mariners 0
Game Time 1 hour 45 mins (after forwarding)
Spiggle’s Stats – Full Games Watched 5, As Live Games 3, Total hours watched 13h 45 mins.
Crew Rating – A nice crew, some nice chat going on and there was some excitement shown by them even though their team couldn’t hit. The Twitter Tuesday theme was a nice idea and brought some fan interaction to the game. 8/10
White Sox @ Kansas City Royals – As Live – MLBTV via Chromecast – Game 2
Starters – Jose Quintana v Danny Duffy
Crew – Hawk and DJ
Ok, The live musings I had on this game were deleted. I watched this game on Thursday 9th April in 2 halves. 1 half before and 1 half after the live Sox game at 7pm
From my recollection and the game recap. The White Sox and Q started by hitting Cain in the top of the 1st. Morales responded by doubling home the runner and putting the Royals up 1-0. After watching Q hit the Cain, I had a feeling that this game would be edgy and it was.
Duffy responded in the second by throwing behind La Roche as a warning shot. La Roche stared down Duffy after that and then promptly hit a double. I remember thinking that La Roche was going to rush the mound, he didn’t and after Duffy walked Beckham, Tyler Flowers hit a 3-run homer to give the White Sox the lead. Both teams did get a warning after Duffy threw behind La Roche.
Q did hit Moustakis in the 3rd inning but it was accidental and with breaking stuff, the umpires recognised this and never tossed him. Eric Hosmer did punish him and hit a 3 run homer that inning to put the Royals up 4-3.
The White Sox reponded with an Avi Garcia double and a Gordon Beckham single brought him home to tie the game. I remember thinking to myself where was this Gordon Beckham last year.
Perez singled in the 5th and brought home Hosmer to give the Royals the lead.
The White Sox responded in the 6th to tie the game with Alexei Ramirez bringing home Abreu with a sac fly after he doubled to start the inning. The game was all tied at 5 and you could still feel the tension in the air. Both bullpens were then called upon.
Q went 5 innings, gave up 5 runs which Duffy matched. That would be Q’s 40th no decision since 2012 which leads the majors.
Both bullpens took over and looked dominant with Guerra and Duke looking solid for the Sox and Frasor, Herrera and Davis looking lights out for the Royals.
In the eighth Zac Putnam came in and gave up a 2 run homer to that man Lorenzo Cain who gave the Royals a 7-5 lead.
Greg Holland came in at the top of the ninth to close things out for the Royals
Final Score – Royals 7 White Sox 5
Spiggle’s Stats – Full Games Watched 6, As Live Games 4, Total hours watched 16h 45 mins.
White Sox @ Royals – Live via MLBTV and Chromecast – Game 3 of the series.
Starters – Johnny Danks and Edinson Volquez.
Crew – Royals Crew
This is the second of the games that I lost my live notes to a save issue. I decided to watch the Royals crew to get an idea of how they viewed the Sox, I don’t remember their names. I’ll do a proper Royals crew watch later in the season.
Tensions were high coming into this game and I thought they were going to boil over in this game. A lot has been made of the White Sox showing some attitude and plunking the Royals for their arrogant behaviour, what was hidden was the Royals response by firstly throwing behind La Roche in Game 2 and by hitting La Roche in this game.
The Royals got on the board first in the bottom of the first after Escobar doubled, Moustakis bunted him over (yes he sac bunted in the first inning) and that pesky player Lorenzo Cain grounded out to bring the runner home.
This was an excellent pitching duel until the 6th inning with Danks controlling his excellent Change Up and combining it with his Fastball and Slider. Volquez had the hitters befuddled with his fastball / slider combo.
Danks looked to be tiring in the sixth and started to leave some breaking balls up in the zone which the Royals took advantage of and Cain doubled, followed by Morales to bring him home and Perez hit a 2 run shot to give the Royals a 4 run lead. Danks was soon taken out and he went 5.2 innings giving up 4 runs. Matt Albers came in to close out the inning.
In the seventh, Volquez had only given up a bunt hit to Micah up to that point and as mentioned previously, Volquez plunked La Roche and for the second night in a row, La Roche stared down the pitcher as he made his way to 1st base and for the second time in two days, the umpires warned both teams. La Roche was moved over to 2nd base and an Alexei Ramirez single brought the runner home. Volquez was able to close the rest of the inning out and ended up going 8 innings, giving up 1 run over 4 hits.
Holland came in and closed out the game.
I actually enjoyed listening to the Royals crew. I found them lively and they made a good team with a combination of humour and stories. 7
I’m going to add a link to the best catch I’ve seen so far this season from Adam Eaton in this game.
Royals 4 White Sox 1
Spiggle’s Stats – Full Games Watched 7, Live Games 3, Total hours watched 19h 45 mins.
Twins @ White Sox – Friday Live on MLBTV via Chromecast – White Sox home opener
Starters Hector Noesi & Tommy Milone
Crew – Hawk and Steve Stone with Jen Lada in the studio.
After being swept by the Royals, my mood is pretty down heading into the home opener, 0-3 is not the best start to the season. I also found that my laptop never saved my write up of Game 6 & 7, so I’ll have to cobble something together on those which you’ll find at the end of the blog.
An interesting thing to note in this game. Alexei Ramirez is wearing 9 – Minoso on his back to honour the death of White Sox Legend Minnie Minoso who tragically passed away in the winter. Minoso was the pioneer for Cuban players and paved the way for Cuban players to play baseball in the states.
Noesi starts by plunking Escobar, the second batter up. This looks to be control issues early doors rather than anything intentional (unlike the Royals series). The 4th batter we’ve plunked this year. A wild pitch puts Escobar to second and Joe Mauer drives in the run with a single. 1-0 down to the Twins. Not the best of starts.
Noesi then walks Kurt Suzuki at the top of the second. He then balks which moves the runner to second base. A duck snort single from Dozier advances the runner to third with one out.
Noesi walks the bases loaded with 2 outs. His pitch count after 1.2 innings is 56. I see a good run out for our pen if Hector continues to have a high pitch count. Noesi gets Hunter swinging to leave the bases loaded and with 60 pitches made, he gets out of inning number two 1-0 behind.
Micah leads off the 3rd with a bunt hit, showing off his plus speed but the Sox fail to capitalise on this.
Noesi struggles in the 5th and with the bases loaded, a wild pitch brings home a run, he then walks a hitter. That proved to be the final batter for Noesi as Robin brings in Matt Albers in relief and he retires Suzuki to leave the bases loaded. The damage could have been a lot worse but Albers came in and kept it down to a two run deficit.
Noesi 4.2 innings 2 runs allowed. Not the best of starts for Hector who was strong last season.
Albers gives up a dinger to Dozier in the Sixth inning to extend the Twins lead to 3-0 It’s really not been a fun time for the Sox pitchers in the opening few games.
Milone went 7.2 inning with no runs allowed. Our hitters are making him look like Clayton Kershaw. It’s a different Twins that showed up today than the Twins that turned up against the Tigers.
The Twins scored another couple in the ninth and we lose it 6-0 and go 0-4 to start the season.
This game reminds me of the Sox biggest weakness over the last few years, we tend to get wasted by soft tossing left handers. Noesi struggled to keep his pitch count down and the hitters failed to give him any run support and by the time Milone was taken out of the game, the game had gotten away from the Sox. Its the Shark and the Sale next, so hopefully we can stop the rot over the weekend.
Final Score Twins 6 White Sox 0
Spiggle Stats:- Full Games Watched 8, Live games watched 4. Total hours. 22 hours and 45 mins
Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox – MLBTV via Chromecast – LIVE on Sunday.
Crew – Hawk and Stone
Starters:- Chris Sale and Phil Hughes
Ok, pre-game thoughts. Its Sale Time. Chris Sale is off the DL with his 1st start of the season. No matter how bleak this week has been, I get to see Sale.
Sale went up to 97mph with his fastball and struck out Hunter to end the 1st inning after a Joe Mauer hit. His fastball showing some real life to it
Melky hits a single, then Abreu moves him over to third with a single to right. La Roche then brings the runner home with a single and Abreu gets cut down trying to get to 3rd base. 1-0 Sox.
Avi Garcia follows things up with a single moving La Roche over to 3rd. Alexei Ramirez brings home La Roche with an RBI single and moves Garcia to third and its 2-0 Sox.
Plouffe strikes out to start the 2nd on a changeup by Sale and retires the next two batters giving up no runs. Sale looks sensational out there.
Nunez dropped a fly ball off Micah and Micah takes advantage by running all the way to third with 1 out in the bottom of the third. Micah gets thrown out at the plate after Eaton hits a ground ball. An infield fly is then dropped by Escobar off the bat of Cabrera but Abreu is unable to bring the runner home. Hughes has thrown 50 pitches through 2 innings.
Sale gives up a double to Nunez and Santana drives him home with a double. 2-1 Sox.
Sale responds by striking out Dozier with some high heat and strikes out Mauer to end the inning. Sale is looking sharp through 3.
La Roche homer at the bottom of the 3rd to give the Sox a 3-1 lead.
Sale strikes out Plouffe in the 4th as part of a 1-2-3 inning. Sale has his fastball topping out at 98 mph with a change up at 86mph and a wicked slider to support this. He’s not pitched much of his curveball so far.
Sale strikes out Nunez in the 5th for his 6th strikeout and goes 80 pitches through the 5th. He’s supposed to be on a 90 pitch limit.
Cabrera and Abreu lead off the top of the 6th with singles. Alexei just missed a home run by a baw hair as he powered a monster just shy of the foul pole. Our offense is finally starting to wake up and with Sale pitching, we could beat anyone. If Sale can get through the 6th, we can then hand it over to our pen to close it out.
Sale strikes out Plouffe again with a 95 mph heater and Escobar to end the 6th with 8 strikeouts.
Sale will exit the game with 6 innings, 8 k’s, 5 hits and looking sharp.
Duke gives up a run after an error by Abreu in the 8th, Ramirez recovers that run with an RBI after a single and stolen base by Garcia.
Beckham comes up and delivers a 2 run homer to make it 6-2. Who is this Beckham, we’ve not seen him for a few years.
D-Rob comes into the 9th and retires the last three to give the Sox the victory.
White Sox 6 Twins 2
Spiggle Stats:- Full Games Watched 9, Live games watched 5. Total hours. 25 hours and 45 mins
Game 10 – Twins @ White Sox – Saturday Night Game – As Live – WGN Sports
Crew – Hawk and Stone
Starting Pitchers Jeff Samardzijia v Mike Pelfrey
Ok, the Shark didn’t have the best of starts on opening day, he had control issues and we’re sitting 0-4 coming into this one. If this continues, it could be a long season. I’m watching this out of order as I watched Sale live on Sunday Night. The interesting fact is that Geovanni Soto is catching for the Shark, he caught for him when Jeff pitched in the North-Side.
The Shark opens up by giving up a bloop single to left field to Danny Santana. Santana then steals base to get on second. Neither Dozier, nor Mauer are able to bring him home. The Shark seems to be locating his off-speed stuff which meant that he was able to strike out Vargas with some high heat after a couple of low sliders.
In the second Inning, the Shark is hitting 96mph with his heater and leads off by giving up a double to Plouffe. Arcia moves the runner over on a ground ball out to Johnson and Chris Hermann brings the runner home with an RBI single.
Shane Robinson brings the runner home with a single to Right Field. 2-0 Twins. Robinson then steals 2nd and get to 3rd on a throwing error on the steal. Santana brings home Robinson with a single. 3-0 Twins. Dozier singles to bring home the speedy Santana and its 4-0 Twins and a visit to the mound from White Sox Pitching Coach, Don Cooper which seems to do the trick as the Shark strikes out Mauer.
La Roche leads off the 2nd with a dinger to left Field. 4-1 Twins. Its his 1st homer as a Sox player.
Avi Garcia follows it up with a ground rule double to right field. Ramirez moves him to 3rd with a ground ball out. Gillaspie brings the runner home with a single through the gap at short stop. 4-2 Twins. Soto then singles to right field and Neil Allan, the Twins pitching coach comes out for wee stroll.
Pelfrey comes inside and plunks Abreu after a lead off jack by Cabrera in the bottom of the third. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some retribution later. He loads them up after walking La Roche. Allen comes out again to talk to Pelfrey. Cabrera squibs one to short stop off the pitcher for an infield hit and score Cabrera. 4-3. The Sox are unable to bring anyone else home.
Soto homers for his 1st jack as a Sox player in the 4th to tie the game.
Pelfrey exits after 5 innings as he goes 5 innings, 4 earned runs and hands it over to the Twins pen.
The Shark exits after 7 innings. He goes 7 innings 4 runs (all in the 2nd innings). He never gave up a walk in those innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Ramirez gets on with an infield single. Gillaspie then singles to right to move Ramirez over to 3rd. JB Schuck comes to pinch hit for Soto and singles home Ramirez, Gillaspie is thrown out at the plate trying to score another run. 5-4 Sox and its D-Rob time.
Robertson strikes out the side to record his 1st save for the Sox.
Twins 4 White Sox 5
Spiggle Stats:- Full Games Watched 10, As Live games watched 5. Total hours. 28 hours and 45 mins
I’m feeling quite pleased that Sale is back and I’ve been able to watch 10 full games so far. I have the 2 game series against Cleveland and the 3 game series against Detroit and what other games I can fit it.
I’ll see you all next week where hopefully there won’t be as many hit batsmen.