A look at what was written in the Chicago Tribune today after the White Sox big Game 1 win over Boston yesterday:
— Phil Rogers looks at the Red Sox starting pitching woes as the reason why the White Sox can win this series. He cites how this is not the same staff that had Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe on board last season: “Between them, Martinez and Lowe were 27-23 with a 3.22 ERA over 66 starts for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers this year.
“Either of them could have been the ace the Red Sox are lacking with Schilling — the man Johnny Damon cites as ‘the reason Pedro and Derek Lowe aren’t here’ -— still somewhat limited by the ankle injury he was dealing with last October.”
— Mark Gonzales looks at the home run outburst of the White Sox and Jose Contreras holding down David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez: “‘I think he exorcised all the demons,’ White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said after Contreras became the first White Sox pitcher since Wilson Alvarez in 1993 to win a playoff game.”
Gonzales also has ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen saying the choke sign he made toward a Cleveland Indians mascot was just a joke: “The whole game, the one lady was a Cub fan all over me but in a good way. We were playing around. I signed balls. I said, ‘Look, I’m going to bring in a 70-year-old man to close the game (Orlando Hernandez) and you bring your fat man (Bob Wickman). You got one bigger than mine (Bobby Jenks).’
“Back and forth like that. All of a sudden I come down there, and the mascot goes like this (wiggling his fingers) and I went (gives the choke sign). Then they took the picture, and all of a sudden it was like after the game I was telling people they choked.”
— Mike Downey has a look at A.J. Pierzynski, who used to a teammate of David Ortiz: “Then there is a current Red Sox hitter of note, David Ortiz, who is pretty familiar to Pierzynski as well. They used to be teammates on the Twins. In fact, they used to have homer-hitting wagers against each other in batting practice.
“Gambling? In baseball?
“‘Nothing serious,’ Pierzynski said. ‘We’d bet a Pepsi.'”
— Rick Morrissey looks at the big Chicago win and Scott Podsednik sparking White Sox: “Boston pitcher Matt Clement hit Podsednik to start Tuesday’s game, and although that seems like a simple, declarative sentence, every White Sox fan knows it deserves an exclamation point. When he’s healthy, Podsednik on base is lighter fluid. He’s healthy.
“Tadahito Iguchi bunted Podsednik to second. In case there was any doubt his control was going to be an issue, Clement hit the third batter, Jermaine Dye. With Paul Konerko batting, you could feel the intake of breath among the crowd of 40,717 at the Cell, the sudden oooooohhhh, when Podsednik sprinted for third and beat Jason Varitek’s throw.”
— Fred Mitchell has another look at Podsednik and the fact that tonight’s ChiSox starter is the fastest worker in baseball: “On being the fastest-working starter in the majors (Mark Buehrle started 17 games that lasted less than 2 hours 30 minutes):
“‘I don’t know why I do it. I’ve never had anyone tell me that the quicker you work, the better off you’ll be. My teammates like it because it keeps them on their toes. As soon as I’m handed the ball, they know it could be in play a second later.'”
— David Haugh has a look at David Wells and some comments he made during his time in Chicago: “Wells’ most memorable outing of the ’01 season in Chicago was not on the mound but on his weekly radio show on WMVP-AM 1000. With Frank Thomas out with a mysteriously strained right arm early that season, Wells ripped the Big Hurt for lacking guts a day before Thomas’ father died in Georgia.
“‘You need to be somewhere else and learn to play this game with guts and glory,’ Wells said that day on the air. ‘Frank has put his foot in his mouth a lot of times and doesn’t know what he’s saying. Playing hurt will get you a lot more respect from your fellow players.’
“Within a week after the rant, doctors diagnosed Thomas with a legitimate injury — a torn biceps muscle — that made Wells’ comments seem inappropriate at best and immature at worst.
“It added Thomas to a long list of Wells’ targets such as Commissioner Bud Selig, former managers Joe Torre and Cito Gaston, and the assorted bar patrons with whom he has brawled during a combative career.”
— Melissa Isaacson has more from Joe Crede on the defensive play that stopped any momentum the Red Sox had in the fourth inning yesterday: “‘Every time that situation comes up, [we] always say, ‘Hey, if the ball is hit hard to me, I’m coming to you,’ because it’s such a big difference between a guy on second and less than two outs and a guy on third and less than two outs,’ Crede said. ‘Especially in a game of this magnitude, you want to try to get every advantage you can. It was a great, smart play by him.'”
On Mark Buehrle:
“This isn’t the best matchup for Buehrle. I know he pitches better at home, but he better have an effective changeup and his cut fastball to have any chance of beating these guys. The Red Sox will hit him pretty well unless he’s sharp and finishes his pitches. The Boston hitters have a way of fouling off pitches off a guy like Buehrle and raising his pitch count early in the game, at the very worst. It might be a good thing Buehrle is pitching at home because the Boston hitters know how to use that left-field wall against him.”
On David Wells:
“This works out pretty well for the Red Sox, having Wells pitch the second game. He’s a dangerous pitcher in a playoff game. Look at what he did down the stretch (winning his last three starts and six of his last seven decisions). He came up big against the Yankees on Friday. Wells is 42, but that’s a 60-year-old body. You have to get him to move around quite a bit, like getting him to field bunts. Somehow, he finds a way to make plays. And he still gets on top of his pitches enough to throw that big, slow curve and sneaky fastball.”