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The Chicago White Sox
2007-05-15 15:19
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The White Sox are two games better than the Yankees according to the teams' actual records (Yanks 17-19, Chisox 18-16), but if you look at their runs scored and allowed, the Yankees are three games better than the White Sox (Yanks 20-16, Chisox 16-18).

The Yankees are 8-5 in the month of May and have only allowed their opponents to score more than three runs in two of those 13 contests. They of course lost both of those games (15-11 to the Mariners in Kei Igawa's last wild ride, and 14-2 to the Rangers when things got away from Chien-Ming Wang and the bullpen this past Thursday), but despite the perceived struggles of their offense, they've only lost three of those 13 games because of a lack of runs. The Yankees have scored 5.15 runs per game in May, which is down from their overall average of 5.56, but would still place them fourth in the American League. Meanwhile, they've only allowed 3.85 runs per game on the month, which would also be the fourth best in the league. It also just happens to be the exact number of runs the White Sox have scored per game over the entire season, barely outpacing the Royals' league-worst offense. The White Sox have been even worse than that in May, scoring just 3.27 runs per game.

Anyone looking for an explanation for that futility need not look much further than the line-up posted below. Darin Erstad leading off? Pablo Ozuna as the designated hitter? Who the heck is Ryan Sweeney anyway? (Answer: he's a 22-year-old rookie outfielder who was hitting .256/.341/.397 for triple-A Charlotte before Jim Thome's back injury necessitated his promotion at the end of April). Even the familiar names in that lineup aren't hitting. Juan Uribe has been the White Sox's most productive hitter thus far and he's hitting a merely league average .255/.321/.447. Jermaine Dye? Nada. Paul Konerko? Zippo. Crede, Iguchi, Pierzynski? Bubkis, Didly and Squat. Over the past week, the team as a whole has hit .208/.269/.302. That they've managed to go 6-5 on the month thus far is a testament to their pitching and nothing else. Heck, Mark Buehrle had to go to the extreme of throwing a no-hitter to get his first win, but he did it.

As a unit, the White Sox's rotation has been outstanding (3.78 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 6.24 IP/GS), though other than Buehrle's no-no, no individual performances really stand out, while the offense has held that bunch to a 10-12 record. The bullpen has been less consistent, though closer Bobby Jenks continues to silence all of his doubters and new addition David Aardsma, who took Hank Aaron's spot at the top of the record books before Barry Bonds got a chance to, has been flat-out dominant as a set-up man.

Tonight the Yankees face John Danks, who is the newest and, thus far, weakest link in the Sox's rotation. Danks was just part of the package the White Sox received from Texas for Brandon McCarthy and has thus far outpitched McCarthy, which he's expected to do for the remainder of his career. Danks, a hard-throwing 22-year-old lefty with a nasty curve, has made an unexpectedly quick adjustment to the majors. It's a testament to the White Sox rotation that I was able to call Danks the weakest link. The White Sox are just 2-4 in his starts, but they've also scored a grand total of five runs in those four loses, all of which have been pinned on Danks. His last start was his best (6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K @ Min), and while he hasn't really dominated as of yet, he hasn't been blown out either (his worst outing: 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 4 K @ Det).

Opposing Danks will be Mike Mussina, who has looked sharp since coming off the DL, allowing just seven hits and a walk in eleven innings. Moose threw just 64 pitches in his first start back and 85 in his last. Here's hoping the Yankees can stretch him out into the high-90s or beyond tonight against the struggling Pale Hose.

Chicago White Sox

2006 Record: 90-72 (.556)
2006 Pythagorean Record: 88-74 (.543)

Manager: Ozzie Guillen
General Manager: Kenny Williams

Home Ballpark (2006 Park Factors): U.S. Cellular Field (103/102)

Who's Replacing Whom?

Darin Erstad replaces Brian Anderson (minors)
Ryan Sweeney is replacing Jim Thome (DL)
Luis Terrero is replacing Scott Podsednik (DL)
Andy Gonzalez is replacing Alex Cintron (Bereavement List)
Gustavo Molina is replacing Chris Widger and Sandy Alomar Jr.
John Danks replaces Freddy Garcia
Andy Sisco replaces Neal Cotts
Nick Masset replaces Brandon McCarthy
David Aardsma replaces David Riske
Mike MacDougal takes over Cliff Politte's innings

25-man Roster:

1B – Paul Konerko (R)
2B – Tadahito Iguchi (R)
SS – Juan Uribe (R)
3B – Joe Crede (R)
C – A.J. Pierzynski (R)
RF – Jermaine Dye (R)
CF – Darin Erstad (L)
LF – Ryan Sweeney (L)
DH – Pablo Ozuna (R)

Bench:

L – Rob Mackowiak (UT)
R – Luis Terrero (OF)
R – Andy Gonzalez (IF)
R – Gustavo Molina (C)

Rotation:

R – John Garland
L – Mark Buehrle
R – Javier Vazquez
L – John Danks
R – Jose Contreras

Bullpen:

R – Bobby Jenks
R – Mike MacDougal
L – Matt Thornton
R – David Aardsma
L – Andy Scisco
R – Nick Masset
L – Boone Logan

15-day DL: L – Jim Thome (DH), L – Scott Podsednik (LF), R – Toby Hall (C)

Bereavement List: S – Alex Cintron (IF)

Typical Lineup:

L – Darin Erstad (CF)
R – Pablo Ozuna (DH)
R – Jermaine Dye (RF)
R – Paul Konerko (1B)
L – A.J. Pierzynski (C)
R – Joe Crede (3B)
R – Tadahito Iguchi (2B)
L – Ryan Sweeney (LF)
R – Juan Uribe (SS)

Comments
2007-05-15 16:20:05
1.   cult of basebaal
hmmm ... "weak link" Danks might be

but he's also left-handed, which means that to this collection of Bombers, he's evidently 12 foot tall and shoots lightning from his eyes and fireballs from his arse

2007-05-15 16:21:38
2.   bobtaco
Thanks for setting the stage Cliff.

Torre has juggled the lineup:

Damon DH
Jeter SS
Rodriguez 3B
Posada C
Matsui LF
Phelps 1B
Abreu RF
Cabrera CF
Cairo 2B

PeteAbe reports "The tarp is on the field but the rain has let up and it looks like there will be baseball."

Play ball.

2007-05-15 16:22:47
3.   cult of basebaal
evidently, JT has raised himself from his somnabulence to stir up the lineup ...

the cries of "free jorge posada!" have been heard ... and answered:

Damon DH
Jeter SS
Rodriguez 3B
Posada C
Matsui LF
Phelps 1B
Abreu RF
Cabrera CF
Cairo 2B

2007-05-15 16:23:43
4.   cult of basebaal
argh!

damn that bobtaco ... always one step ahead!

2007-05-15 16:27:55
5.   bobtaco
always one step ahead, but not always vocal ;-)
2007-05-15 16:48:01
6.   yankz
What the deuce, Henn down and Villone up? This obsession with handedness is annoying.
2007-05-15 16:48:57
7.   mschulm24
6 it is because henn had an option left. anyone else would have designated for assignment and available to any other team.
2007-05-15 16:55:57
8.   williamnyy23
The absence of Giambi really concerns me...a foot injury can really have long lasting effects and the Yankees simply can not afford to lose his bat.
2007-05-15 16:58:11
9.   yankeemonkey
7 Would it be such a bad thing if Vizcaino got DFA'ed and claimed by the Red Sox? Or just about any other team in the league?
2007-05-15 17:00:37
10.   mschulm24
9 he started the season off great and has been good in the past. you can't give up on the guy yet.
2007-05-15 17:02:31
11.   mehmattski
Oh good, Hawk Harrelson. Odds of me muting the tv and synching with Sterling/Waldman on mlb audio by the fifth inning: 2 to 1.
2007-05-15 17:06:16
12.   seamus
espn is televising Clemens' game tomorrow. How can ESPN claim about the Yankees giving Clemens special priviledges and then turn around and broadcast a rehab game in A ball? lame.
2007-05-15 17:13:51
13.   williamnyy23
12 Do you think Chris Berman and Dan Patrick make every roadtrip? :)
2007-05-15 17:29:06
14.   yankeemonkey
13 God, I hope not.
2007-05-15 17:30:21
15.   seamus
13 lol!
2007-05-15 18:00:32
16.   Zack
I have no freakign idea how our BP got any better with Villone coming up and Henn going down. Possibly it got worse. I understand not wanting other teams to sign Villone, I guess, but shouldn't we be trying to put the best BP out there, not try to fit everyone in? THis Bp is now the same as last years except Vizciano takes the place of Octavio Dotel, who Joe never used. Improvmenet?

Last year's BP wasn't all that good, and yet, with all those offseason moves, with all those young, servicable arms, our BP is still nowhere near Torre-proof

2007-05-15 18:17:37
17.   Zack
Wanna see an ugly pitching line? Check out the Cleveland-Minnesota game.
2007-05-15 18:18:50
18.   Zack
And Boston down 7-1 going into the bottomo of the 8th, great day to win Yanks!
2007-05-15 18:24:33
19.   3rd gen yankee fan
18 Yeah Yanks, take the hint!
2007-05-15 18:25:19
20.   yankeemonkey
18 7-2 now...don't jinx it!
2007-05-15 18:33:37
21.   debris
17 The term John Sterling would use is "Igawan."

What is the status of the Yankee game. Is there a starting time?

2007-05-15 18:38:09
22.   thelarmis
hey debris - according to pete abe, they're saying either 10:15 or 10:30 EST. if it doesn't fly, there'll be a dbl header tomorrow...
2007-05-15 18:49:30
23.   seamus
maybe the white sox are at home and they're just teasing the yanks..
2007-05-15 18:51:15
24.   seamus
another 9th inning pitcher error against the Sox? conspiracy?
2007-05-15 18:52:33
25.   seamus
game over. boston sucks again. for a day anyhow.
2007-05-15 18:54:54
26.   seamus
game PPD. damn, that is kind of a break i guess. not like i'm not busy with a job tomorrow though...
2007-05-15 18:57:48
27.   seamus
the comeback starts tommorrow with a DH sweep! go Yanks!
2007-05-15 19:09:31
28.   Shaun P
The only advantage I see to sending Henn down and calling Villone up is that Henn will get some rest. If Villone gets burned out by the ASB, the Yanks can DL him or cut him and Henn can come back.

I also understand that SWB's rotation is in rough shape; they only have 3 starters. Maybe Henn is going to go back to starting in the minors to fill a hole?

2007-05-15 19:12:40
29.   ric
25

verlandah was pretty nasty. he's almost as good as..... horacio ramirez!

2007-05-15 21:30:34
30.   Chyll Will
29 But ric, that would mean your team had less reason to lose so badly as ours did >;)
2007-05-15 21:33:11
31.   Chyll Will
Hi everybody... g'night everybody zzzzz...
2007-05-15 23:03:04
32.   3rd gen yankee fan
gnite Chyll... zzzzz...
2007-05-16 05:32:35
33.   Knuckles
29
Seriously, this is what you do? Your team loses, and instead of taking it like a normal human being, you troll around the web dropping worthwhile commentary such as this? You are awesome.
2007-05-16 06:00:46
34.   ric
33

i check this site nearly every day, its not exactly wandering aimlessly around the web.. besides, i thought trolls only show up after a sox win or a yanks loss? if you cant take my comments like a normal human being ignore it, okay mighty knuckles?

2007-05-16 06:49:58
35.   Raf
28 You'd think the Yanks would've learned their lesson regarding Villone last year...

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