White Sox vs. Indians Opener: Marked-Up

Thomas BarbeeSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2008

Wow, was that an ugly opener or what?

In a game of two aces facing off against each other, the best pitcher of the game was... Nick Masset.

In a game where the White Sox gave up 10 runs, the focus for many will be the rather, shall we say, intriguing calls made by the umpires.

The fact is that, despite the horrid game (no matter what team you were rooting for), there was a lot to be excited about.  Most importantly, the Sox had more fight in them this year than they had for most of last year-- and coming back from a 7-2 deficit is no small feat. Also, to see Logan and Masset perform as well as they did was very encouraging, not to mention watching Thome jack two two-run homers to anchor the offense.

On the flip side-- and this may be investigated more later if Ozzie doesn't change his mind-- Alexei Ramirez looked pretty rough, both at the plate and in CF. He was fortunate to recover from his bad reads in the field, but it's pretty obvious that despite initial reports he isn't all that comfortable out there. Uribe once again went back to being the homeless man's Vladimir Guerrero, swinging at everything like an overly ambitious little leaguer, and Crede continued his struggles as well. Lastly, the Sox failed to score (blown calls aside) in a number of situations with runners in scoring position.

This isn't even including Mark Buehrle's awful start. Looking like Jose Contreras in the 2007 opener, Buehrle barely made it out of the first inning, giving up 7 earned runs and two homers. Dotel wasn't much better, leaving a fastball down the heart of the plate for Casey Blake, who in turn laced it off the wall for a 3-run double. A late bid by the White Sox in the 9th against Borowski fell short, making the final score 10-8 Indians.

Obviously, the first game of the season isn't going to dictate how the rest of the 161 games will go, but White Sox fans should feel good about the team attitude this year. One has to assume that Buehrle will bounce back, and hopefully whatever's wrong with Dotel will get cleared up soon, otherwise Wasserman might be taking his spot. Furthermore, look for Brian Anderson to get some more playing time, hopefully getting a start in one of the other two Indians games.

The two clubs will face each other again Wednesday, with Javy Vazquez facing off against Fausto Carmona.