White Sox Good, Bad, & Indifferent: White Sox 11, Tigers 0

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White Sox Good, Bad, & Indifferent: White Sox 11, Tigers 0

Box Score

 

Good 

The offense—Once again, the White Sox lineup was patient, taking pitches and wearing down Kenny Rogers until it became easy to jump on him.

The approach this lineup has may be the best this franchise has seen this decade. They aren't swinging for the fences until they really wear down the opposing pitcher. When it becomes evident that the pitcher is laboring, that's when this lineup pounces. 

Paul Konerko did just that in the third inning. Rogers had been struggling with his control all game, and with one out in the inning, he walked Nick Swisher, gave up a single to Orlando Cabrera, threw a wild pitch, and then walked Jim Thome to load the bases.

That set the stage for Konerko, who nailed an 0-1 changeup from Rogers for a grand slam to make the score 5-0.

The Sox finally chased Rogers in the fifth after a freak missed popup allowed Thome to reach first. Because baseball is a funny game, it just figures that it was Doug Eddings who got in the way of Miguel Cabrera, causing him to fall down and allow the popup from Thome to fall in fair territory.

Zach Miner came in, struck out Konerko, and allowed a RBI double to Jermaine Dye.

He then intentionally walked A.J. Pierzynski, threw a wild pitch that allowed Thome to score, and walked Carlos Quentin.

Miner then gave up the second grand slam of the game when Joe Crede crushed a 2-1 pitch for his sixth career grand slam. 

Again, the approach this lineup is taking right now is absolutely perfect. Unless they get a cookie (like the pitch to Crede), they aren't swinging for the fences. They're staying within their swings and making good, smart contact and taking a lot of pitches.

American League pitchers need take note: this lineup will not go down as easily as they did in 2007.

 

Javier Vazquez—With Monday's and today's performances, Vazquez is showing that his poor start April 2 was an aberration.

Vazquez absolutely dominated the Tigers today, throwing seven innings, allowing five hits, no walks, and striking out nine.

He was throwing strikes and getting ahead in the count all day, throwing all his pitches perfectly. His fastball had a lot of good movement on it, his curveball was snapping beautifully, and his changeup looked unhittable.

This was the Vazquez that has the potential to win 20 games this year. He only threw 92 pitches and in warmer conditions and a closer game might have gone the distance, but that was unnecessary in 40-degree weather with an 11-run lead.

 

Matt Thornton—The early-season emergence of Boone Logan has made Thornton almost an afterthought in late-inning situations, but he's pitched well in these "mop-up" situations and should give Ozzie Guillen some confidence to use him in late-inning situations.

Thornton only needed six pitches to set the Tigers down in order in the eighth, striking out one.

 

The way the Sox rebounded in the last two games—After a dismal performance in the first game of this series, the White Sox came back to outscore Detroit 18-0 in the final two games of the series. 

To use a hackneyed term, this team has a lot of "fight" in them. It's hard for me to see them going on an extended losing streak anytime soon, so hey, maybe they are for real.

 

Bad

The weather—It's not just in Chicago, but all over the Midwest. It's cold here. Baseball isn't meant to be played in sub-40 degree temperatures, but in Chicago and Kansas City, it has been all weekend. 

The cold and wind were so unbearable in Kansas City yesterday that I didn't even stay for the entire Twins-Royals game. It's not good when you can't feel your toes.

In Chicago, it was cold all weekend and Saturday's game was played in a constant drizzle. 

Basically, this is weather that would make a lot of football players cringe. Hopefully, we've seen the last of it, but knowing the Midwest, that's unlikely.

 

Indifferent

Nothing here. Today was another great win for the White Sox, who now push their AL Central-leading record to 7-4.

Next up: John Danks vs. Greg Smith (Oakland), April 14 @ 7:11

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