Is This Going to be a Long Year?
By Matt Adams
White Sox: 2
The Sox dropped the 2012 opener in Arlington coming up short against the Rangers. I knew I’d be complaining about it at some point, but I had no idea it would be in the first 5 minutes of the season. Caught stealing. Alejandro De Aza reached to start the game and was caught stealing during Adam Dunn’s at-bat. An at-bat that resulted in a walk. That would be 0-1 in caught stealing so far, continuing a trend witnessed in Arizona in which the Sox were abysmal in steal rates. In a world of coulda beens, that baserunner coulda been a run. That baserunner coulda set a tone for the game. That may be digging deep, it may have been just a caught stealing, the runner is out, no big deal, we’ll have another. It may also be that we’re looking at a long season full of rally killing pick offs and failed steal attempts.
Long seasons apparently bring long swings. Rangers pitchers fanned 13 White Sox batters. 13! A traditionally unlucky number that certainly proved unlikely this time around (we open at The Cell on the 13th of April, btw). Brent Morel, who we unfortunately probably have to refer to as the goat in this game, was the owner of 4 of those K’s. He also may have let the 3rd run come across as he botched a tailor made double play ball getting only the trail runner. The lead runner in the play would eventually come across and score the 3rd Ranger run.
John Danks pitched decently in his debut, going 6 innings and allowing those 3 runs while striking out 6. It wasn’t a stellar performance but it was certainly adequate. We will be hearing the complaints of “John Danks never gets run support” after this one, whether it’s asking for it or not.
2 perfect bullpen innings were produced by Addison Reed and Matt Thornton, both of whom were in the running for closer. Which raises the question, are they not in the running having already been brought into a game in which the team trailed? I’d have to say that’s a no. It’s maybe more of a hope than anything based on knowledge. Robin used quality relievers in situations where he felt they could help. That’s a great approach. Without a close situation, though, we’re not any closer to answering a question that many fans would like to know the answer to. We’re also not any closer to our first win than we were yesterday. So now we wait for game 2 and hope we can pull it together.
Plus: Adam Dunn went yard. Yes, I know, he also hit a homerun in last year’s Opening Day but he also had his appendix yanked after that and as it turns out, he only had one to work with so we don’t have to worry about that again.
Minus: The biggest minus to me is that CS to set the tone for the game. It’s really hard to stomach giving runners away anytime, to lead of the game it hurts even more. Further, it’s got Juan Pierre written all over it and I wanted to be done with that.