Jared Mitchell ran a pattern from his Wide Receiver days at LSU to make this catch. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)
Matt Adams and I had the chance to watch today’s game live at Hohokam Park in Arizona, and there was a whole lot of entertainment. Hohokam is the Cubs’ spring training home, and Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Lee Smith, Bill Buckner, and others were all present and signing autographs. Things started out poorly for the White Sox. Wise managed to get himself caught stealing, and Quintana gave up a couple of 400-foot extra base hits to dead center in the first to put the White Sox behind 1-0. Afterward, however, Quintana would settle down, even mixing in a fair amount of strikeouts, and White Sox pitchers wouldn’t allow another run until the 9th.
Jared Mitchell would reach on a bunt single up the third baseline, and Gordon Beckham channeled Rookie Year Beckham to smoke a ground rule double to right center to tie the game up. The White Sox would add runs on two Konerko solo home runs that looked virtually identical – classic Konerko home runs to left. But the real explosion came in the 6th inning. Keppinger, displaying his vaunted contact ability, sprayed a double into the gap in right-center. At this point, I was exploring the stadium and wandering around about 20 yards behind the right field foul pole when a baseball flew past me into the parking lot. I then turned and saw that Adam Dunn was trotting around the bases, having crushed a 2-run homer off of a car. Gillaspie and Flowers both ripped a double today. Flowers’ double was a relief, as his first two at bats were not competitive and featured some atrocious swings.
Leyson Septimo, as per normal, had no control whatsoever. I watched him warm up and flinched when a ball got away from him up right toward me. Bullpen catcher Mark Salas laughed and warned me to be careful when Leyson Septimo was on the mound. Septimo gave up a bomb to something named Christian Villanueva after walking the Cubs’ very exciting prospect Jorge Soler. Septimo would finally labor to a 2-2 count with 2 out, but would then leave the game complaining of arm discomfort. While I wish injury on no one, Septimo’s inefficacy should be seen as a blessing to White Sox fans as it makes him less likely to throw pitches at the major league level in a Chicago uniform this year.
Other notes? Trayce Thompson looks extremely fluid and graceful in the outfield, especially given how big he is. Angel Sanchez looks extremely uncomfortable at 2B, combining awkward footwork with what looked like an underwhelming arm. Jordan Danks went 0-2, but hit a fly ball about 400 feet to CF with a beautiful swing. Jared Mitchell had a pair of hits, beat out a potential double play ball, and took an extremely odd, circuitous route to a fly ball in right.