What a great night to be at Comiskey. Little chilly for late May, but a great Sox atmosphere. I couldn’t be more pleased with two Frank Thomas HRs (although 1 would have been enough), a little fun with a squirrel on the field, and a walk-off White Sox winner.
Lack of Hustle/Fundamentals
Despite the win, I’ve been a little ticked off the last two games with fundamentals. I complained about Konerko’s effort on the double play on Sunday, but tonight there were more problems.
- In the top of the second inning, the double hit by Jay Payton after the Thomas/Crosby HRs should have been caught. Jermaine Dye assumed it was gone off the bat and lolly-gagged it to the fence where he has made that warning track grab at least 50 times. I was sitting in section 110 right there and he wasn’t playing deep, made no effort to get to the ball, and almost cost us more runs.
- Then in the third inning, Pablo Ozuna showed a great arm in preventing the runner from scoring from first on a single by Thomas (a double for the rest of the world), but he air-mailed the cut off man who easily would have thrown Kotsay out at third when he scrambled back to the base.
- Chris Widger tries to go from second to third on a ground out to the shortstop? Take advantage of the playing time you get.
- And Ozuna made things hard on Jenks in the 10th by missing Kotsay’s line-drive, but he wasn’t given an error so I am assuming he lost it in the lights.
Coaching Gets it Done
On a much lighter note, you have to give the assistant coaching staff some credit tonight. I’m assuming that Ozzie still had some say in the decisions after he was thrown out, but the coaching staff got it done without their manager and Harold Baines who was absent again. The decision to pinch hit with Mackowiak paid off, the decision to go with Thornton paid off, and the decision to leave Jenks in for two innings paid off. Oh, not to mention the game winning bunt in the 10th.
Back-ups Get it Done
The players are the ones who execute though, and Mackowiak and Ozuna got the job done. Hitting the first pitch off Huston Street is not an easy thing to do, and I think it was a coming out party for Mackowiak on the South Side. Meanwhile, Ozuna overcame a terrible fielding day, and an 0-3 start to finish with two big hits, including the game-winning bunt single.
I know there are a lot of opinions on this, but I find it hard to believe that Chicago is not split 50/50 as far as Sox/Cubs go. I grew up on the North Side and now live on the South Side, so I still see both everyday, and I really truely believe that this city is split in half. And even if the exact percentages lean towards the Cubs, there is no way that the atmosphere and bonding of the fans compares to a Sox game. There was a sell out crowd tonight, which isn’t shocking for a half-price game with Frank Thomas back, but I’ll be back at Comiskey tomorrow night, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see 35,000 there.
Oh by the way, it feels great beating the A’s.