Hello. Matt here. Italics are the gateway drug to Series Previews. Now that you've tasted one you must taste the next! Enjoy.
It should be noted that whatever I write here is subject to revision by Olney Guillen over Twitter.
- Reasonable people can disagree about what Kenny Williams has done as GM of the Chicago White Sox whereas unreasonable people can disagree about disagreeing. Williams is that odd duck of a GM who's had some incredible successes and some almost equally bad moments as well. Some analysts are ambivalent, noting the World Series win in 2005 but a succession of other smaller failures. Others, possibly due to the invisible top-hat wearing rhino standing behind them screaming in their ears, think Williams hides small fluffy kittens in his basement and force feeds them lollipops until they get little fluffy sugar headaches. So there's disagreement.
- Dustin Pedroia's eighth inning homer in Thursday's game gave him a hit in his 24th consecutive game. It's the longest streak since my son hit my other son for 26 straight days.
- Omar Vizquel is 44 years old and plays for the White Sox. Sitting here on the couch at age 34 surrounded by potato chip bags and empty beer bottles, the idea of doing more than peeing in an old beer bottle sounds like far too much exertion. The crazy thing is Vizquel is hitting .271/.299/.326 which sounds beating-baby-penguins-with-a-tire-iron bad until you consider that it's better than what three members of the White Sox starting lineup have done.
- Sorting the White Sox roster inversely according to production and then cross-referencing it with contractual obligations is for White Sox fans akin to brushing your teeth with a chalkboard. And yet here we go anyway. Jake Peavey and his 5.27 ERA will be paid $28 million by the time Chicago buys out his 2013 option. If they don't, add $18 million to that total. Alex Rios and his .208/.255/.300 line are owed $43 million over the next three and a half seasons. Those are bad, but not nearly as bad as...
Adam Dunn, who just signed for four years and $56 million this off season and now would be lucky to get four dollars over fifty six million years. Think I'm over stating it? Dunn has hit .163/.297/.307 while striking out 36% of the time. He's been worth -1.5 fWAR. Dunn has cost the White Sox one and a half wins and about $7 million so far this season. To put it in perspective, that's a good years worth of work for Juan Pierre.
- Decipher this Olney Guillen tweet: UrsodumI8poop
- Despite dropping two of four to Kansas City at home, the Red Sox come into this series with the best record in the American League at 64-39. Not that it matters (thanks, All Star Game!) but they're one game behind the Phillies for the best record in baseball. The Sox have scored, thanks to KC's bullpen, 570 runs.
- The White Sox sport a 51-52 record. This is the equivalent of going in to kiss your sister but getting turned down. Making it especially odd is that their manager feels this team is better than the '05 version that won the World Series. But hey, if they finish 49-10 then sweep every post season series he'll be proven right!
Individual game notes after the jump!
Game One Notes
- According to Pitch f/x data, Tim Wakefield's fastest pitch this season was a 75 mph fastball. Daniel Bard's fastest was 101 mph. Them thars what city folk call a change of pace.
- Ozzie Guillen is currently hatching a crazy new strategy. I've been informed that it's so crazy it just might work. Details are sketchy but my understanding is it involves clown cars and several hundred gallons of cottage cheese.
- The White Sox have two starting position players with an above average OPS+. OPS+ isn't position adjusted so their lineup isn't thaaat bad, buuuuut...
Friday, Jul 29, 2011, 8:10 PM EDT
U.S. Cellular Field
IT'S GOING TO HAIL THE SIZE OF CANNED HAMS!
Complete coverage not available. Click here for incomplete coverage.
Game Two Notes
- Jon Lester hasn't had much success in his career against the White Sox. He's got a 5.94 ERA in 36.1 innings versus the paler hose. In his last two starts against Chicago, Lester has thrown 9.2 innings and given up 15 runs.
- Phil Humber's recent success has inspired millions of other people with silly names to come out of hiding and try to make something of themselves including Dr. Emily Goatmuffin who is working to cure Funyons.
- Having failed with the cottage cheese-based strategy, sources say Ozzie Guillen plans to force his players to improve through the use of extreme personal nudity.
- A popular Cy Young pick at the beginning of the year, it wouldn't be fair to say Jon Lester has disappointed this season, but his chances to finish as the best pitcher in the American League seem dim. Currently, according to fWAR Lester is tied for the 23rd best pitcher in the AL with Freddy Garcia and Jeff Francis.
Game Three Notes
- The Andrew Miller Experience is now like a super low fare airline. Sure, it's cheap but it's unlikely you're going to get what you need out of it and the end result is likely to be you about 350 miles away from where you're supposed to be covered in diet soft drinks and pretzel crumbs swearing that next time, next time!!, you won't make the same mistake.
- Here's a chart detailing the evolution of my feelings on Andrew Miller:
- In 134 innings this season Mark Buehrle has walked 29 batters. In 34 innings, Andrew Miller has walked 24.
- The sad part about this match up is that even Mark Buehrle's beard is way better than Andrew Miller.