Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Chicago's American League entry remains a difficult bunch to figure out. Mark Buehrle struggles, while Esteban Loaiza shines; the team's supposed weakness -- pitching -- has been decent but the team's alleged strength -- hitting -- has been utterly horrid all season. Any hopes the S.S. South Side had been righted after taking two of three from the Jays were dashed by embarrassingly dropping two of three at home to the Tigers.

While the Jays are inspiring exuberance from the local fans and media, the Sox are shrouded in pessimism as they set out for a long road trip. The Chicago Sun-Times resident Griff, Jay Mariotti, has the following to say in today's paper: "Only the blind, deaf and dumb still have any faith in this pile of pulp ... When they finally return home, the Sox will be so far behind the Minnesota Twins they'll need a compass, map and Sherpa guide to find them."

Chicago does, however, have some good pitching matchups this series, and the Colon-Halladay duel tomorrow night should not only be entertaining but a good bellwether as to what extent Doc has gotten his groove back.

On to the Advance Scout!

* The White Sox are just 2-21 when trailing after 7 innings … Thursday’s comeback win was one of the two … Chicago’s only 7-14 on the road … Jerry Manuel has said he’s counting on Buehrle and Colon to start the Hose’s longest road trip of the year off with victories … This trip is a 14-game logistical nightmare: Toronto, Cleveland, Arizona, Los Angeles …
* Fired hitting coach Gary Ward has taken time off by mentoring his son, Daryle of the Dodgers … I didn’t know they were father and son – did you? …
* Kenny Williams: “My patience is being tested … We need to start to get this ship righted” … Williams said he had “a few ideas” for trades, but added “sometimes it’s difficult to get all the components” …
* In discussing yet another complete game last Wednesday, Bartolo Colon described his strategy of keeping his pitch count down so he still has velocity in the later innings … Carlos Tosca: “Colon was still throwing 99 mph after 120 pitches, so we obviously had our work cut out for us” … The Jays need to make him work harder to give Doc a chance tomorrow … Bartolo is 6-2 all-time against the Jays … Colon would have gotten the start tonight, but was suspended five games for drilling Jerry Hairston Jr. with a pitch …
* Carlos Lee’s amazing catch/double play on Wednesday surprised most Sox observers … Friday, he made a more characteristic defensive miscue, misjudging a Dmitri Young line drive that turned into the game-winning double … And his decisive home run on Thursday (after the questionable check-swing) shocked the Jays … He’s OK after his scary HBP to the left temple on Saturday, with only a cut behind his left ear to show for it … More than OK, actually: He got the ultimate revenge – a grand slam – in yesterday’s win …
* Frank Thomas continues to muddle along at 253/403/487 … One of the great run-producers of the ‘90s is batting .152 and slugging .212 with RISP … He’s 4 for his last 30 … Good gracious ...
* After waking up offensively in the last two games of the Jays series, Paul Konerko reverted to 0-for-8 against Detroit … He has only one home run since April 17 …
* Wily bench coach Joe Nossek, considered the best sign-stealer in baseball, managed the Sox for the suspended Manuel on Friday …
* Jon Garland hasn’t won either of his last two starts, but he pitched a solid six innings in each …
* Jose Valentin, batting just .226, was finally dropped from the 2-hole in yesterday’s win over the Tigers …
* Tony Graffanino is just 2 for his last 14 …
* Magglio Ordonez is on a 10-game hitting streak …
* Kelly Wunsch finally had two sub-par outings this weekend, allowing the (inherited) winning run to score on Friday and getting roughed up on Sunday – double, hit batsman and walk for the three batters he faced …
* Damaso Marte has been almost Wunsch-like this season … He’s holding the opposition to a .158 average – and righties to an amazing .098 average … He’s made 12 straight scoreless appearances …
* And Billy Koch is settling down … Seven straight scoreless appearances, with just two walks and two hits over six-and-two-thirds …
* Esteban Loaiza has his ERA down to 1.92, with an astonishingly miniscule 1.05 WHIP … He’s a hard-luck 0-1 over his last two starts, which have both been superb … Only the Mariners have roughed him up all season … Who knew he’d be battling Cory Lidle for the league lead in wins? … His cutter has remained problematic for lefthanded bats ...
* After Saturday’s defeat to the Tigers, Brian Daubach sounded the alarm: “It’s not early, we are starting to get too far behind…Everybody is pressing a little bit” … But Loaiza disagreed: “We are not losing any confidence at all … We are capable of turning it around” … Williams: “The one thing I can’t complain about is their intensity level and their desire to perform … They’re pressing because they care” …
* The White Sox have not been happy with Joe Crede’s defence at the hot corner … And although he has homered in two of his last three games, he’s still only a lame 224/257/348 … He was fired up after yesterday’s three-run walk-off job, however: “It gives us a little momentum” … Interestingly, Crede’s last walk-off home run was on August 27, 2002, and touched off a seven-game winning streak …
* Joe Borchard was called up and has assumed the CF duties with Willie Harris on the DL with a shoulder injury …
* Valentin was eloquent and succinct after the disappointing Tigers series: “I don’t think nobody in baseball is struggling like we are…Sooner or later these things need to change” … Thomas: “We know we played terribly this week” …
* Tom Gordon and Manuel are among those to have expressed SARS fears … Radio analyst Ed Farmer will stay home, in fact. He’s a kidney transplant recipient and he was told to avoid all health risks …
* The Manuel axe watch continues … Bobby Valentine (!) is among the rumoured replacements for the Sox manager, the head of whom has been called for by the Chicago media for some time …

Probable Batting Orders

vs. LH

4 Graffanino/Jimenez
6 Valentin
DH Thomas
9 Ordonez
7 Lee
3 Konerko
5 Crede/Graffanino
8 Rios/Borchard
2 Olivo/Alomar

vs. RH

4 Jimenez
7 Lee
DH Thomas/Konerko
9 Ordonez
3 Daubach/Konerko
6 Valentin
5 Crede
8 Borchard
2 Alomar/Olivo

Pitching Probables

Monday: LH Buehrle vs. Hendrickson
Tuesday: RH Colon vs. Halladay
Wednesday: RH Garland vs. Escobar
Thursday: RH Loaiza vs. Lidle

Bullpen Usage

Long: Glover R, Sanders L
Short: Gordon R, White R
Setup: Wunsch L, Marte L
Closer: Koch R
Advance Scout: White Sox, May 26-29 | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Jordan - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#101755) #
This seems an appropriate place to post an observation about the respective starting staffs of the Jays and ChiSox. You may be familiar with Michael Wolverton's Support-Neutral pitching statistics from Baseball Prospectus. Wolverton strips pitchers' records of run support, park effects and bullpen strength to determine what a hurler's real contribution is to his team's chances of winning. This allows him to show which pitchers are the unsung heroes and which are the oversold commodities. Here's his list of the top five Luckiest Pitchers in baseball:

1. Cory Lidle, Tor (5.4 Wins above expected)
2. Jamie Moyer, Sea (4.7)
3. Shawn Estes, Chc (4.1)
4. Kevin Millwood, Phi (3.7)
5. Roy Halladay, Tor (3.7)

Even more interestingly, check out the lists of Luckiest Teams, as calculated by: (Support-Neutral Wins - Expected Wins) + (Expected Losses - Support-Neutral Losses):



The Blue Jays have -- by a huge margin -- the luckiest starting staff in baseball. The White Sox starters, on the other hand, have suffered unjustly, fourth from the bottom in terms of team luck (and check out the Tigers' misery). Something to chew on this week, and for the foreseeable future.
Coach - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#101756) #
Interestingly, Crede’s last walk-off home run was on August 27, 2002, and touched off a seven-game winning streak

How do you find this stuff, Mike? Great job, as always.

While I've ridiculed others for their reaction to SARS, I'd do the same thing if I was Ed Farmer, or anyone else whose chances of needing medical care in a Toronto hospital are greater than usual.
Craig B - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#101757) #
* The White Sox have not been happy with Joe Crede’s defence at the hot corner

Which is interesting, as Crede has the second-best ZR in the majors, and looked great on the Cat bunt in the first inning tonight.
Mike D - Monday, May 26 2003 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#101758) #
I agree, Craig; Crede's "E-10" aside, he looked sharp -- good reflexes, strong arm.

Coach, most of the random facts I find come from reading the opposition's press coverage -- it seems like each beat reporter in the majors focuses on different statistics, different facts, different components of the ball club. I loved the Dallas Morning News scribe who reported on the "hearings" before the Rangers' kangaroo court.
_abc - Thursday, May 29 2003 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#101759) #
Advance Scout: White Sox, May 26-29 | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.