First off, we have to pay our respects to Palehose 9. I first discovered Carl Skanberg’s comics doing this feature two years ago. It was hilarious from the get-go, and I immediately bookmarked it and checked it obsessively. Partly, it was that I live in Chicago, and so I was already familiar with all the story lines, but mostly it was that Carl was a brilliant cartoonist, and I’m legitimately bummed that I won’t be able to follow his strip the same way this year. If you haven’t read any of the Palehose series, consider this my strongest recommendation – even if you don’t read any other links in any of these posts that I put up semi-consistently – go back and read Palehose 6, Palehose 7, and Palehose 8. The Twins and White Sox seasons are so intertwined that I think Twins fans might enjoy these as much as South Siders.
Even without Skanberg’s brilliance we must soldier on. I’ll be heading to the game on Thursday (got some great seats from a friend of my wife) so expect some pictures in the near future. The White Sox come in to the series just having been swept in a four-game set by the Toronto Blue Jays. Let’s all point and laugh at them. The Twins on the other hand come into the series fresh off a sweep of the Detroit Tigers (well, not fresh off, but it was fairly recent, so I’m going to focus on that, and I won’t listen to anyone who tells me any different.) The Sox are currently in fourth place in the AL Central, 2 games back of the Twins and 5.5 back of the first place Tigers. The Sox are 8-8 at home, while the Twins are 4-12 on the road. (4-12? That’s really bad, they must have lost a bunch of games in a row recentlyLALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU)
The White Sox offense has been really bad this year. It has raised a lot of questions about the makeup (and lineup) of this team. To be fair, they’ve suffered a bunch of injuries (I have no idea who’s going to be back for this series, it seemed like everybody’s expected return date was today), but they have scored the fewest runs in the American League and they’ve been shut out once every 6 games. The key to shutting down this offense isn’t what you might think, opposing pitchers just have to let Paul Konerko get hot, because when’s he’s hot, the rest of the team isn’t. So, if Ayala comes on to face Konerko, and you think to yourself, “What is Gardy doing?”, now you know.
Recent disciplinary action by the league against Jermaine Dye (2-game suspension) and Bobby Jenks (fine) may lead you to believe that the Sox are the bad boys of the American League. Even though they would like you to think that, I know it’s not true. I can say that, because a bad guy doesn’t get thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes … in favor of the other team.
This one gets filed under “stuff unrelated to anything else in this post” but this is a pretty cool concept. For the card collectors in the room, here’s “Cards That Never Were“. Make sure you click the label of that post to check out the never-before-seen rookie cards of Carlton Fisk, Frank Thomas, and Harold Baines. Cool stuff.
Baker v. M. Buehrle
Liriano v. J. Danks
Blackburn v. B. Colon
Once again I get to see Blackburn pitch, the last two games I have attended at US Cellular (or Comiskey II as baseball-reference.com calls it) have featured Nick Blackburn on the hill for the Twins. Factor in the one-game playoff he pitched there and Blackburn has to be getting tired of this place (0-4, 5.27 ERA in 5 career starts). Yes, the win is a near-meaningless stat for pitchers, but I think it’s time Blackburn got one in this stadium.