From the Cubicle

SportsMajor League BaseballBaseballChicago White SoxMike SweeneyMike MacDougalNatural Resources

Ozzie Guillen says the White Sox need to pick it up and they would be smart to heed his advice. The Cleveland Indians have caught fire while the Sox have been up and down since the break--alternating winning and losing streaks.

They'll try to hoist things in an attempt to take the series from the Kansas City Royals, whom they've owned all year. It's all division opponents from here on out.

The lead over the Tribe is down to five. But have no fear today as 15-7 Mark Buehrle faces a guy with nearly an inverse record, the Royals' Zack Greinke (4-16).

The lineups.

Baseball soon.

First inning

Now that I've polished off this cafeteria roast beef, which was tougher than Tadahito Iguchi's glove, we're set to go. There's a light mist falling over Kauffman Stadium. Not that it matters because no one is in the park. Did the Royals advertised this one? It's safe to say the Kansas City faithful have given up on his sad crew. Scott Podsednik works the count full before drawing a leadoff walk. Willie Harris takes a few balls and Podsednik is thrown out trying to steal--by a lot. Harris pokes a double into the right-field corner. Paul Konerko takes a breaking ball for a called third strike. Carl Everett bounces out to second to end the top half of the first.

Aaron Guiel pops out to Harris in shallow right. Chip Ambres flies out to center. Mike Sweeney, as he's known to do, doubles to right. Emil Brown grounds out to Juan Uribe and we move on.

Second inning

It's so misty that from some camera angles it looks like WGN is using a greased lens as if Cybil Shepherd, Barbara Steisand and Barbara Walters were in the lineup. Maybe Konerko doesn't like the way he looks in this light. Aaron Rowand digs into the KC mud and grounds out to short. Jermaine Dye tomahawks a high fastball into the empty left-field bleachers. He just ripped that as DJ said, "like he knew it was coming." The Sox take an early lead. A.J. Pierzynski singles. Uribe pops out to center. And Joe Crede hits one off the right field wall, but Pierzynski is thrown out easily at home to end the inning.

White Sox 1, Royals 0

Angel Berroa grounds out to Uribe. John Buck rips one to the gap; Podsednik slides to try to cut it off but missed. No biggie, it was a double all the way. Mark Teahan grounds out to first and Justin Huber walks. But Buehrle gets Andres Blanco to ground out, stranding a pair.

Third inning

Podsednik quickly grounds out to start the third. Harris squares to bunt but is grazed on his back leg by the pitch. Konerko singles and Harris is held at third because he hesitated around second. Everett singles, scoring Harris and the Sox take a 2-0 lead. Alas, Rowand hits into an inning-ending double play.

Sox 2, Royals 0

Guiel hits the first pitch to center for out No. 1. Ambres doubles. Sweeney walks and Buehrle finds himself in a bit of a jam. Brown slices a two-strike pitch the other way for a run-scoring double. Sweeney takes third. Berroa skies one to right and Dye's throw is cut off. Tie game. Buck flies out.

Sox 2, Royals 2

Fourth inning

I'm not sure what was up with Dye's throw last inning. But that ball wasn't hit too deep. Hawk said it had something to do with the conditions, which makes sense. It's pretty wet out there. But he is--or was--known for his arm. Anyway, Dye flies out to center to open the fourth. Pierzynski pops up and throws his bat into the ground. Uribe flies out to Ambres, ending Greinke's first 1-2-3 inning.

Teahen doubles to start the bottom half of the fourth but we never saw it because America's so-called No. 1 sports station, WGN, was still in commercial. Always. Huber is hit by a pitch and didn't make much of an effort to get out of the way. Blanco bunts the runners over. Buehrle fans Guiel. Big strike out there. Buehrle gets Ambres, too. Onward.

Fifth inning

So I'm just curious, what if Saturday's Sox-Twins game goes into, say, 20 innings? The huge Minnesota-Florida Atlantic tilt will have to start late night? Crede gounds to short. Podsednik grounds out to first. They're spreading it around. Harris flies out and the immortal Zack Greinke has retired seven straight.

With two strikes Sweeney tries to check his swing, but, no, says that fat tub of goo Bruce Froemming, who's manning first today. One out. Brown lines one to right in front of a diving Dye, who manages to keep it in front of him and hold Brown to a single. Berroa singles. So there's a time limit on Saturday's game in Minnesota, which probably won't be televised? What kind of second class treatment is that? Florida Atlantic? Weak. Buehrle jams Buck who squibs one to first for the second out. The runners move up. Teahen grounds to Uribe and the Royals strand a pair.

Still tied at 2-2

Sixth inning

Konerko lifts a 2-1 pitch to center for the first out. Everett is grazed by a pitch, takes first and Greinke is losing it a bit arguing his case. Pretty touchy there. Everett's look when the ump told him to take a base was priceless. He kind of shrugged with a look that said, "Sure, if you insist." Greinke, who's a little miffed, strikes out Rowand with a little something extra on the fastball. Dye goes the other way, Everett is lumbering around second and then over-runs third, dives back and is out. What the? End of inning. Got to see the replay on that one.

Once again WGN comes back after the first pitch is thrown to which Hawk said, "One of these days we're going to come back from commercial and it's going to be the fourth inning." Classic. OK, that last play was not Joey Cora's fault. Everett was in his own little Dinosaur-less world, took a big turn around third and they threw behind him. Huber pops out and Blanco flies out. Guiel lines out to a running Dye.

Seventh inning

OK, after further review, I don't know what Cora was telling Everett on that play. And we'll move on. Got to move on. Pierzynski singles to right. Oh, yeah, Ambiorix Burgos is the new Royals' pitcher. Uribe hits into 6-4-3 double play. Crede slaps a single back through the box. Podsednik bounces out to third and that's that.

Ambres doubles just over Crede's glove. Sweeney grounds to Uribe, who doesn't have time to go to third to get Ambres and instead gets Sweeney at first. Big jump by Ambres there. Buehrle battles but loses as Brown rips a single to left, scoring Ambres with the go-ahead run. That's it for Buehrle. Enter Luis Vizcaino and he'll face Berroa with one out and a runner on first. Berroa lines a single to left; Brown stops at second. Buck rips a double down the left-field line and into the corner, scoring both runners. They didn't even have play on Berroa. The Sox will walk Teahen. Vizcaino fans Huber. Blanco squibs/bounces one towards first, Vizcaino falls on it and can't get it. Safe all around. The bases are loaded for Guiel and that brings Don Cooper out for a chat. Jeff Bajenaru is up in the pen. Guiel walks on four pitches and that's it for him. Here again is Ambres, who led off this nightmare of an inning. Ambres flies out to Rowand to end it.

Royals 6, White Sox 2

Eighth inning

Burgos stays in there and walks Harris. Konerko pops up to third. Everett walks on four pitches and that wakes up Buddy Bell. Here comes former Cubs farmhand Andrew Sisco, and eight-foot lefty. Rowand ropes a single to center and the bases are loaded with one out. Good lord. Reading the message board one would think the Sox are dead. May I remind you these are the Royals they're playing. Have some faith, people. Dye strikes out looking and he doesn't like the call. Tadahito Iguchi hits for AJ and hits the first pitch off the right-field wall, scoring three runs. Uribe comes up and Bell goes and gets Sisco for closer Mike MacDougal. Uribe takes a breaking ball for strike one. He swings through one down and away for strike two. Two straight balls even it up 2-2. But Uribe can't lay off a breaking ball in the dirt. The Sox, however, get back in it.

Royals 6, White Sox 5

Bobby Jenks comes on to pitch for the Sox and he'll face Sweeney. Sweeney hits a 97 mph fastball to left for a double. Brown bounces out to Uribe. Sweeney stays put. Jenks throws a ball two feet over Berroa's head and Sweeney takes third. Maybe he thought the mascot was lurking back there. Berroa dumps a single into left, scoring the runner from third. Bucks flies out deep to Dye. Jenks fans Teahen but not before the Royals get another run. Jenks didn't help his cause much with that wild pitch.

Royals 7, White Sox 5

Ninth inning

Crede grounds to short and it goes right through Berroa's legs for an error. Podsednik, however, hits into a double play. Joe Borchard hits and rips a single to center. Konerko flies out and this one's over.

Final: Royals 7, White Sox 5

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