I was a little surprised by the nasty reception Jim Thome received last night from the Clevelandites. I mean, the guy hit 334 home runs for the Indians, was part of two World Series teams and said just days before about the fans, "I want them to know how much I care about the city and the fans because they treated me tremendously while I was there." Well, considering the source I guess he's lucky he got off with just boos. It could've been a D-cell battery packed inside a snowball, which really would've been something considering it's May.
At any rate, good morning, Sox fans. Welcome to a special early edition of From the Cubicle as the White Sox and Cleveland Indians wrap up this two-game miniseries. Puck-drop at 11:05 a.m. Central time. I'm still in my bathrobe.
Girthy lefty C.C. Sabathia goes against speedy lefty Mark Buehrle, which means this one could be over by lunch and, in that case, I'll be out of here. Hold on ... I'm told I have to stay the entire workday.
We'll have first-place White Sox baseball soon. And someone keep .
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There's only one way to rock. These lineups, that is.
Huge breaking news: The Sox have signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Nelson to a minor-league contract. Pablo Ozuna grounds out to start the game. Scott Podsednik is taking a day off. Tadahito Iguchi pops out to short. And apparently Sabathia is having some trouble with an old oblique injury. He's wincing a bit. Paul Konerko flies out to the dashing Grady Sizemore in center. So maybe Sabathia was just having a minor acid reflux attack. That wouldn't be out of the question.
Sizemore grounds out to the left side to a chorus of squeals. Buerhle walks left-fielder Jason Michaels. Buehrle falls behind 1-2 before Jhonny Peralta lines a single to right that Jermaine Dye cuts off to keep it that way. Michaels takes third. Buehrle is struggling a bit with his control early. Travis Hafner, who hit a grand slam last night, hits a three-run homer to right. Victor Martinez follows with a single to right. Eduardo Perez pokes a single through the hole on the right side of the infield. Everything is going to the right. Ronnie Belliard chases a change-up for strike three. Aaron Boone lines out to center to end a rough inning for Buehrle.
Indians 3, White Sox 0
Here's Jermaine Dye. In case you haven't notice and I should've pointed this out earlier, Jim Thome is not playing today. By the looks of this bench-laden lineup, I think Ozzie Guillen let Dusty Baker fill out his lineup card today. Dye walks. Joe Crede lofts a flyball to right-center and we've got some communication problems between right-fielder Casey Blake and Sizemore. Blake makes the catch and that tells you who wears the pants in that outfield. DH Alex Cintron singles. Dye stops at second. Uribe fights off a few pitches and Hawk sounds a bit under the weather. He may have worn out his voice with all of his effusive and continuous praise of AJ Pierzynski. He's got a bit of a man-crush on the catcher. Uribe loses that battle and strikes out. Chris Widger strikes out with two guys on and so much for that.
Blake bounces one up the middle where Uribe makes a nice stab at it but his throw isn't in time to get the runner. Sizemore pops out to Crede. OK, this is the second time this week that I've seen Widger bounce a throw back to the pitcher. He did it to Garland the other night and Garland gave him a look that said, "What level of baseball is this?" Michaels lines a single to left; Blake stops at second. Peralta hits a one-hopper to Iguchi, who starts a smooth 4-6-3 double play to get Buehrle out of a jame.
Indians 3, White Sox 0
Brian Anderson grounds out to Peralta at short. Ozuna breaks his bat grounding out to third. A giant piece when helicoptering into the crowd. The Gooch walks. Konerko lines a single to left. Dye apparently has a calf problem and he's been lifted for Rob Mackowiak, who's up right now. Mackowiak flies out to center and the Sox strand two more.
Buehrle walks Hafner, who goes by Pronk, a combination of "project" and "donkey." That's the worst nickname in sports this side of Kenyon "K-Mart" Martin. Martinez grounds to Crede, who goes to Gooch, who drops the ball. Hafner is called out and it's ruled the Gooch dropped the ball on the transfer, which is the wrong call, replays show. Perez grounds to Uribe and this time the double play works. The Gooch turns it with aplomb.
Indians 3, White Sox 0
Crede rips one to deep, deep center and Sizemore makes about the finest catch you'll ever see--full-on dive going backwards on the warning track. Looked like Jim Edmonds when Jim Edmonds was actually good. That was amazing. Cintron pops out to third. Uribe hits it to Boone, who boots it. Widger hits the first pitch right at Sizemore.
You can now watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episodes on your Cingular phone. I'm all for "Curb" but is that really considered progress? Belliard chases a change-up in the dirt, striking out to open the bottom half of the fourth. Boone pops out to Konerko. Blake doubles to the right-field corner. Sizemore grounds right to Konerko.
Indians 3, White Sox 0
I have some more breaking news: It's raining in Cleveland. Anderson pops up and Perez catches it in foul ground leaning into the crowd, snatching it away from a fan who had his sights set on a freebie. Ozuna draws a walk and fans are putting on garbage bags bags to keep dry. Ozuna is thrown out stealing, the first runner Martinez has thrown out all year. That can't make Pablo feel all that special. Gooch lines a ball down the right-field line just inside of the bag but is held to a single by a hustling Blake. Konerko draws a walk after a lengthy at-bat. Mackowiak lines a 3-1 pitch into right and Joey Cora holds Gooch and it's a good thing because Blake made a great throw. So the bases are loaded with two outs as Crede bats in a steady rain. Crede falls behind 0-2 before weakly grounding it to Perez at first who had to go to second because Sabathia was no where near covering first. Peralta was late getting to second and everyone is safe. The Gooch scores the Sox's first run. Danny Graves is up in the Tribe pen. Cintron bounces back to Sabathia and the Sox strand three more but do push a run across.
Indians 3, Sox 1
The Sox finally get Jason Michaels out. He grounded out. Peralta hits one deep to the left-center gap that one-hops the wall for a double. The rain is really falling and the grounds crew has gathered just waiting for the signal. Here's Project Donkey. He pronks one right to Crede, who looks Peralta back and then throws out the runner. Martinez singles to center, Anderson comes up throwing and it's close at the plate. The ump calls Peralta safe at home. Replays shows Widger may have nipped his toe just before it slid across the plate. Very, very close but the Sox don't get the call. Martinez takes second on the throw. Perez singles, scoring Martinez. Widger can't handle a low pitch and it rolls away, allowing Perez to take second. The wheels are falling off a bit. Belliard's bat slips out of his hand and it nails Widger right in the back of the head. The catcher is down as Herm Schneider waddles out to check his vitals. That was not pretty--Widger taking a bat off the head, not Herm running. He's on his feet but you would think he's coming out of the game, no matter how tough he is. Pierzynski is strapping on his equipment. Wait, Widger is going to continue. He's tough. The count is 2-1 to Belliard with two outs and he pops out.
Indians 5, Sox 1
Jason Davis replaces Sabathia on the mound for the Indians. Uribe hits a sinking liner to left by Michaels charges and makes the catch on the run. Widger, who may or may not know he's in Cleveland, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, doubles down the right-field line. He takes a moment on one knee to gather himself after sliding into second and clearly he is still hurting. Anderson bounces back to Davis for the second out. Ozuna grounds slowly to Peralta, who has to eat it. Somewhere Sabathai is jealous. The infield hit puts runners on first and third for the Gooch, who fans.
I don't know if it's the absence of Thome or just the end of the a long road trip but the Sox look like a different team today. No one is hitting anything when it matters. Buehrle remains, the rain picks up and Pierzynski takes over behind the plate. Boone hits a double down the left-field line that may have gotten a piece of the ball boy. Brandon McCarthy gets up in the pen; Buehrle has thrown 85 pitches I'm told. Blake strikes out on a ball in the dirt and stands around looking perplexed. Get back in the dugout. It's raining and we'd like to get this game in. Sizemore bounces out to the Gooch. Buehrle walks Michaels. Peralta lines the first pitch he sees into center, scoring Boone. You've got to go get Buehrle. He doesn't have it. Ozzie leaves him in there to face the Donkey Project with two on. Buehrle throws three straight curves--Hafner fouled one off--and gets ahead 0-2. Hafner lines a single to right, scoring Michaels. That puts runners on first and third and Ozzie goes and gets his pitcher. Seven runs on 13 hits for Buehrle. Boone Logan enters. Logan strikes out Martinez.
Indians 7, White Sox 1
Lisa on the message board asks, "What is the Sox record when 3 of 9 players are backups (especially when the starter had a good game the previous day)?" Hold on, let me check my records. Good question, though. Konerko lines a single to left. Mackowiak flies out to Grady, much to the delight of his ladies. Crede pokes a single through the hole on the right side. Cintron bounces out to first. The runners move up. And Uribe grounds out to second. Cue the noise when Pac-Man dies. Two more runners stranded. It's been that kind of game.
Perez lines it right at Anderson in center. Belliard flies out to right. Boone walks. Logan fans Blake.
Indians 7, White Sox 1
Danny Graves enters the game for the Indians, so there's hope for the Sox yet. Pierzynski hits the first pitch hard but it's right at Blake. Anderson then bounces the first pitch he sees to short. Looks like these guys want to get the heck out of Dodge. Mackowiak bounces out to Belliard and Graves threw, I think, four pitches. Fire up the bus.
Sizemore chases a pitch in the dirt for strike three. Michaels strikes out looking at an inside pitch. Logan strikes out the side. That's five of them. We move to the ninth.
Indians 7, White Sox 1
Graves gets the Gooch--to fly to center. Konerko grounds out to Belliard. Mackowiak prolongs the agony with a hit off the glove of Belliard. Crede reaches with a single. The Sox show a little fire late. Either that are no one wants to make the last out. Cintron is that guy with a ground out.
Final: indians 7, Sox 1
I think Sox fans need to do some deep-breathing exercises or something. Serenity now! Yes, that's two straight bad outings by Buehrle, but it's just one loss. Some teams lose all the time. Just ask the Cubs. The Sox just finished a huge month and were 5-3 on that road trip. They'll be fine.
Thanks for reading everyone. We'll see you Thursday at 1:05 p.m. for the Sox-Mariners. Enjoy the Bulls game.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times