White Sox

Sox Drawer: Running Strasburg diary

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Sox Drawer: Running Strasburg diary

Friday, June 18, 2010

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

5:37 PM

By now, youveheard all about him. Stephen James Strasburg...the pitcher, phenom, andbaseball messiah who tonight will once again put the weight of severalplanets on his 21-year-old shoulders, taking the mound against theWhite Sox at 6:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet.

In his first majorleague start against Pittsburgh, he struck out 14 batters in 7 inningsand got the win. In his second start at Cleveland, he struck out 8 more(walked 5),but won again. Its pretty obvious that his stuff is offthe charts, said Nationals manager Jim Riggleman.

Yeah, but hes never thrown a pitch to Gavin Floyd. Gavin, may the force be with you.

Strasburgsfastball consistently hits 99 and 100. He also has a knee-bucklingcurveball and change-up. And much to the chagrin of my people, hes notJewish. A major disappointment.

At least we have Sandy Koufax. Yes, well always have Sandy.

Sowith Baby Jesus getting set to throw his biblical stuff at the Soxtonight, Ill be here throughout the game, reporting on anything andeverything that happens. The good, the bad, or when Gavin gets in thebox...the ugly.

6:17 PM

Well, you can forget about a Strasburg no-hitter. Juan Pierre leads off with an infield hit.

Hawk Harrelson sets a record by canceling the post-game show 30 seconds into the game.

Omar Vizquel is next with a bloop double to right. By the way, Vizquel is Strasburgs grandfather.

Other facts about the Chosen One that you may not know:

Hespeaks 46 languages. He is allergic to kryptonite. If he was in Chicagoduring that crazy storm this afternoon, he would have stopped it withone arm. His left one.

Alex Rios sends a dribbler to the rightside. Pierre scores. White Sox lead 1-0. Okay, thats it. Strasburg iscompletely overrated. Whats up with all of this hype?

(Strasburg proceeds to strikeout Konerko and Quentin to end the inning).

Okay, hes for real. Sick. Filthy. Nasty.

6:30 PM

Sitting onthe third base side in the suite is none other than the Sox FirstFan...President Obama. Just saw him sipping a beer during thecommercial break. Hes still wearing that ratty, old Sox cap. The teamhas tried to give him a new one, but he always refuses. He likes theone hes got.

Who is operating the camera above homeplate.NASA?When a ball is hit into the outfield I feel like Im watching from aspace station.

Frank Thomas is watching the game from his home in Vegas. Asked him what he thinks of Strasburg, he texted backcomposed.

A 1-2-3 inning for Strasburg in the second. Gavin Floyd leads off in the third! Odds of him making contact: 85-to-1.

6:51 PM

Despite the best intentions, Floyd strikes out. Pierre does too.

Strasburgreminds me of Dwight Gooden when he came into the big leagues in 1984.At just 19-years-old, he went 17-and-9 with 276 strikeouts in just 218innings. The next year, he was basically unhittable. Gooden was24-and-4 with a 1.53 ERA.

This is the Sox first game inWashington, DC since July 16, 1971. The Sox won the game 2-0...thanksin large part to my TV partner Bill Melton, who hit accounted for bothruns with a 2-run homer in the sixth innings, his 21st of the season.

Bill also committed an error at third base. Well talk more about this on the post-game show. Mainly his error.

Vizquel grounds out to second. Still 1-0 White Sox. Floyd has his A stuff tonight.

6:56 PM

So Imreading the media game notes provided by the Washington Nationals.They also wrote about the Sox last game in DC, but mistakenly calledBill Melton Pete.

Pete Melton?

After giving up hitsto Pierre and Vizquel to start the game, Strasburg has retired 12 in arow, 7 on strikeouts. While in the dugout, Im told he is in deepdiscussions with President Obama on how to fix the oil leak in theGulf. Expect Stephen to have it all figured out by the 8th inning.

7:25 PM

The Phillies are thumping the Twins 8-0 in the 4th inning. Just sayin.

Withall the attention on Strasburg, Floyd is matching him. Just one hitthrough 5. Hes retired 8 in a row. But thats what humans can do.

Strasburg?His 9 strikeouts give him 31, which is the most in baseball history fora pitcher in his first 3 games. He breaks the record of 29 set byformer Astros pitcher J.R. Richard.

BREAKING NEWS: Gavin Floyddoesnt just make contact off Strasburg, he just got a hit!!! Thisjust might be the greatest achievement I have seen on a baseball fieldsince Mark Buehrle homered last year at Miller Park. Floyd was 2-for-48at the plate in his career.

Meanwhile, this game is flying and Ihave a postgame show to do. Maybe this running blog wasnt such a greatidea. Melton feels neglected. Im too busy to talk to him.

Strasburghas given up two home runs in his first two starts. Im predictingsomeone gets to him next inning. Konerko or Quentin.

Still 1-0 White Sox in the 6th.

7:56 PM

Thats itfor Strasburg. Despite a 100-pitch limit, they pull him after throwing85. He gives up 1 run over 7, finishes with 10 strikeouts and zerowalks. He really is amazing.

And I gotta get ready for the postgame show. If you have an email for Bill Melton, submit it by clicking here. Well get to as many as we can. Thanks for reading everyone!

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Goodness gracious do the White Sox love hitting in Kansas City

Goodness gracious do the White Sox love hitting in Kansas City

If it were a cloudy afternoon instead of a pleasant evening, you could've been excused for thinking you were watching a replay of the White Sox Opening Day win in Kansas City.

Remember that home run derby? When the South Siders opened the 2018 season with six homers, 14 runs and a shocking offensive performance?

Fast forward 20-some games, and that firepower didn't last. The White Sox entered Thursday night's game as one of the lowest-scoring teams in the majors.

But they sure seem to like hitting in Kansas City, returning to the scene of that Opening Day slugfest with another offensive eruption, blasting five home runs in a 6-3 win. Matt Davidson, who launched three homers on Opening Day, hit a pair. Yoan Moncada hit a leadoff home run for the second time in as many days. Welington Castillo and Trayce Thompson also hit solo shots.

Some might point to the fact that four of the five long balls came with no one on base, meaning despite the frequency with which the ball was leaving the yard, things never got out of hand — or easy for White Sox pitchers.

But it is pretty crazy how well the White Sox have hit in such limited time in KC this season. Because of that opening-weekend snowout, Thursday's game was just the White Sox third this season at The K, yet they've hit 12 homers there. The Royals, who have played 12 games at their home ballpark, have mustered only seven (including one off the bat of former Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler on Thursday).

Davidson now leads the White Sox with seven homers in 2018. All but two of those have come in a pair of multi-homer games at Kauffman Stadium. In three games there this season, the numbers are silly good.

This continued ability to hammer Royals pitching has to be a good sign for the White Sox considering they're playing four more games in Kansas City before this weekend is over and a total of seven more before this season is over.

They might want to consider moving there if they keep this up.

Yoan Moncada is kind of on fire, hits a leadoff homer for the second straight game

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USA TODAY

Yoan Moncada is kind of on fire, hits a leadoff homer for the second straight game

Yoan Moncada is some kind of dialed in.

For the second time in as many days, Moncada smacked a leadoff home run to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead.

Wednesday, he did it in the bottom of the first inning against Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners, taking the first pitch out of the yard. Thursday, he waited until pitch No. 2 to go deep of Jakob Junis and put the South Siders on top of the Kansas City Royals in the top of the first.

Moncada came into Thursday night's series-opener slashing .333/.421/.848 over his previous nine games. In his last 10, including Thursday, he now has nine extra-base hits, five home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs scored. This latest long ball moved him into a tie with Jose Abreu for the team lead, with six on the campaign.

So maybe Robinson Cano's assessment of Moncada as a potential superstar of the future might be on point.