Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day: Sox Prove They Can Play

At 2:05 Chicago time, the White Sox entered the field in style and put on an amazing display. The season started with back to back hits by Juan Pierre and Gordon Beckham. The sox later would score two runs, one of them coming from veteran first baseman Paul Konerko's single. Mark Buehrle came prepared, he threw a shutout first inning and then continued that shutout streak until the sixth inning.                  
    While Buehrle was shutting down batters the Cleveland pitchers seemed to do the opposite. Hawk Harrelson had a chance to use his famous saying "put it on the board yes!" in the third inning when Adam Dunn, who struck out his first at bat killed a home run to right field. The left-handed power, Kenny Williams hoped for last season, came into effect on this years opening day, the Adam Dunn deal has already paid off. Later in the inning Carlos Quentin gave insight as to what hitter he plans to be this season by crushing a home run to left. With the homer the White Sox scored a total of four runs in the third. It was during the fourth when the White Sox really showed off their hitting ability. Quentin hit a bases loaded double, earning five RBIs all together, more runs then a few teams even scored total during their openers. Adam Dunn, Alexei Ramirez, and even rookie Brent Morel also had extra base hits during the inning. In all the Sox scored eight runs during the fourth, it was an incredible offensive explosion. By the fifth the Sox were up 14-0 and the Indian fans were silent, and maybe even a little depressed. 14-0 in the fifth! On Opening Day! I don't think anyone predicted that.
    Unfortunately, the game was a small version of the 2010 season. The Sox started somewhat slow, then got hot, and then had a downfall. Ozzie decided to give players such as Milleage, Lillibridge, Teahen, and Ramon Castro a shot. Once the starters left the game early the utility players combined to score only one run in the innings to follow the fourth.
    This isn't terrible, the real concern should be the relief pitching. After pitching phenomenally during the first five innings, the Indians put an end to Buehrle's consecutive ten outs by scoring four runs. With a ten run lead, Will Ohman, Chris Sale, and Jessie Crain cut it a little too close allowing six more runs to cross the plate. The sox finished with a five run lead and a final score of 15-10.
    Personally, I think this year's opening day rivals that of last year, when Buehrle made his remarkable play and the White Sox shut out the Indians. All in all the game showed just how powerful the White Sox's line up can be but it also draws some concerns for relief pitching. But no matter how many runs Sox pitchers give up, if the offense continues to be like it was today, they can't lose. Hello World Series? No, it is a little too soon, but if the Sox continue to excel they will definitely be in the running for the division. Chicago is smiling tonight, well at least on the South Side.