Category Archives: sports

THE SOX AND FRIDAY THE 13TH

Wearing No. 13, Ozzie Guillen once homered for the White Sox on Friday the 13th.

A belated happy Friday the 13th to you, White Sox fans!

Or was it?

Here are some nuggets on the White Sox and the most superstitious day on the calendar (Warning: some of these may not be suitable for those with triskaidekaphobia):

*The @WhiteSox are 46-38-2 on Friday the 13th. … The Sox have lost their last three on the date but prior to that they had won five in a row and eight of their last nine on Friday the 13th

*The Sox have been at or above .500 on the date since July 13, 1973 when Eddie Leon’s RBI single capped a three-run ninth in a 3-2 win over Baltimore at Comiskey Park. That improved the Sox to 22-22-2 on Friday the 13th.

*The Sox last game on Friday the 13th was in 2016 and that game proved to be a huge jinx.

On that day in New York, Chris Sale improved to 8-0 with a complete game as the Sox whipped the Yankees 7-1.

The win, which also included a homer from Jimmy Rollins, improved to the Sox to 24-12 and enabled them to keep their five-game lead in the Central.

That, though, was the high point of the season.

From Saturday the 14th of May until the end of that season, the Sox went 54-72 and plummeted into fourth place in the Central.

*The Sox greatest win on Friday’ the 13th was one of the greatest games in their history.

On Aug. 13, 1954, Jack Harshman WENT THE DISTANCE in the Sox 1-0 win over Detroit in 16 INNINGS. Harshman fanned 12 and gave up nine hits and seven walks and got the win when Minnie Minoso’s triple drove in Nellie Fox with one out in the 16th.

*The Sox first Friday the 13th game was a 5-3 loss to Milwaukee in September of the franchise’s inaugural year of 1901.

*The Sox first win on Friday the 13th was a 9-0 win over Boston in June of 1902

*The Sox Friday the 13th ties were in April of 1928 (1-1 with Cleveland) and in June of 1958 (5-5 with Baltimore)

*Fittingly, 13 are the most runs the Sox have scored in a Friday the 13th game.

In September of 2002, Magglio Ordonez was 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBI in the Sox 13-2 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

That really was a freaky Friday because Rocky Biddle got the win over Mike Mussina.

*The Sox played their inaugural interleague game on a Friday the 13th.

On June 13, 1997, Wilson Alvarez went the distance as the Sox won 3-1 at Cincinnati.

*Ozzie Guillen, wearing No. 13, homered on Friday the 13th in June of 1986 in an 11-10 loss at Seattle. … Ozzie was 6-for-24 with that homer on Friday the 13th.

*In the only game between the Chicago teams on a Friday the 13th, the Sox beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field in July of 2001. Paul Konerko and Jose Valentin homered as the Sox won for the fourth time in their last five Friday the 13th tilts.

*I can not tell a lie: George Washington hit a homer for the Sox in their Friday the 13th loss to Philadelphia in September of 1935.

*Joe De Sa hit the second pinch-hit grand slam on a Friday the 13th. In September of 1985, De Sa victimized the Mariners in Seattle in the a 6-1 win.

*The White Sox last complete game shutout on Friday the 13th was in September of 1991 in Anaheim. Outdueling Jim Abbott, Jack McDowell used a Bo Jackson RBI in fashioning a four-hitter in a 1-0 win.

*White Sox infielder Hal Chase experienced a bit of bad luck on Friday the 13th in March of 1914.

Chase, a veteran, did not play in the Sox 4-0 exhibition win over the host San Francisco Seals because he left his uniform at the hotel in Oakland.

That nugget came from the Tribune.

*This isn’t the last you have heard from me on this subject.

I’ll be back on Friday, April 13th when the Sox play at Minnesota.

That is … if I’m lucky!

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@SOXNERD BLOG: THE THEME IS THE DREAM

The latest blog from the @SoxNerd

*DREAM THEME: I know they have nothing to do with the actual game but I LOVE White Sox theme nights.

Those “specials” give a lot of gifted people the opportunity to show off their talents.

In addition to the above graphic, which was part of Friday’s Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, here are some other theme highlights:

Grateful Dead Night … 


Star Wars Night … 


Christmas in July …

Theme nights also give me the opportunity to tie most anything to the White Sox …

Rock and Roll Night …

Beatles Night … 


Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day … 

Halfway to Mardi Gras Night … 

Christmas in July Night …


And, of course, Grandparents Day …


*VOLSTAD! Kris Volstad’s finished off the White Sox win on Sunday in his first appearance at U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field in seven years.

The big right-hander was the starting and losing pitcher for the Marlins in the Sox 4-1 win on May 22, 2010.

The Sox big blow was a three-run homer by Alex Rios in the sixth inning. Those were the only runs Volstad gave up in six innings.


*THANK YOU! Comcast stat guru Chris Kamka (@ckamka) had a great weekend breaking down the Sox Saturday home run barrage and Jose Abreu’s cycle.

I made great use of it on the scoreboard.

*SPEAKING OF THANKS: I received this direct message from follower Bryce Wanemacher (@bwane14) on two recent Sox hurlers:

“Here’s a stat that I just discovered. In 2015, our rotation consisted of Chris Sale and Jeff Samardzija in the 1 and 2 slots. 2 years later, they returned to Chicago to face their former team for the first time.

“5/30/17: Chris Sale’s line: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR (9.00 ERA & 2.40 WHIP)

“9/9/17: Jeff Samardzija’s line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 4 HR (9.53 ERA & 1.59 WHIP)

“Combined: 10.2 IP, 18 H, 12 R, 11 ER, 3 BB, 15 SO, 5 HR (9.28 ERA & 1.97 WHIP)”

Thanks, Bryan!

I can’t wait for the Sox to face Tyler Clippard this week in Houston!

*HE’S NO. 48! On Sept. 4, Rymer Liriano became the first Sox player to homer wearing No. 48 since Nelson Santovenia went deep in his first at bat with the club on July 11, 1992. … Liriano became the first Sox 48 to homer at home since Ralph Garr — “The Roadrunner” — touched ’em all on July 14, 1979 off Detroit’s Milt Wilcox at Comiskey Park.

7 YEARS AGO TODAY … TAKE THAT METRODOME!

A picture of the Metrodome in its waning days. This memory must please a lot of Sox fans.

Today is the seventh anniversary of the White Sox final game in their personal house of horrors knows as … THE METRODOME.

The game was an absolute doozy and SOMEWHAT made up for the excruciating pain caused there by bloops, wedgies, bunts, bad hops and all the other weird happenings that made place an absolute garbage dump to Sox fans.

On Sept. 2, 2009, Alexei Ramirez’s go-ahead single highlighted a four-run uprising in the ninth as the White Sox exited the Twin Cities Bubble of Trouble with a 4-2 victory over the Twins.

Back-to-back homers by Gordon Beckham and Paul Konerko off Joe Nathan tied it before Ramirez plated pinch-runner Dewayne Wise with the go-ahead run.

That rally was aided by a walk, a steal and a wild pitch — among the things which had haunted the Sox there for years.

The best thing about the outburst … IT ALL STARTED WITH NONE ON AND TWO OUTS!

That epic rally was not lost on Sox fans as this exchange on my Facebook page demonstrated:


That wasn’t my last contact with the Metrodome.

When it collapsed in 2010, I ordered my daughter, in Minneapolis to visit the U, to get over there and get me a piece of the roof.

She did!


A few days later, I received a piece of the Metrodome roof for Christmas.


And I made that piece tell me about that glorious game seven years ago today!


The Metrodome wasn’t all bad! My beautiful family and I took in a few games there, like this one in 2008, and always enjoyed ourselves if not the outcome!

@SOXNERD BLOG: SOX AT HOME ON 9/2, ANOTHER RARITY

@SoxNerd Blog for Sept. 2 …

*REPEAT: Second verse, same as the first!

Friday’s blog celebrated the fact that the White Sox were playing their first home game on September 1 since 2005.

Well, here I go again!

2005 is also the last time the Sox played a Sept. 2 home game.

4,383 days ago, the first-place White Sox used three-run home runs from Juan Uribe and Carl Everett and a solo shot from Willie Harris in walloping Detroit 9-1 before 25,502 at U.S. Cellular Field.

Freddy Garcia went seven innings and allowed one run on two hits with one walk and seven strikeouts for his 12th win as the Sox held their 7.5-game lead atop the American League Central.

Since then, the Sox have lost at KC, won at Cleveland, lost at Cleveland, won at Minnesota (more on that one later), were idle, lost at Detroit on consecutive years, lost at New York, won at Minnesota, lost at Minnesota and won at Minnesota.

*APPRECIATE THAT: Thanks to follower @jetotura for the kind words for my Sox Note during Friday night’s game on a familiar topic!

I may be reprising that note with a tweak tonight.

*HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: My Facebook memories reminded me why I joined Twitter:

I joined Twitter to “one-up” my daughter.

It has evolved and is growing into something I truly love!

Thank you all for indulging me and THANK YOU ELLIE FOR BEING YOU! ✌️❤️⚾️

@SOXNERD BLOG: SEPT. 1 IN CHICAGO A REAL RARITY

The latest blog from the @SoxNerd

*LONG TIME: Cue Johnny Carson!

It’s been so long since the White Sox last played at home on Sept. 1 … 

HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN?

It’s been so long that the last time the Sox played in Chicago on this date that Raul Casanova was one of the team’s September callups!

The Sox went on to win the World Series that year so you couldn’t … blame anything on the Casanova!

Hey ohhhhhhhhhhhhh

Anyway … 

In an absolute bizarre quirk of the schedule, when the Sox take the field tonight, they will be 4,383 days removed from their last Sept. 1 game on that field.

On that Thursday night in 2005, the first-place White Sox increased their lead in the American League Central to 7.5 games with a 12-3 win over Detroit before 20,743 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The heroes that game were Jermaine Dye, A.J. Pierzynski and Carl Everett, who homered, and Jose Contreras, who got his 10th win.

55 days later the White Sox would win their first World Series title in 32,153 days.

*MORE DAYS: Sept. 1 isn’t even the longest span between games on the 2017 slate.

The Sox broke droughts on June 29 (first home game since 2004 and the day my grandson was born) and July 14-16 (2000).

The Sox also haven’t played at home on Sept. 2 since 2005.

*SPEAKING OF …: You know that old adage that says no matter how obscure the player, he probably holds some sort of record or distinction in baseball?

How about these two for Casanova, whose White Sox career spanned six games and featured one hit in that September of 2005:

–He is one of 12 switch-hitting catchers (eighth at the time) in Sox history.

–He collected the Milwaukee Brewers final hit at Milwaukee County Stadium (a triple on Sept. 28, 2000.

*MORE SEPT 1: Today is the 37th anniversary of the day the White Sox Ed Farmer and Al Cowens made peace.

On this date in 1980 in Detroit, Farmer and Cowens brought out the pregame lineup cards and shook hands to make peace after an incident at Comiskey Park earlier in the season where Cowens had charged the mound and Farmer instead of running to first on a grounder. That incident resulted in a seven-game suspension and was a carryover from 1979 when a pitch from Farmer that broken Cowens’ jaw.

*LAST SEPT. 1ST: Here are some other noteworthy Sox events that happened on Sept. 1:

1901: Dummy Hoy’s two-run triple in the seventh broke it open as the White Sox defeated Baltimore 3-1 before an overflow crowd of 10,000 at South Side Park.

1914: Jack Fournier capped his two-homer game off the great Walter Johnson with a game-winning shot in the 10th in the White Sox 4-3 victory at Washington.

1919: Lefty Williams fired an eight-hit shutout in the opener and Joe Jackson homered in the nightcap as the first-place White Sox swept a doubleheader in Detroit

–1943: Future Hall of Famer Luke Appling went 7-for-11 with two doubles and two RBI in the White Sox doubleheader sweep at Cleveland.

1983: Winning pitcher LaMarr Hoyt twirled the only shutout of his Cy Young campaign in the first-place White Sox 12-0 win over Kansas City before 30,852 at Comiskey Park

1989: Daryl Boston’s grand slam, the last by a White Sox player at Comiskey Park, highlighted a 10-1 win over Baltimore before 11,574 at 35th and Shields

1990: Bobby Thigpen tied the single-season season record with his 46th save in the White Sox 9-5 win over the Angels in California

–1997: Magglio Ordonez’s mammoth homer with two out in the ninth off Tony Fossas muscled the White Sox to a 5-4 win over the Cardinals in the franchise’s inaugural game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

1998: Albert Belle set club season records in homers (42) and total bases (337) in the White Sox 9-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

2000: Jose Valentin’s two-RBI singled capped a six-run eighth as the the first-place White Sox rallied from 4-0 and 8-2 deficits in downing the Angels 9-8 at Comiskey Park.

@SOXNERD BLOG: DAY OFF? NO WORRIES! HERE’S YOUR SOX FIX!

The Tribune made the Sox win over the Angels and Nolan Ryan the top story on Aug. 9. More at http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1974/08/08/page/55/article/allen-hit-keys-sox-comeback

Here’s a look at some noteworthy @WhiteSox events that happened on this date to feed your Sox fix … 
My favorite game from this day …

*1974, KAAT, ALLEN DERAIL RYAN EXPRESS: Lefty Jim Kaat bested Nolan Ryan, who carried a no-hitter into the ninth, in the White Sox 2-1 win over California before 11,636 at Comiskey Park.

Kaat’s only mistake was a second-inning home run ball to Frank Robinson.

The Sox made Kaat a winner in the ninth when Ken Henderson drove in Dick Allen with the tying run and Bill Sharp brought home B.B. Richard with the game-winner.

Allen ruined Ryan’s no-hitter with a one-out single in the ninth.

Kaat gave up six hits with three strikeouts in improving to 13-8. Kaat, who was 4-0 against California, was 21-13 in 1974.

Ryan struck out 13 in falling to 14-12. 

More from this date …

*1910, NO. 1 SHUTOUT: Future Hall of Famer Ed Walsh fired a two-hitter in logging the first shutout at the Comiskey Park in the White Sox 4-0 win over Washington. The Sox tallied single runs in the second, third, sixth and eighth inning in improving to 38-58.

*1915, ODD POSITIONING: With Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson in right field and Hall of Fame outfielder Sam Rice on the mound for the Senators, the White Sox prevailed 6-2 in Washington. The victory halted the Sox six-game losing streak.

*1916, PITCHER STEALS HOME! Pitcher Reb Russell swiped home and got the victory in the third inning of the first-place White Sox 7-1 win over Boston. Chicagoan Jack Ness fell a double shy of the cycle as the Sox banged out 13 hits.

*1925, TED TERRIFIC: Future Hall of Famer Ted Lyons twirled a three-hitter in outdueling fellow future Hall of Famer Red Ruffing in the White Sox 2-0 win in Boston. Lyons walked four and fanned one in improving to 16-6. Willie Kamm and Earl Sheely each drove in a run as the Sox won by shutout for the second straight day.

*1931, TOUGH RED: The legendary Red Faber surrendered five singles in blanking the Browns in the White Sox 2-0 win at Comiskey Park. The future Hall of Famer also doubled and scored as part of his sixth win.

*1935, I CAN NOT TELL A LIE … SOX WIN IN OT: Outfielder George Washington’s two-run single in the 10th handed the White Sox a 2-1 win in Cleveland. Washington’s hit scored Al Simmons and Zeke Bonura and helped the Sox survive Cleveland’s rally in the 10th.

*1956, DROPO THE HERO: Veteran Walt Dropo scored the winning run in the first game and drove in the game-winner in the nightcap as the White Sox swept a doubleheader from Kansas City with a pair of walkoff victories before 5,397 at Comiskey Park. In Game 1, Dropo scored on Jim Rivera’s 10th inning triple to give the White Sox a 5-4 win. In the nightcap, Dropo drove in Sherm Lollar with a 10th inning for a 4-3 Sox win. Prior to Game 2, the White Sox Dave Philley was ejected for continuing an argument with Red Flaherty that started in the opener.

*1960, WALKOFF SWEEP: The White Sox scored a pair of walkoff wins – and Gerry Staley was the victor in both contests — in sweeping a doubleheader from Washington before 25,843 at Comiskey Park. Gene Freese’s two-run homer in the ninth powered the Sox to a 9-7 win in the opener while Minnie Minoso’s single in the ninth got the Sox a 3-2 victory in the nightcap.

*1966, MOOSE SPARKS COMEBACK: Chicagoan Moose Skowron’s homer in the ninth tied it and Wayne Causey’s two-run triple in the 10th broke gave the Sox the lead in a 9-8 win at California. The Sox had to survive an Angel usprising in the 10th as Dennis Higgins came on to get the game’s final out for his third save.

*1981, BASEBALL IS BACK: The White Sox and Cubs battled to a scoreless tie before 27,048 in an exhibition game at Comiskey Park as baseball finally returned to Chicago after the game’s first protracted work stoppage. The game was the first in Chicago since June 11. The players went on strike June 12. The Sox gave away 10,000 batting helmets and staged a Sox-Cubs old-timers game before the exhibition. The teams also played the next day, this time at Wrigley Field.

*1990, NO. 1 FOR ALEX: Rookie Alex Fernandez notched his first Major League victory in the White Sox 5-3 win at Kansas City. Fernandez scattered nine hits in six innings. Bobby Thigpen, on course for a record-setting season, tossed the final 1.1 innings for this 36th save. The White Sox erased a two-run deficit with a three-run fifth behind a two-run single by Sammy Sosa and an RBI triple by Phil Bradley.

*1993, BLACK JACK DEALING: Future Cy Young winner Jack McDowell won his sixth consecutive start in the White Sox 6-4 win over the Angels before 42,535 at Comiskey Park. The Sox improved to 60-49 and increased their lead to 4.5 games in the AL West. Ron Karkovice homered twice for his 14th and 15th dingers of the season. McDowell (18-6) got help from Roberto Hernandez, who fanned Chad Curtis with the tying runs on base in the ninth inning for his 23rd save.

*1994, SPANKY GOES DEEP: Catcher Mike LaValliere’s first homer with the White Sox, a two-run shot in the ninth, forced extra innings in the White Sox 10-5 win in 12 innings over the Angels in Anaheim. Jose DeLeon fired 4.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory. Frank Thomas drove in two runs in reaching the century mark for the fourth consecutive season.

*1999,  NO. 300 FOR FRANK: Future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas’ 300th home run accounted for the White Sox only highlight in an 11-1 loss to the Athletics in Oakland. Thomas reached the milestone off Kevin Appier in the sixth inning. Thomas became the 84th player in big league history and the 16th active player to reach the 300-homer plateau. Thomas also joined Barry Bonds, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr. as the only active players with 300 home runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 walks.

*2001, NO. 100 FOR MAGGS: Right fielder Magglio Ordonez hit his 100th home run in a 9-3 loss at Anaheim. Ordonez’s blast, a solo shot, came in the ninth off Mark Lukasiewicz. Ordonez became the 10th player in White Sox history to reach the century mark in dingers. He reached the milestone in his 585th game with the White Sox. Only Frank Thomas hit 100 homers with the White Sox in fewer games. “Big Frank” clubbed his 100th homer in his 506th game.

*2005, FUTURE CHAMPS WIN: The future World Series champion White Sox got a two-run homer from Paul Konerko and a solo shot from Joe Crede in downing Seattle 3-1 before 35,706 at US Cellular Field. Jon Garland got his 16th win and Dustin Hermanson pitched a perfect ninth for his 28th save.

*2013, A WALKOFF TRIPLE! Outfielder Alejandro De Aza’s two-run triple in the 12th delivered the White Sox a 6-5 win over the Yankees before 25,707 at U.S. Cellular Field. The Yankees took the lead in the top of the frame when Dylan Axelrod yielded a homer to Robinson Cano. The walkoff triple was the Sox first since Lyle Mouton came through with the game-winner on May 22, 1996.

@SOXNERD BLOG: MONCADA BREAKS ON THROUGH IN CLEANUP SPOT

The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

What we have learned the last few days, @soxnerd style!

*CLEANING IT UP: Prior to Yoan Moncada’s arrival, it had been a while since the White Sox had a second baseman break on through to the cleanup spot.

Moncada is the first @whitesox second sacker to hit fourth since Jim Morrison — the slugger not the singer — batted there on June 20, 1980 against Detroit at Comiskey Park. Ed Farmer took the loss that day, by the way.

Moncada made his third Sox start at cleanup in Thursday’s series opener in Boston.

Speaking of Boston …

Moncada is the first Sox second baseman to start out of the fourth hole vs. Boston since fellow former Red Sox Mike Andrews on Aug. 22, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

The last time a Sox second baseman started at cleanup in Boston prior to Moncada    on Thursday was Cass Michaels on May 5, 1950.

*A CONSTANT: This will mark the 117th consecutive season the White Sox will battle their red counterparts in Boston.

The first White Sox game in Boston was June 17, 1901 when the home team win the first game as part of a doubleheader split.

This is the 107th year in a row the White Sox are playing in Fenway Park.

Did you know the White Sox spoiled the formal dedication of Fenway Park. On May 17, 1912, among parades, pomp, circumstance and dignitaries, the White Sox prevailed 5-2 with winning pitcher Ed Walsh going 3-for-3. The White Sox used a four-run ninth to win.

*NO. 634: Rookie Nicky Delmonico became the 634th player to homer for the White Sox with his first career homer on Thursday.

And this from Nerd pal @ckamka …

*MORE NICKY: On Tuesday, Delmonico became the first Sox player to make his big league debut batting fifth since @TheBigHurt_35 aka Frank Thomas did it on Aug. 2, 1990 in Milwaukee.

Here’s the list of recent Sox 5-hole @mlb debuts flashed on the Guaranteed Rate Field scoreboard that night.

*CLEANUP KEVAN: Moncada wasn’t the only Sox player hitting in rare air in the fourth hole recently.

On Wednesday, Kevan Smith was the first Sox catcher to cleanup since A.J. Pierzynski on Sept. 27, 2011 and the first right-handed hitter to do it since Carlton Fisk on Oct. 1, 1991.

Digging deeper, Smith was the first Sox rookie catcher to start at cleanup since Matt Merullo on July 2, 1991. In addition, Smith was the first right-handed hitting rookie catcher to start out of the fourth spot since John Romano on Sept. 12, 1959.

*BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS: The recently-completed sets vs. the @cubs and @Indians marked the first time the Sox had played the defending league champs in consecutive series at home.

This was the second time and second year in a row the Sox played the reigning World Series teams in back-to-back series. In 2016, the Sox played at Kansas City May 27-29 before heading to New York to play the Mets May 30-June 1 in the MATT ALBERS SERIES.

Other seasons in which the Sox played both of the previous years World Series teams were 2003 (Giants and Angels), 2004 (Marlins and Yankees), 2008 (Rockies and Red Sox) and 2011 (Cardinals and Rangers).

*A HIT BY A PITCHER: Here’s what I excavated in the wake of pitcher Carlos Rodon’s two-run double on July 25 at Wrigley Field:

–Rodon’s two RBI were one more than Sox pitchers amassed between 2013 and July 24, 2017

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=1648798083

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher since reliever Matt Albers‘ rocked the Big Apple on June 1, 2016

–Rodon’s two-bagger was the first by a Sox pitcher since Mark Buehrle on June 29, 2011

–Rodon’s double was the first by a Sox pitcher IN CHICAGO since fellow starter Stan Bahnsen victimized Texas’ Dan Stanhouse in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 4, 1972 at Comiskey Park.

–Prior to Rodon, the last Sox pitcher to log an RBI in the second inning was Philip Humber on June 16, 2012 at Dodger Stadium

*SIR PAUL: Sir Paul McCartney played three songs on July 25-26 at the the Hollywood Casino and Amphitheater and Casino that he and The Beatles played during their Aug. 20, 1965 day-night doubleheader at Comiskey Park: I Wanna Be Your Man, Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night.

*NOTE: The Baseball Reference website and Play Index rocks!