@SOXNERD BLOG: TIM AT THE TOP

Latest blog from the @SoxNerd

THE LEADOFF MAN: He never walks …

He swings at the first pitch a lot …

His on-base percentage isn’t ideal …

He strikes out a great deal …

BUT

I’m loving Tim Anderson as the White Sox leadoff man.

On Tuesday night, Anderson led off the Sox 6-1 loss to the Dodgers in Los Angeles with a first-pitch homer off Alex Wood.

That boosted Anderson’s 2017 average leading off games to .483 and his career average in that situation to .406.

https://www.mlb.com/video/andersons-leadoff-homer/c-1731148783?tid=6479266

While Anderson has never led off a game with a walk (in 70 plate appearances) aren’t a .483 on-base percentage or a .406 mark (which is his career output) hard to ignore?

Plus his power (Tuesday was his fourth career game-starting homer and third this season) and the prospects of a quick 1-0 lead are tempting.

*HE’S NO. 1: After serving as the Sox first batter, Anderson’s average as a leadoff hitter drops.

This season, he is batting .254 with a .276 on-base percentage overall in 29 starts as the Sox No. hitter this season. His career numbers in 70 starts there are .269 and .272.

*MORE TIM: Anderson is a .285 hitter (.287 on-base percentage) leading off innings in his career. … This season those numbers read .285 and .288.

http://mlb.com/r/article?ymd=20170816&content_id=248647636&vkey=news_cws&c_id=cws

*HIS TOP SPOT: Anderson’s best spot in the lineup is No. 7 where he is hitting .277 with a .295 on-base percentage there lifetime and .270/.291 this season.

*SOX ALMANAC, TODAY IN 1919, BABE’S BIG BLAST NOT ENOUGH: On this day in 1919, the White Sox overcame Babe Ruth’s tape measure blast in edging the Red Sox 7-6 at Comiskey Park.

Four innings after Ruth homered over the right field bleachers, Hap Felsch scored on Ray Schalk’s squeeze to end it.

Eight years later on this day, Babe hit the first roof shot homer at Comiskey Park.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: The White Sox face the Dodgers’ Yu Darvish on his 31st birthday today.
This will mark the 51st time (since 1913) the Sox will face a starting pitcher on his birthday.

The Sox are 23-27 vs. starters celebrating a birthday.

The last time that happened was when the Sox lost to the Twins and Phil Hughes, celebrating his 29th bday, 6-1 on June 24, 2015 at U.S. Cellular Field.

The Sox last win over a birthday boy starting pitcher was on July 27, 2011. On that day in Chicago, the Sox and John Danks outdueled Max Scherzer, who was marking his 31st birthday.

@SOXNERD BLOG: HIGH AVG. @WHITESOX & MORE

The latest from the @SoxNerd

*ON FIRE! Rookie Nicky Delmonico raised his average to .400 with three hits in Wednesday’s night’s win over Houston at Guaranteed Rate Field.

At this moment in time, Delmonico is the Sox all-time average leader among those with 25-or-more at bats.

I posted the above graphic on the Sox video board after Delmonico’s second at bat on Wednesday. There will be more tonight!

Behind Delmonico are Joe Hall .393 (28 at bats), John Russell .385 (26 at bats) and Clint Courtney .378 (37 at bats).

*SWEEP: The Sox are going for their fourth sweep of the Astros tonight.

The first?

GAMES ONE THROUGH FOUR OF THE 2005 WORLD SERIES!

*DOUBLE/HR: The emerging Kevan Smith executed a rarity in Tuesday night’s win.

The Pitt product, who once played quarterback for former Bears coach Dave Wannstedt, became the first Sox rookie catcher to double and homer in the same game since Miguel Olivo on May 1, 2003.

Others who have done this (since 1913): Josh Paul on Aug. 29, 2001; Ron Karkovice Oct. 2, 1986; Bill Nahorodny April 21 and June 2, 1978; Ed Herrmann June 4, 1969; Joe Tipton May 3, 1949 and Buck Crouse July 17, 1924.

*THANKS! A shout out to Kevin Luke @tvdirguy who pointed out that the White Sox Tyler Saladino and Astros pitcher James Hoyt, who squared Tuesday, were teammates at 2008 at Palomar (Calif.) College in 2008.

Note: The Baseball Reference Play Index rules!

 

 

@SOXNERD BLOG: OLD GUYS RULE!

The latest from the @SoxNerd

Mrs. SoxNerd and I rarely pay face value for any baseball tickets but Friday night we made an exception for one reason:

BARTOLO COLON.

And the old (age 44), fat guy did not disappoint.

Colon went the distance in the Twins 8-4 win over the Rangers before a pulling-for-Bartolo crowd of 22,272 at Target Field in  Minneapolis.

This was vintage late Bart as opposed to early blazing fastball Bart.

Colon was crafty, economical with his pitches (all 106 of them!) and let his defense work for him.

Bart has always been a bit of a legendary figure in my baseball world because of the results he has produced with the 285-pounds his 5-foot-11 frame supports.

His “this is who I am and I don’t care what anyone thinks” attitude just adds to his legend.

If fact, whenever Colon would pitch for the Sox, my co-worker, who was once mocked for his beefy appearance in a Chicago newspaper, would exclaim, “You ever wanted to know what I would look like on a baseball field, it’s right there on the mound.”

The fact that he doesn’t look like he’s expending much energy is also just plain comical to me.

Kudos to Twins manager Paul Molitor, who had two singles in eight at bats in his career vs. Bart, for sticking with the right-hander until the joyous end on Friday night.

When Colon got his 27th out, thanks to a nifty play by first baseman Joe Mauer, he became the oldest Twins pitcher to go to the  distance and the oldest pitcher to do so since 1992.

Friday’s outing also highlights another aspect of baseball I love: In every game, no matter the importance, something incredibly special can happen. It could be so unique it may have happened before or never will happen again.

More on Colon … 

*IS BART THERE? The White Sox were having a difficult time finding Colon during “Big Sexy’s” second stint on the south side in 2009.

Manager Ozzie Guillen found the situation both frustrating and humorous.

“To talk to Colon, you’ve got to talk to 20 different people,” Guillen said. “You got to talk to 30 different cousins, and then to his agent, who talks to his brother, his brother call his wife, his wife say he’s with Pedro, Pedro say he’s with Juan. I guarantee you I’ll call [President Barack] Obama, and we’ll have a talk before Colon answers the phone. Obama will put me on hold for one second.”

*SOX TIME! Colon was 36 when he appeared in the last of his two one-season stints with the White Sox in 2009.

Nothing more than a fifth starter, Colon was 3-9 with a 4.19 ERA in 12 starts for the ’09 Sox in an injury-shortened campaign that ended in July.

His 2004 Sox campaign was more Bart-like: 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA and team-bests in starts (34), innings (242) and batters faced (984).

*OLD SOX CG: The last 40-year old to twirl a complete game for the Sox was 41-year old Danny Darwin, who went nine in a 1-0 loss to Baltimore (a Cal Ripken Jr. RBI) on April 17, 1997 at Comiskey Park.

By the way, Darwin started one game with fellow 40-year old Tony Pena as his batterymate for the Sox that season.

*OLD SOX CG WIN: The last 40-year old to go the distance and win for the Sox was 44-year old Charlie Hough in 1992.

On June 22, the knuckleballer and the Sox bested Boston 7-1 in 2 hours and 20 minutes before 32,967 at Comiskey Park.

That was one of four complete games Hough would throw that season.

*40! The last 40-year old to appear in a game for the White Sox was 44-year old Omar Vizquel in 2011.

*THE FIRSTS: Colon gave up four runs in five innings and survived a first-inning home run by Frank Thomas in winning his first start against the White Sox on Sept. 6, 1997 in Cleveland.

Eight days later, Colon yielded two runs in six innings in getting a no decision in his first start vs. the Sox in Chicago.

An eight-run Indians outburst, highlighted by Jim Thome’s 40th homer (off Al Levine) took Colon off the hook.

*THE LAST: Colon’s last appearance vs. the Sox was a five-hit complete game shutout for Oakland on May 31, 2013.

That upped Colon’s record to 11-8 and dipped his ERA to 3.81 in 23 career outings (all starts) vs. the Sox.

That 2013 gem may not be his final outing vs. the Sox. The Twins invade Chicago for a five-game set beginning Aug. 21.

See you then, Bart!

Note: Old guys and Baseball Reference rules!

@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 two 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: Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night.

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

@SOXNERD BLOG: SWARZAK TO THE RESCUE 

The latest @SoxNerd Blog …

A few random nuggets on the White Sox-Cubs series, @SoxNerd style … 

*Anthony Swarzak earned his first career save in the White Sox 3-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday.

The only other pitcher to do that was Jesus Pena in the Sox 4-2 win in 12 at Wrigley Field on July 7, 2000.

Much like Swarzak, Pena, a lefty, K’d the last batter he faced (Brant Brown).

Unlike Swarzak, who recorded four outs and got a called K (Willson Contreras) to end it, Pena faced one man and got him swinging.

That was the only save of Pena’s career.

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=1645196883

*Prior to Swarzak, the last Sox pitcher other than David Robertson to save a game vs. the Cubs was Matt Lindstrom on May 5, 2014 at Wrigley Field.

*The Sox lead the all-time series with the Cubs, 58-51.

*The Sox won their first game as defending champs vs. the Cubs. On May 19, 2006, Mark Buehrle and the Sox, backed by a Jim Thome homer, dumped Greg Maddux and the Cubs 6-1 at Wrigley Field.

*Rick Renteria and Robin Ventura are the only Sox managers to win their debuts vs. the Cubs. … Terry Bevington, Jerry Manuel and Ozzie Guillen all dropped their first games vs. the Cubs.

*Statcast finally determined Matt Davidson’s homer went 476-feet with an exit velocity of 110 mph.

DingerTracker had … 

*Exclusive company …

http://mlb.mlb.com/r/video?content_id=1645251583

*Too easy 

*Hashtag “proud grandpa … ”

https://twitter.com/soxnerd/status/889660794132197378k

@SOXNERD BLOG: A BASES-LOADED TRIPLE!

The first @SoxNerd Blog of the rebuild!

Yes, he’s the most anticipated arrival from the Sox minor league system in decades.

Yes, he loves Twinkies.

Yes, he’s a good-looking dude.

Yes, he can run, field, hit, throw and hit for power.

Yoan Moncada is all those things but the thing I love him for most RIGHT NOW is his bases-loaded triple.

NERD!

Bases-loaded triples have fascinated me for a long time now.

I don’t know if it’s because the play can be a game-changer or the triple is the most exciting play in baseball but something about this situation prompted me to start logging these incidents years ago.

The same is true for one-out saves and 1-0 White Sox victories (256 of them by the way!).

I have logged every White Sox bases-loaded triple digging as deeply as I can before the lack of information delayed me.

For those of you scoring at home, that is 1947!

With that being said (and with some always-sensational contributions from the great Chris Kamka at @ckamka), here’s a deep look inside Moncada’s bases-loaded triple Friday in Kansas City, which was his first big league hit:

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple came in a Sox loss, which is a recent rarity. Prior to Friday, the Sox had won three in a row and five of their last six games in which they had a bases-loaded triple. … In the last 10 seasons, the Sox are 15-3 in games in which they had a bases-loaded triple

–Along those same lines, the Sox SHOULD NOT lose the next game in which they have a bases-loaded. Dating to 1947, the Sox have NEVER lost consecutive games when they have logged a bases-loaded triple

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple was the first by a Sox sixth-place hitter since Jose Valentin on May 27, 2000 vs. Cleveland at Comiskey Park

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple was the first by a Sox player in Kansas City since Conor Gillaspie on Sept. 16, 2014

–Moncada’s bases-loaded triple padded the Sox lead, which is a rarity based on recent history. Prior to Moncada, the last two and five of the last six Sox bases-loaded triples had given the Sox the lead. The only one that padded a Sox lead in that span was Marcus Semien’s three-bagger at Texas on April 20, 2014

–Three of the last four Sox bases-loaded triples (and four of the last seven) have been by second basemen (Brent Lillibridge Aug. 1, 2010, Moncada, Sanchez and Semien).

–Friday was the Sox first bases-loaded triple by a second baseman in Kansas City since Ray Durham on April 15, 1996

–2016 broke a string of three seasons in which the Sox had had a bases-loaded triple. … That was the longest streak since a 10-year run from 1994 to 2003

–The Sox did not have a bases-loaded triple between June 30, 1986 (Ozzie Guillen) and May 17, 1992 (Steve Sax)

–Among the more obscures players to notch bases-loaded triples with the Sox are Liu Rodriguez, Tony Muser, Bob Spence, Matt Batts, Phil Masi, Bob Souchock and …


JIM McANANY!

–July 12, 1959 was the greatest day in the history of White Sox bases-loaded triples. In  fact, it could be argued that day is the greatest day ever in the history of bases-loaded triples. On that day at Comiskey Park, Jim McAnany logged a bases-loaded triple in each game of a doubleheader!

 

 

@SOXNERD BLOG JULY 15: I’LL MISS YA, Q!

@SoxNerd Blog for July 15 …

*ON Q: I will miss Jose Quintana, who was dealt to the Cubs for three prospects on Thursday.

Not only was the left-hander a classy and consistent performer, there were some aspects to his being that really helped the @SoxNerd on Twitter and in the Scoreboard Control Room at Guaranteed Rate Field. This, of course, in addition to all the standard information that the accomplished career of Quintana provided.

Notes on digging deep on Quintana …

–I got a lot of mileage of his Major League rankings among natives of Colombia. Quintana ended his White Sox career the all-time leader among Colombians with 890 strikeouts, 169 starts among pitchers and 1,055.1 innings and second to Julio Teheran with 50 victories. …Quintana was the first native of Colombia to make an Opening Day start for an American League team (2017)

–I loved the fact that his last name started with ‘Q,’ which put him in rare air in White Sox history. He and “Long” John Quinn and Tom Qualters are the only pitchers with a last name that starts with ‘Q’ to play for the Sox. Quintana is the first ‘Q’ to earn decisions and victories for the Sox since Quinn in 1918. … In addition, Quintana and Quinn (Boston 1922 and Brooklyn 1931) are the only ‘Q’ pitchers to make an Opening Day start.

–His high number of 62 also provided some good stuff. It was difficult to nail down a pitcher with a higher number to make a start for the Sox. Gerry Staley is listed as wearing No. 66 for the 1956 Sox but he wore two different numbers that season, which muddies the research waters a bit. Still, though, I transformed that high number into a few nuggets.

*MORE Q: I was hoping Quintana would get one more start with the White Sox so I could flash a few of the stats I dug up after his sacrifice fly in his last start.

Here are a few I Tweeted out …

#JoseQuintana aka @jose_quintana24 1st sac fly RBI by a @whitesox pitcher since #JoelHorlen on 5-12-71 vs Washington @ ComiskeyPark

#JoseQuintana aka @jose_quintana24 1st sac fly RBI by a @whitesox starting pitcher since @TommyJohn288 on 9-14-69 vs Oakland @ ComiskeyPark

#JoseQuintana aka @jose_quintana24 1st sac fly RBI by a @whitesox starting pitcher on the road since GaryPeters on 6-24-69 @ Seattle

From our pal Chris Kamka …

Here are some that did not make it to Twitter …

–Quintana’s sac fly was the first by a Sox player with a Q last name since Aug. 14, 2011 when Carlos Quentin’s fourth-inning fly plated Juan Pierre in a 6-2 win over Kansas City at U.S. Cellular Field on Aug. 14, 2011

–Quintana drove in his right fielder, Willy Garcia, with his sac fly. The last time a Sox pitcher plated his right fielder in that fashion was on July 31, 1966 when Horlen brought in Ken Berry in a 4-1 win over the Yankees in the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park.

Sorry, Q you won’t see these next week. We love ya’ but you’re the enemy now!