PDA

View Full Version : First Washington game symbolic of 2011 season


Dan H
06-25-2011, 12:01 PM
The White Sox loss against the Nationals was frustrating. The frustration came because this is wasn't the first such loss of the season. For example I was U S Cellular for a game against the Angels in April and the White Sox put the first two runners on in the ninth. They were down two but the Angels reliever looked flustered. Yet the Sox let him off the hook by scoring nothing and lost a winnable game.

Lillibridge, who has done so well with the few chances he has had this year, chose a weird time to have his worst at bat of the season. As with the Angels reliever, the Washington reliever looked rattled. But the Sox left him off the hook, too, and a chance for the win practically vanished.

We all know what bad years Pierre, Dunn and Rios have had. But in addition to sub-par overall performances, the White Sox as a team have not executed in key situations. The season is near the half-way point so this is a trend not a slump.

Loud mouthed Steve Rosenbloom said on the Score that the Sox were "a crappy team." They are not that, but they haven't demonstrated they can win a division that is asking to be taken. The team doesn't just need dominating pitching and dramatic home runs. It needs to do the small things that can turn a so-so season into a great one.

voodoochile
06-25-2011, 12:10 PM
I'm gonna leave this be for now, but if it turns into a thread ranting about last night's loss I'm going to merge it with the post game thread. Another mod may do that anyway, so be aware.

LITTLE NELL
06-25-2011, 01:11 PM
This team so far has been one big tease, right when we get close to .500 we take a step or 2 back. I had a feeling that we would sweep the Nats, so much for that. Lets at least hope the latest trend of losing the first game against a NL team and coming back to win the series continues.

BigKlu59
06-25-2011, 02:44 PM
This team so far has been one big tease, right when we get close to .500 we take a step or 2 back. I had a feeling that we would sweep the Nats, so much for that. Lets at least hope the latest trend of losing the first game against a NL team and coming back to win the series continues.


Its a shame we couldnt have pinch hit Smokey Burgess in that spot last night, san's batting helmet and all... I know he would have come thru with a gopher killer between the 1 and 2 bagger...

BK59

Paulwny
06-25-2011, 02:59 PM
Its a shame we couldnt have pinch hit Smokey Burgess in that spot last night, san's batting helmet and all... I know he would have come thru with a gopher killer between the 1 and 2 bagger...

BK59

The problem is, could Smokey beat the throw from the RF to 1st base?

BigKlu59
06-25-2011, 03:33 PM
The problem is, could Smokey beat the throw from the RF to 1st base?

Sure...That fat cat could motor when he needed to... And remember we only had 1 out.... I'll take a put out at first to score the winning run any day... That would be a slow motion play though..Dunn lumbering in from 3rd and Smokey with his rocket pack chugging to first:D:

BK59

Lip Man 1
06-25-2011, 08:04 PM
Dan:

Making matters more frustrating is that for the past four straight off seasons, Ozzie has talked and talked and talked to the mainstream media about how (paraphrasing) 'things are going to be different' regarding fundamentals and the approach he takes in spring training.

Then the bell rings and the same old ****.

Like I said I was told by one of the Sox announcers (no, I'm not going to name him) that the players collectively are "baseball stupid" (direct quote) but it's hard to think EVERY player including those the Sox get from other organizations are that incompetent with fundamentals.

It doesn't wash logically. There's more going on here.

I think part of it, maybe a BIG part of it is an inability of this manager and this coaching staff to effectively teach these things. (Now you can argue about whether big league managers and coaches should have to even do this in the first place but that's a different topic.) Unfortunately the way things are done today (particularly by the Sox) players are rushed through the system without actually learning their craft. How often has Daver posted that 'if you can hit you're moved up regardless of if you can catch the ball, understand your position, do the little things...'

And brother it sure shows on the field doesn't it when guys can't hit a cutoff man, get a bunt down, execute a hit and run, execute a run and hit, actually hold baserunners on, pick off moves or God help us, see the Sox try to execute a rundown the way it's supposed to be done.

I think it was Einstein who said, "God is in the details..." Don't know if God is a baseball fan but the details, the little things sure as **** win or lose you games.

Lip

Frater Perdurabo
06-25-2011, 08:47 PM
Dan:

Making matters more frustrating is that for the past four straight off seasons, Ozzie has talked and talked and talked to the mainstream media about how (paraphrasing) 'things are going to be different' regarding fundamentals and the approach he takes in spring training.

Then the bell rings and the same old ****.

Like I said I was told by one of the Sox announcers (no, I'm not going to name him) that the players collectively are "baseball stupid" (direct quote) but it's hard to think EVERY player including those the Sox get from other organizations are that incompetent with fundamentals.

It doesn't wash logically. There's more going on here.

I think part of it, maybe a BIG part of it is an inability of this manager and this coaching staff to effectively teach these things. (Now you can argue about whether big league managers and coaches should have to even do this in the first place but that's a different topic.) Unfortunately the way things are done today (particularly by the Sox) players are rushed through the system without actually learning their craft. How often has Daver posted that 'if you can hit you're moved up regardless of if you can catch the ball, understand your position, do the little things...'

And brother it sure shows on the field doesn't it when guys can't hit a cutoff man, get a bunt down, execute a hit and run, execute a run and hit, actually hold baserunners on, pick off moves or God help us, see the Sox try to execute a rundown the way it's supposed to be done.

I think it was Einstein who said, "God is in the details..." Don't know if God is a baseball fan but the details, the little things sure as **** win or lose you games.

Lip

Great post, Lip.

I'm not sure the minor league system's failure to teach fundamentals is a problem for the major league team as currently constructed. Of the position players currently on the Sox, only Morel and Lillibridge spent any significant time in the Sox minor league organization. Beckham spent ~59 games there. Morel spent the longest time there, and he's one of the most consistently fundamentally sound players on the team. No other position player has spent any time in the Sox minor league system, other than for short-term injury rehabs.

I agree with you; I think the fault lies squarely with Walker (for being an ineffective situational hitting coach), Ozzie and Cora (for failing to teach fielding and situational hitting fundamentals), KW (for tolerating the coaches' failure and for acquiring position players who aren't that great at fielding their positions or situational hitting), and JR (for his loyalty to the aforementioned despite their mediocre results in a division they should be dominating).

soxfan1965
06-25-2011, 09:13 PM
Like I said I was told by one of the Sox announcers (no, I'm not going to name him) that the players collectively are "baseball stupid" (direct quote) but it's hard to think EVERY player including those the Sox get from other organizations are that incompetent with fundamentals.
Lip
I thought of this in the top of the 2nd when there was a throw to first and they caught the runner going to second. But Dunn (albeit rusty in the field) didn't set himself up right and made a less than accurate throw to second, with TCM dropping a catchable ball and the runner was safe. This is on top of TCM costly throwing error last night in extras. The mastery of the little things is where I think Ozzie wants to be as he marvels the Twins grasp of the fundamentals down to the grass roots level in the organization. Maybe this can be addressed in the off-season onto Spring Training. Yes, Smokey had a knack of getting that clutch pinch hit and it was entertaining just to see him warm up with those double iron bars doing windmills as he was called to pinch hit in a crucial spot.

Dan H
06-26-2011, 08:37 AM
This team could learn something from the 1990 White Sox team. That club won 94 games and I never knew how they did it when I looked at their lineup. They did little things because they knew they had to.

Small ball isn't just bunting and stealing bases. An example of small ball was in the first inning of game 2 against the Nationals. Morel singled Lillibridge to third and and Quentin brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Now with first and third and no outs, you would like to see a bigger inning. However, first things first, and Quentin got that run in. In close games like this one, that offensive execution is important. Do this more often and big innings will take care of themselves. Lack of basic execution like this is one reason why this team is struggling to be .500 as mid season approaches. And this is too bad because the club isn't fully utilizing the talent it has.

LITTLE NELL
06-26-2011, 09:12 AM
This team could learn something from the 1990 White Sox team. That club won 94 games and I never knew how they did it when I looked at their lineup. They did little things because they knew they had to.

Small ball isn't just bunting and stealing bases. An example of small ball was in the first inning of game 2 against the Nationals. Morel singled Lillibridge to third and and Quentin brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Now with first and third and no outs, you would like to see a bigger inning. However, first things first, and Quentin got that run in. In close games like this one, that offensive execution is important. Do this more often and big innings will take care of themselves. Lack of basic execution like this is one reason why this team is struggling to be .500 as mid season approaches. And this is too bad because the club isn't fully utilizing the talent it has.

How about the 1967 Sox, no regular batted over .241 but stayed in contention until the last 5 days. Great pitching and defense as was also the case with my beloved 1959 Sox.
Great managers and teams that knew what it took to win a ballgame.

khan
06-26-2011, 11:28 AM
To me, it isn't just about the fundamentals, although I've made my thoughts known on that matter elsewhere.

Its this tendency to "play down" to inferior competition, to be awed by division foes, and to fail to take advantage of opponents that may or may not be 100% physically or mentally focused.

Washington had just had their manager quit on them. The SOX easily could have started their inevitable decline to sub .500 baseball. Instead, they let them off the hook.

And it isn't "just" this washington game, they've had opponents fly in to Chicago at the wee hours of the night, while they were at home, only for the SOX to come out flat. You'd think they'd feast on these types of situations, but it isn't always the case, unfortunately.

Brian26
06-26-2011, 11:39 AM
This team could learn something from the 1990 White Sox team. That club won 94 games and I never knew how they did it when I looked at their lineup. They did little things because they knew they had to.

The '90 Sox had a lights-out bullpen, and the team could catch and throw the ball pretty much at every position. Offensively, the only thing they really lacked was a power hitter in the lineup. But, they could advance runners by hitting to the right side, they could lay down a bunt successfully whenever they needed to, they could get a ball up in the air for a sac fly with a man on third and less than two out, they had some speed but more importantly knew how to run the bases and take an extra base when it was given to them.

To this day, I think the '90 team was the most fundamentally sound Sox team I've ever seen. But I still have some ideallic or romantic view that guys were fundamentally more sound 30 years ago than they are today, even though perhaps they had less physical tools and resources around them.

Brian26
06-26-2011, 11:49 AM
The mastery of the little things is where I think Ozzie wants to be as he marvels the Twins grasp of the fundamentals down to the grass roots level in the organization.

To me, you can't blame Ozzie for fundamental mistakes. He shouldn't be expected to teach fundamentals to major leaguers. Kids should be learning this stuff at the pony league/high school level and then have it reinforced either in college or low-low minor league ball depending on which route a kid takes.

But, I see the problems. The way the game is taught now at those lower levels is different than the way it was taught 25-30 yrs ago. I watched some 9-year olds play this weekend. Coaches didn't yell out how many outs there were before each batter came up. No reinforcement to the kids before the at-bat of where they should go with the throw if the ball came to them. Too much focus on hitting the ball and too little work on learning to catch and throw. And that's with six coaches on the bench. We had two when I was growing up, maybe three if the other guy didn't have to work late. I know that's a simplistic snapshot, but the players can only be as good as their teachers as they come through the system.

russ99
06-26-2011, 12:53 PM
Spare me the usual rants about Ozzie and Pierre. It's all too obvious why we're seeing this kind of game often from the Sox.

Our pitching for the most part is solid, and what we asked of our pen in the first game of the Nats series was above the usual workload, so their breakdowns were at least plausible if not expected.

The real issue is this: Nobody on the Sox roster has any clue what to do at a given at-bat.

All of them pull the ball, try to kill it, and there's not even an iota of situational hitting on the team.

If one of our hitters in all those RISP situations is one of: either smart, coached properly or ignores their stat-driven mentality, then shortens their swing and goes the other way with a breaking ball to drop in a hit instead of flailing after pitch after pitch, then we win that game.

I get it, it's hard to hit a baseball from a major league pitcher, but instead of having a strategy at the plate, they have the same strategy in all situations, which is the same as having no strategy.

The sad part is the obvious move of firing Walker is no guarantee that this can change.

Daver
06-26-2011, 12:56 PM
The '90 Sox had a lights-out bullpen, and the team could catch and throw the ball pretty much at every position. Offensively, the only thing they really lacked was a power hitter in the lineup.


Frank Thomas disagrees with you.

Brian26
06-26-2011, 01:21 PM
Frank Thomas disagrees with you.

He didn't come up until August though.

Dan H
06-29-2011, 02:35 AM
Now you can add the first Colorado game to this. Had a pitcher in a tough situation and let him off the hook with GIDP with bases loaded. Then lose in extras. Don't even want to watch these pathetic team. There will be more symbolic games in the future.