Friday, April 1, 2011
Posted 5:21 p.m. Updated 6:19 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CLEVELAND After a Cactus League campaign where their offense performed impressively in a sort of cute-gal-overdoing-makeup way, the Chicago White Sox attack snarled and bit occasional nemesis Fausto Carmona in Fridays April Fools' opener, bouncing him after just three innings of an eventual 15-10 win.
The Game in a Nutshell
Carmona was bombarded with hits from Juan Pierre (single) and Gordon Beckham (double) to start the game. Both scored, but it took six more outs for the White Sox to destroy the righthander, with towering two-run blasts from Adam Dunn and Carlos Quentin, pushing the lead to 6-0 through three.
And thats when the real damage set in, as the lead was pushed to 10 on successive two-run doubles from Dunn and Quentin. Carmona was bounced, but reliever Justin Germano fared no better, surrendering four more runs before the White Soxs fatigue from heavy-torque swinging began to set in.
One problem: the White Sox pitching staff misinterpreted the concept of All-In, figuring it meant every arm pitches into every win, because around the same time, the Wahoos began mounting a comeback.
First Cleveland dinged Mark Buehrle for four runs (yoking the veteran with a rare, poor Opening Day start after he cruised through his first 5 13 innings), then crushed free-agent acquisition Will Ohman for more earned runs (three) to outs (two). Tony Pena, Chris Sale, and Jesse Crain all had to come on to save what was once a 14-run lead.
The White Sox offense, which compiled strong numbers in Arizona but nonetheless suffered from extreme periods of drought, clicked to nearly a historic degree for Chicago. The club lists a 17-run outburst on April 17, 1951 as its biggest Opening Day win. Fridays was undoubtedly more efficient than the offense of 60 years ago, pushing across 15 runs on 18 hits.
Indians fans have a permanent state of Shin-Soo Choo fever, but catcher Carlos Santana is the real deal as well. He turned in a 3-4, homer, three-RBI day. His catchers ERA did take a bit of a hit as the dial hit 15 runs, all earned.
3: Buehrle is now 3-0 with a 4.55 ERA in his career opening vs. Cleveland.
5: Quentins 5 RBI are the most by a White Sox player in an opener since Sammy Sosa had a two-homer, five-RBI opener at the Baltimore Orioles in 1991.
7: Brent Morel had a 2-for-5 day and stretched his hitting streak to seven games (dating to 2010).
11: With seventh- and ninth-inning Ks, Brent Lillibridge stretched his strikeout streak to 11 in his last 12 at-bats, dating back to 2010.
58: The White Sox are now 58-53 all-time in openers (14-15 vs. the Indians).
I dont care about home runs, not on a team with this kind of offense. Im all about OBP.Adam Dunn, who did a little bit of both, hitting a home run and putting in a .500 OBP day in his White Sox debut.
Thats cool I would like to beat Junior.Dunn, when informed he now was tied with Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey, Jr. for most Opening Day home runs in baseball history.
When we got to 14, I said, OK, thats good, save some for Edwin Jackson tomorrow.Buehrle, on the offensive outburst.
It was a good game, to come out and swing the batsin spring training, we werent doing that. We had fun, and we were fun to watch.Beckham on the offensive attack.
I was stealing on the play, but the ball went so high, I lost it.Beckham on Dunns homer.
I didnt get three hits until June 15 last year. Wait it might have been July.Beckham on his three-hit day.
Im ecstatic. We won.Quentin, with as straight a face as imaginable for a player opening the season with five RBI.
The bullpen was a little shaky today,manager Ozzie Guillen, on the six earned runs that threw a scare into a runaway win.
First Look: Saturday
Edwin Jackson takes the bump for the White Sox, with an 11-strikeout win as his only prior appearance at Progressive Field.
Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.