Playoff Pitching Leaders

Well, the White Sox have been pushed off the post-season stage and, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, the Cubs still need to take 2 from the Marlins to avoid the same fate.  It’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the now 30 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
Jon Lester 2
Jake Arrieta 2
25 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
29 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aroldis Chapman 0.00
Stephen Strasburg 0.00
Kyle Freeland 0.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jon Lester 25
Jake Arrieta 22
Mark Buehrle 13
Continue reading →

White Sox All Time Leaders – Through 2019

cws_logoWith baseball now officially on its way back after the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We finish things off today with the hometown Chicago White Sox.

I’ve seen the White Sox play 592 times at 13 different stadiums in 9 different cities, including every home playoff appearance in 2000, 2005, and 2008 except for Game 1 of the 2005 World Series.

Home Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 93
Jermaine Dye 39
Jose Abreu 36

Hits

Name Total
Paul Konerko 366
Alexei Ramirez 299
A.J. Pierzynski 231

Runs

Name Total
Paul Konerko 200
Alexei Ramirez 133
A.J. Pierzynski 104

RBI

Name Total
Paul Konerko 235
Alexei Ramirez 138
Jermaine Dye 107

Doubles

Name Total
Paul Konerko 57
Alexei Ramirez 49
A.J. Pierzynski 41

Triples Continue reading →

Blue Jays All Time Leaders – Through 2019

jaysnewWith baseball shut down because of the corona virus, I thought it would be an interesting time to look back at the all time leaders in both offensive and defensive categories for all 30 teams. We continue today with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays began life in 1977, joining the American League along with the Mariners. I’ve seen them play 26 times, first in 1984 and, most recently, last May 19.

Home Runs

Name Total
Edwin Encarnacion 2
Josh Donaldson 2
Danny Jansen 2
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 2

Hits

Name Total
Vernon Wells 16
Edwin Encarnacion 11
Reed Johnson 8
Jose Bautista 8

Runs

Name Total
Vernon Wells 7
Edwin Encarnacion 5
Jose Reyes 4
Aaron Hill 4
Reed Johnson 4
Justin Smoak 4

RBI

Name Total
Jose Bautista 8
Edwin Encarnacion 8
Lyle Overbay 6

Doubles

Name Total
Vernon Wells 6
Jose Bautista 4
Lyle Overbay 3
Adam Lind 3
Justin Smoak 3

Triples Continue reading →

The Opening Day That Wasn’t

Today should have been be my 20th straight Opening Day at Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field, and my 23rd overall for the White Sox.  The first one was in 1985, a blowout win against the Red Sox at Comiskey Park that introduced rookie shortstop Ozzie Guillen to Chicago.  Other highlights include the 2005 1-0 victory against the Indians, the raising of the championship banner on Sunday Night Baseball in 2006, and Mark Buehrle’s between-the-legs flip in 2010.

The most frequent opponent has been the Tigers, who are also the only team with a winning record on Opening Day in games I’ve attended.  The other AL Central foes have each appeared at least 3 times.

 

White Sox Home Opener Team Records
Team Name Won Loss Winning Pctg
Chicago White Sox 15 7 0.682
Detroit Tigers 4 2 0.667
Cleveland Indians 2 3 0.400
Minnesota Twins 1 2 0.333
Kansas City Royals 0 3 0.000
Boston Red Sox 0 1 0.000
Tampa Bay Rays 0 1 0.000
Texas Rangers 0 1 0.000
Baltimore Orioles 0 1 0.000
Seattle Mariners 0 1 0.000

Ballpark Tour: White Sox

Opening day was supposed to be less than a week away, so it is time to wrap up our tour of all of the baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years with the one I’ve been to the most: the homes of the Chicago White Sox.  Between the two stadiums that have been located at the corners of 35th and Shields, I’ve seen at least 542 games, all but one of which have involved the White Sox.  So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my history with Comiskey Park and Guaranteed Rate Field.

Stadium Name: Comiskey Park

Years in Service: 1910 – 1990

Visits: 12 (that I’m aware of)

Comiskey Park, the so-called Baseball Palace of the World, was the home of the White Sox from 1910 through the 1990 season.  Built on a former city dump at the corner of 35th Street and Shields Avenue, the stadium opened on July 1, 1910, as the White Sox lost to the St. Louis Browns 2-0.  The final game for the old ballyard occurred on September 30, 1990, a 2-1 victory over the Mariners.

Comiskey Park was the host for 4 World Series, including 3 in a row from 1917-1919.  The White Sox won the World Series in 1917 against the New York Giants.  The Cubs, looking for a larger seating capacity, moved their home games in the 1918 series against the Red Sox to Comiskey Park.  The 1919 World Series, of course, was the Black Sox scandal, where the White Sox threw the series against the Reds.  The White Sox returned to the World Series 40 years later in 1959, but fell to the Dodgers.  The final post-season games to be played in Comiskey Park were games 3 and 4 of the 1983 ALCS, which the White Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles.

Comiskey Park was also the host to 3 All-Star games.  The first All-Star game, in 1933, was held in conjunction with Century of Progress Exposition being held on Chicago’s lakefront.  The event returned to Chicago’s south side in 1950 and the final All-Star game at Comiskey Park was in 1983, the 50th anniversary of the first game.  Comiskey Park was also the frequent home of the Negro League East-West All-Star Game from 1933 to 1960.

Looking back, I’ve been able to piece together evidence of 12 games that I attended at Comiskey Park, either from pictures, stadium giveaways, or specific memories.  I know there are more, but I have not been able to pinpoint exact games as of yet.  The most memorable game I can remember would be the final night game, on September 29, 1990, where, after the game, the lights were symbolically turned off for the final time.

Stadium Name: Comiskey Park II/US Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field

Years in Service: 1991 – Present

Visits: 530

On the evening of June 30, 1988, with the clock literally stopped, the Illinois legislature passed a bill that provided the financing for a new stadium for the White Sox, stopping them from moving to St. Petersburg, Florida.  2 and a half years later, on April 18, 1991, Comiskey Park II opened, the first new major facility built in Chicago since the erection of the Chicago Stadium in 1929.  Sadly, the White Sox were embarrassed by the Tigers, losing 16-0 in the opening of their new park.

Unfortunately for the White Sox, the new Comiskey Park was the last stadium to be built prior to the wave of retro ballparks that started with the opening of Camden Yards the following year.  Because of this, there have been numerous renovations to the park, starting in 2001 with the addition of nearly 2000 seats and the relocation of the bullpens.  More extensive renovations began in 2003 in preparation for that season’s All Star Game and using the money generated from selling the naming rights to US Cellular, and continued through 2007, when the replacement of the blue seats with green seats was completed.  Less extensive renovations have occurred since, replacing the different video boards and creating premium seating areas.

The post-season came to the new Comiskey Park for the first time in 1993, as the White Sox battled the Blue Jays in the ALCS.  The stadium hosted its first World Series games in 2005, the first to be played in the city of Chicago since 1959, as the White Sox went on to sweep the Houston Astros and win their first World Series since 1917.

I attended my first game at the new Comiskey Park on April 20, 1991, the second game in the stadium’s history.  Since then, I’ve been to 529 other games at the stadium, the majority coming from 2005 on, when I became a season ticket holder.  I went to both games of the 2000 ALDS, which the White Sox lost to the Mariners, both games of the 2005 ALDS, which the White Sox won against the Red Sox, both games of the 2005 ALCS, which the White Sox split against the Angels, and game 2 of the 2005 World Series.  I attended game 163 of the 2008 season to break the tie between the White Sox and the Twins. and then the two ALDS games against the Rays, the first time I saw the White Sox actually end a post-season series, either in victory or defeat.

Notable regular season games I’ve seen at what is now known as Guaranteed Rate Field include the September 18, 2001 game against the Yankees as baseball returned following the attacks of 9/11, the April 16, 2005 game where Mark Buehrle defeated the Mariners in 1 hour and 39 minutes, the April 2, 2006 season opener against the Indians when the World Series championship banner was raised, the April 4, 2006 game where the players received their World Series rings, and the September 16, 2007 game where Jim Thome hit his 500th career home run against the Angels.  Not to mention a streak of 19 consecutive home openers.

All Time Pitching Leaders – Through 2019

baseballs3White Sox pitchers and catchers hold their first spring workout today, so it is time for our annual look at the pitching leaders in the now 948 games I’ve attended, and identified, between 1984 and 2019. Very little difference from last year with no new faces, but a few categories have some movement on the leader board. So, without further ado, let’s get things started with our first category, the always popular:

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 31
Gavin Floyd 24
Carlos Zambrano 21
Chris Sale 21
John Danks 19

Losses

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 17
Jose Quintana 17
John Danks 16
Carlos Zambrano 15
Gavin Floyd 15

ERA (>= 35 IP)

Name Total
David Robertson 2.17
DJ Carrasco 2.20
Nate Jones Continue reading →

All Season Pitching Leaders – Through 2019

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersLast week, we took our first look at the offensive leaders per season since 2014.  Today, we do the same with the pitchers for all of the games I’ve attended from 1984 through the 2019 season.  As with the hitters, there is little change from our first look after the 2011 season, but the time was right for another perusal of the stats.  We start with that most maligned pitching stat:

Wins

Year Name Total
2008 Mark Buehrle 8
2003 Matt Clement 6
2006 Freddy Garcia 6
2003 Mark Prior 6
2004 Greg Maddux 6
2005 Mark Buehrle 6
2008 Gavin Floyd 6

Losses

Year Name Total
2003 Kerry Wood 6
2008 Javier Vazquez 6
2003 Matt Clement 5
2004 Greg Maddux 5
2011 Gavin Floyd 5
2005 Greg Maddux 5
2017 Jose Quintana 5
2019 Ivan Nova 5

ERA (> 8 IP)

Year Name Total
1987 Floyd Bannister 0.00
2000 Livan Hernandez 0.00
1997 Wilson Alvarez 0.00
2001 Jeff Fassero 0.00
Continue reading →

Ballpark Tour: Blue Jays

With the offseason underway, we continue our tour of all of the different baseball stadiums I’ve been to over the years. This week, we look at the Toronto Blue Jays, the lone team currently existing outside of the United States. So, without further ado, let’s take a deeper look at my one game history with Rogers Centre.

Stadium Name: Skydome/Rogers Centre

Years in Service: 1989 – Present

Visits: 1

Following the Grey Cup game in 1982 at Exhibition Stadium, dubbed the Rain Bowl due to a torrential rainstorm, tens of thousands of people attended a rally at Toronto’s city hall chanting “We want a dome”.  After years of studies, they got their wish on June 3, 1989 when Skydome opened as the new home of the Blue Jays, featuring the first functional retractable roof in North America.

While the stadium quickly became an albatross for the province of Ontario, due to cost overruns and a recession, the Blue Jays became a force to be reckoned with.  The Jays won the AL East crown in 1989 and 1991, losing to the eventual World Series champions both years.  In 1992, they again won their division and became the first Canadian team to capture a World Series title.  They repeated as champions in 1993, becoming the first team to win back-to-back Series since the Yankees in 1977 and 1978.

Since then, things have been relatively quiet for the Blue Jays.  In 2005, the stadium was renamed Rogers Centre, after the new owners of both the stadium and the team.  After years of failed expectations, the Blue Jays finally have something to be excited about, thanks to Vlad Guerrero Jr, one of the most exciting young players in the game.

I attended my first (and, so far, only) game at the Rogers Centre in September of 2015 when I was visiting Toronto with my friend Hayley.  In addition to adding a new stadium to my resume, former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle was scheduled to start, so I was really looking forward to the game.  Sadly, Buehrle was bumped a few days due to a sore shoulder, so I ended up having to see David Price take on the Orioles.  He handled them with ease, picking up his 100th career victory.  I didn’t have the best seats in the house, sitting out in left field, but was in the shade, which was in short supply during a hot afternoon with the roof open.  I certainly hope to return one day.

Crosstown Pitching Leaders Revisited

cws-chiLast month, the 2019 Crosstown Cup series kicked off at Wrigley Field with the teams splitting the two games.  With round two scheduled to get under way tonight at across town at Guaranteed Rate Field, we look at the pitching leaders from the 71 contests I’ve attended in the annual match-up between the White Sox and the Cubs, starting with:

Wins

Name Total
Carlos Zambrano 4
Mark Buehrle 3
Jon Lieber 3
13 tied with 2

Losses

Name Total
Carlos Zambrano 3
Mark Buehrle 3
Jon Garland 3
Jose Contreras 3
10 tied with 2

ERA (> 9 IP)

Name Total
Matt Thornton 0.00
Glendon Rusch 0.00
Chris Sale 0.56
Kip Wells 1.13
Freddy Garcia 1.20

Strikeouts

Name Total
Carlos Zambrano 46
Continue reading →

#2 – Mark Buehrle

Name: Mark Buehrle

Rank: 2

Position: P

Years With White Sox: 2000-2011

Mark Buehrle joined the White Sox organization in 1998, drafted in the 38th round.  Despite his lowly draft status, he rose quickly through the system, first coming up during the 2000 season, working out of the bullpen for the eventual division champions.  He moved into the rotation the following season, and stayed there for the next 11 seasons.  During that time, there were numerous memorable appearances, many of which I was privileged to see in person.

The 2007 no-hitter against the Rangers.

The 2009 perfect game against the Rays.

Winning Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS against the Angels, thanks to AJ’s heads-up baserunning, and starting the streak of 4 straight complete games.

The 1 hour 36 minute game against the Mariners in 2005.

The no look, through his legs flip to Paul Konerko on Opening Day 2010 against the Indians.

And, of course, his performance in the 2005 World Series, starting Game 2, getting a no decision, and coming in to pitch the 14th inning and earning the save in Game 3.

In White Sox annals, Buehrle is currently fifth all-time in strikeouts, sixth in games started, and eighth in wins and innings pitched.

Buehrle’s numbers in a White Sox uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

Continue reading →