Fox's national blackout relegates me to the radio broadcast while the actual game is going on. Usually, I wait for the game to appear on MLB.tv, and speed-watch it afterwards.
With this one, I don't think I need to bother. The game was delayed by two hours as rain - then snow - pelted the field, and when play finally started, the Sox had three familiar foes working against them:
- Cold weather (39 degrees with 20-30 mph winds).
- Gavin Floyd in cold weather.
- A pitcher they've never faced before in Tyler Chatwood.**
Chatwood dominated the White Sox offense by keeping the ball down. Chatwood was able to strike out Adam Dunn twice and Paul Konerko once with low fastballs, and when Sox hitters did put the bat on it, they grounded into three double plays. A Carlos Quentin solo homer - the 100th of his career - was the only blemish over his seven innings.
Floyd wasn't nearly as sharp. Coming off an awesome start in warm weather, Floyd had trouble retiring the leadoff man. He worked around a runner on second with nobody out in his first two innings, but Howie Kendrick's two-run shot in the third inning thwarted a third attempt.
That pitch to Kendrick wasn't awful - it was actually on the inside corner, but just not down enough. It was more good hitting than bad pitching.
But the three-run shot allowed to Hank Conger in the sixth inning - that was a mistake. A.J. Pierzynski wanted it down and in, Floyd left it out and over the plate, and Conger put it over the Bullpen Sports Bar to blow the game open.
Paul Konerko raged against the dying of the light, hitting a solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning for the other White Sox run, but the game was well in hand.
*Floyd resumed working around a runner on second and nobody out in the fourth inning, as Vernon Wells reached on an infield single and Alexei Ramirez threw the ball away. It was Ramirez's fourth error of the year.
*Ramirez prevented a Konerko error on a rundown, though. Preceding the Kendrick homer, the Sox stole an out when Carlos Quentin hit the cutoff man and caught Maicer Izturis straying too far from first. Konerko started the rundown by throwing a one-hopper to Ramirez, who got down to glove it and avoid letting Izturis off the hook.
**The Sox actually have performed better against rookie starters over the past couple years, but Greg Walker's crew still has the stigma attached to them.