Unlike their North Side compatriots, the White Sox season has gotten off to a good start. The Sox won their opener against the Cleveland Indians on Friday afternoon 15-10. Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona lasted only three innings against the Sox, giving up 10 runs on 11 hits. Five of the Sox runs on the day came courtesy of Carlos Quentin, while new team member Adam Dunn had four RBIs of his own.
The White Sox, behind good starting pitching by Mark Buehrle, were in control for most of the game, at one point leading 14-0. Buehrle hit a rough patch in the sixth inning, giving up several singles and ultimately four runs. The Indians would mount a small comeback off the Sox relievers. Will Ohman gave up three runs in 0.2 innings. The damage would continue in the eighth. After two quick outs, Tony Pena gave up back-to-back singles to Matt LaPorta and Jack Hannahan. Chris Sale came on in relief of Pena, but then promptly allowed the base runners to score.
Despite the minor implosion by the bullpen, the Sox managed to hang on and take the first of the series from the Indians. They next play tomorrow afternoon at 12:05, with Edwin Jackson taking on Carlos Carrasco.
Castro wasn’t the only rookie to have a good day. Darwin Barney, starting at second, went two-for-four with a run scored. Meanwhile, for much of the game, Dempster looked to be in control, retiring the Pirates hitters without much trouble for much of the early game.
Then the fifth inning came and the game turned quickly. With two outs, Dempster allowed a grand slam to Pirates infielder Neil Walker. Though the Cubs would add another run in the seventh inning, the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen saw to it that the lead was insurmountable.
After six MLB games yesterday, the other 18 teams open their 2011 MLB seasons today, and that includes the Cubs and White Sox. Here's a quick capsule of both games.
Cubs vs. Pirates, Wrigley Field, Chicago, 1:20 p.m. CDT
The Cubs have a new manager -- well, sort of new; Mike Quade guided the Cubs to a 24-13 record after Lou Piniella's retirement last August, which gives some optimism for the team as they enter 2011, even coming off a not-so-great 14-19 spring training record. They'll have a new pitching coach (Mark Riggins) and bench coach (Pat Listach) as well as several new players. That'll include Darwin Barney getting the Opening Day start at 2B, the first Cubs rookie to start on Opening Day since Kosuke Fukudome and eventual Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto did so on March 31, 2008.
Starting pitchers: Ryan Dempster (Cubs), Kevin Correia (Pirates). TV: WGN-TV, ROOT Sports (Pittsburgh). Weather forecast: cloudy, 60% chance of rain, gametime temperature in the mid-40s.
White Sox vs. Indians, Progressive Field, Cleveland, 2:05 p.m. CDT
Ozzie Guillen is now one of the longest-tenured managers in the major leagues, entering his eighth season with the Sox. Of current managers, only Tony LaRussa and Terry Francona have been with their current teams as long as Ozzie with the Sox. Of course, Ozzie being Ozzie, he had some choice words for opening the season in Cleveland, where the Sox' team workout was cancelled due to bad weather yesterday. The Indians will have ceremonies honoring the late Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller, who passed away over the winter.