A look back before we see what the future holds, or saves.
The 2005 White Sox starting pitchers were exactly what they needed to be to win a World Series. Wait, what that’s not exactly high praise. But I think it is, they were a combined 72-42 (for those of you not math majors) that’s 30 games over 500. I think even more impressive is that the top 4 started 33-32-33-32 games respectively. That’s Buehrle, Contreras, Garcia, and Garland. Orlando started 22 games and was 9-9. What’s that you say, wins isn’t a very good stat for evaluating pitchers? Ok. The top 4 all had era’s in the threes. All four pitched 200+ innings, and had over 100 strikeouts. Enough stats for now.
Sox Otters all know Buehrle pitched not with power but with precision and forcing hitters to put balls in play. Mark knew he had guys throwing leather behind him. Hell, he was a gold glove fielder too. Crede-Uribe-Iguchi-Konerko, Aaron ‘freaking’ Rowand patrolling center Dye and Podsednik on the corners and AJ behind the plate. But I digress.
These four were great most of the year but when they were not or needed a little bullpen assistance it came in the form of Cliff Polite and Neal Cotts. These two combined for a rightly lefty 1-2 punch late inning kick in the teeth if your team had thoughts of a comeback. Cliff was 7-1 with an era of 2.00 and 57 strikeouts in 67.1 innings. Neal was 4-0 with an era of 1.94 58K in 60.1 innings. These two were flat out dominant. Shingo Takatsu and his submarine were as they say in Major League shitty, so Dustin Hermanson was your closer for most of the season. That’s right Big Bad Bobby Jenks was claimed off of waivers late in the season after Dustin was injured . Jenks was and will 4-ever be remembered by Ozzie making the big and tall call to the pen. Dustin was good 2-4 33 strikeouts 2.04 era 34 saves in 57.1 innings. Bobby had 50 K in just 39.1 innings and 2.75 era and would go on to finish the year as the closer with the heat and hook. I would be a fool not to mention the other 2 relievers who solidified this bullpen. Damaso Marte and Luis Vizcaino were both under 4 era and a big part of the long and short relief corp.
Even if you’re not a Sox Otter you know what the starting 4 went on to do postseason, but lets recap, cause that shit was fun! In the division series sweep of the previous seasons’ champs (the red otters) Mark, Jose and Freddy all racked up wins. But it was the 5th starter Orlando Hernandez that had his biggest moment of the season. In game 3 with a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 6th bases loaded nobody out El Duque entered the game and White Sox lore by shutting down the defending champs. Orlando pitched 3 near perfect innings allowing 1 hit. He was just a .500 bottom rotation filler during the year. But Ozzie’s decision to go with the veteran over rookie Brandon Marshall to fill out the postseason roster paid off in spades in this one inning.
In game one of the ALCS starter Jose Contreras gave up just 3 runs in 8 1/3rd innings, that would be the last time the Angels would win a game this postseason. Starting in game 2 with Mark Buerhle the starters would go on to pitch 4 straight complete game victories. Allowing just 8 runs in those 4 games. It was masterful, it was exciting watching these White Sox hurlers try and out perform their teammates each night.
That brings us to the World Series, the first one in Chicago since 1959, also by the Sox Otters. Even though ESPN has tried to delete this World Series history more than once. It was a sweep. Game 1 Jose got the W in game 2 Cotts got a W. Buerhle had a save in the 14 inning game 3 & Freddy, Politte, Cotts, and Jenks combined for a shutout series ending game 4. The Pale Hose were Worlds Series Champs and tears were shed on the southside by grown ass men. It was Glorious…. ONWARD
What does the future hold?… and hot stove speculation.
Looking back on that championship season were the Sox topped the division from start to finish winning 99 games, it’s now time to peer into the near future at what the 2020 pitching staff might look like.
Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease oh my. That’s your top 3 in my humble opinion. Dylan Covey & Reynaldo Lopez potentially finish out the starting 5 without signing any FA pitchers. That’s alota righty…. The rest of the prospects are recovering from da da da Tommy John surgery the scourge of White Sox pitching.
The Tommy John surgery survivors society of: Kopech, Rodon, Jimmy Lambert, AJ Puckett, Ryan Burr, Dane Dunning, all in some stage of rehab are also righty heavy with Rodon being the sole lefty. Kopey (if he played hockey) might be ready to go by the start of the season but the rest might miss 2020 or won’t be clear till mid-season. So Hahn has to sign 1 if not 2 free agents just to infuse some left handed hurlers and a little veteran influence, I have 2 for you.
1.) Madison Bumgarner isn’t just a name you know. His left arm would look good in the middle of this young righty heavy Sox rotation. With Rodon not due back till midseason a lefty starter is a need. But hell if you have 5 stud righty’s who cares… we don’t.
2.) Dallas Keuchel another lefty another solid veteran and both can be had for reasonable $$$ and shorter term. They are at the summit of their prime and coming down the other side but slowly. There is still talent, skill, and outs here. Nice compliment to this staff and team as a whole.
Tell me this doesn’t excite you. I mean these guys will be popular with the sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wasteoids, dweebies, dickheads and even Cub fans. They will all adore them. These are some righteous dudes! If you have the means I highly encourage you pick 1 or 2 up. I’m looking at you Rick, you have the means pick them up. I mean this fab five could be the Sausage Kings of Chicago. With this group there will be a lot of “Hey batter, batter, swing batter!” and misses. I mean there’s no Buehrle? … Buehrle? … Buerhle? … here but, I want this so bad I can only hope it makes sense to Sox brass.
I also want another Stanley Cup and a QB. (Go Hawks they are looking great right now and the Bears well… Go SOX!) This offseason will probably drag on but signing these lefty’s sooner than later would be a great start. Then we can worry about right field. Super happy Abreu deal is done. Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it. ONWARD !
Ferris F-ing Bueller is the best film shot in Chicago period. Except for that Wrigley Field scene what the actual F was that about? Oh and that Redwing sweater… Cameron everyone knows D E T R O I T SUCKS!!!