White Sox CF Ken Griffey Jr. cleared up questions and bases in his Pale Hose debut. His first at-bat took a sweaty Luke Hochevar (L, 6-9, 6IP, 10H 4R, 3WP) to a full count before knocking a single up the middle to drive in Jim Thome, putting the Sox up 1-0 and extending his post-break hitting streak to 13 games. The new guy’s next appearance was a classic example of robbery by stadium blueprint – Griffey sent the first pitch 415 feet to the left center warning track in a towering shot that ended up in David DeJesus’ glove instead of history. But in the sixth with runners on first and third, Griffey started a two-run rally by sending a thigh-high middle-in fastball right past Mark Grudzielanek to drive in Carlos Quentin. After adding an eigth-inning walk off of Joel Peralta, the living legend called it a night. 2 H, 2 RBI 1 R? Yeah, we might want to keep this guy around.
After a solid performance by Javy Vazquez (W, 8-9 6IP, 5H 2R) the Sox middle pen resumed its bothersome antics. RHP “Hang The” DJ Carrasco, happily threw ball one to his former teammates three times in the seventh, putting on Ross Gload and walking John Buck. Carrasco was rescued from his next walk only by way of the terrible bunting skills of Esteban German, who liked ball four so much he fouled it off for out number one. Juan Uribe at the hot corner turned in an eye-popping defensive performance to get out of the inning, as well as repeated grabs in eighth and ninth. Panic on the streets of Bridgeport, indeed.
Ozzie Guillen, mustering all the reverence and nuance necessary for his team being first in baseball history to simultaneously field both 500 and 600-home run hitters, blurted “I don’t care about Junior. I just care about pitching.” With a pen this erratic, and Kenny taking away options, he’s worried about the right thing.