One of my goals has been to see a game in every Major League park. Most of the time when I travel, however, I'm almost always going to a family function, and don't have the time to go to a game. Los Angeles, Dallas, Seattle, New York, San Diego. Been to them all, seen a game at none of them.
When planning our summer trip, I put my foot down and insisted we go to one baseball game, if not two. It wasn't that much of a fight, since I'm blessed with a wife who tolerates baseball. So tonight we hopped on the Red Line to catch a White Sox game at US Cellular Field.
The game? Eh. You can see by the score that it didn't go so well. US Cellular is a quite nice park, though, and I enjoyed my visit immensely . But on to the recap!
Things never had chance to get going for the White Sox. Before the Star Spangled Banner had a chance to finish echoing, the Twins had jumped on to a 1 run lead with back-to-back doubles by Orlando Hudson and reigning MVP Joe Mauer. They then added to their lead in the 2nd with three separate home runs. Jim Thome, still a favorite in many South Side circles, quickly jacked a solo to lead things off. Two batters later, JJ Hardy splashed down with a solo homer of his own. Mauer wasn't done doing damage, though, and smacked his own two run homer to cap a 4 run inning.
The White Sox would need to counter quickly, or the game would be over before it even properly began. Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez got on with back-to-back singles, and the stage was set for everyone's favorite Dead Horse: Carlos Quentin. Did he have it in him to give the Sox a chance? Would he be hero, or goat?
Before I tell you, for those of you that don't watch MLB Network or read other, reputable recaps online, let me first add an aside by the wife, who was angry when she saw how attractive Quentin is. "Another pretty traded away," she huffed, 3 years too late.
Anyways, he made a couple ugly swings. And then, a beauty of a shot that brought everyone home. 5-3.
Lest you think that Freddy Garcia calmed down and was a stabilizing influence for the Sox, he was pulled the next inning after only get one out. He was tagged for one more run after his replacement, one Tony Pena, who gave up a sacrifice fly to make the gap 3 runs.
And lest you think that a 3 run deficit is hardly anything to worry about in the fourth inning, Pena promptly gave up another 2 runs. Then another 2 in the 6th. 10-3.
Scott Linebrink decided to get in on the fun as well, giving up 2 runs in the 8th to bring the score to 12-5. Although things wouldn't end well for the White Sox, at least they got to tee off a bit on Mr. Jon Rauch, who was heartily heckled by me (and a little by my wife) to the point that a Twins fan sitting next to us asked, "Did you have a bad experience with him?" You don't even know the half, lady.
He only gave up one run, though, so not a completely Rauchian performance.
It truly was a D'backs game, though, and not just the crushing realization in the 4th that this game wasn't winnable. We saw the former Diamondbacks: Quentin, Hudson, Pena, and Rauch. Too bad Edwin Jackson wasn't the starter.
Least Like a D'back: Carlos Quentin (13.2%)
Most Like a D'back: Freddy Garcia (-33.8%)
Not a very active Game Day Thread, with only 2 participants. soco led the way, with probably way too many. He was joined by: mrssoco.
Overall, it was a enjoyable experience even if the team we were rooting for got blown out. Taking the train to the stadium was great, and I wished I lived close enough to the light rail in Phoenix to take advantage. US Cellular was a nice park, full of interesting little touches but minimal on the fuss. I had a Polish with grilled onions, and it was amazing. I liked being outdoors, as well, even if it was incredibly humid. Definitely recommend if you're looking to see a game in Chicago.