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Picture Perfect

by Mike DePilla
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The weather was beautiful, the jet fly-over during the national anthem was timed perfectly and the White Sox hit all the right notes in their 6-0 Opening Day win over the Indians yesterday afternoon at the Cell.

Ahh, if only they all could be this easy.

They won't be, but there was still a whole lot of good stuff out there at 35th and Shields yesterday. Mark Buehrle, already my favorite pitcher in franchise history, continues to accumulate resume-fodder. The World Series hero, All-Star and Gold Glover now owns the most Opening Day starts in Sox history with eight. Maybe he can display that game ball next to ones from his no-hitter and perfect game. And maybe the one he hit in Milwaukee for a home run.

Speaking of Gold Gloves, Buehrle sewed another one up for '10 with his Play of the Season on Indians catcher Lou Marson in the 5th inning. I've seen the replay 100 times and I'm still mesmerized by it. Even though I know the outcome, I'm still surprised every time. I know I've seen it 99 times, but no way he makes that play again!

Oh, and Buehrle pitched 7 shut out innings allowing only three hits. Ho hum.

JJ Putz and Matt "Easy Heat" Thornton supplied two stress-less innings to complete the gem, however the most encouraging thing to me was the how the Sox hit the ball: to the opposite field. Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham doubled to right. Paul Konerko homered to right-center. Alex Rios homered to straight away center. Opposite field line drives are a beautiful thing.

Since Ozzie Guillen is going a bit against the grain with his strategy, the offense will be highly-scrutinized this season, and positive early results would be a nice tension breaker. If they can sustain an attack of walks (they had five against Indians pitchers) and opposite field line drives with a few homers sprinkled in, things are going to be quite all right.

If only I could find a way to avoid spilling mustard on my pants and/or Buehrle jersey, Opening Day truly would've been perfect. But since that is unlikely to happen, I'll take the shutout win and go do laundry.


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