How's this for baseball weather?:
That was the scene at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday before the White Sox's first home game of the season against the Cleveland Indians. The game resulted in a 7-1 Cleveland victory. More on that in minute, but five years from now, when people talk about Opening Day 2016 the main thing they are going to remember was the bone-chilling cold (temperatures in the 30s, wind chills in the 20s) and snow.
It did stop snowing for a little while, and the ballpark looked great for pregame ceremonies:
And, did I mention this new center field scoreboard is awesome?
On the field, there weren't many positives for the Sox, who fell to 3-2 with their worst performance of the season's first week. We should have seen it coming. John Danks entered Friday's action with a 5-14 record, with a 5.29 ERA, in 26 career starts against Cleveland.
Make it 5-15 in 27 starts.
Danks gave up seven runs, five earned, over five innings pitched. He sucked the life out of the sellout crowd by giving up three runs in the top of the first inning, plus two more in the second. The "here we go again" feeling that was so prominent in the ballpark during these last three losing seasons of 2013-2015 was back again immediately with the Sox down 5-0 an inning and a half into the home portion of the schedule.
There were physical mistakes (Alex Avila's throwing error in the first inning that cost the Sox two runs) and mental mistakes (Avisail Garcia getting picked off first base with runners on first and second and one out, down 5-0, in the bottom of the second inning). There was an alarming lack of offense -- only three hits all day.
Todd Frazier went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, a single and a walk. Beyond that, the only offense was a single by Austin Jackson. This marked the second straight year the Sox were limited to just three hits in their home opener. Last year's 6-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins was utterly forgettable and sadly a predictor of misery to come.
We can only hope today's performance is an aberration and not a foretelling of another bad season on the South Side.
The only other good thing we can say? Well, Dan Jennings and Zach Putnam combined for four scoreless innings in relief of Danks. If not for that, it would have been worse than 7-1.
Without question, this game was one to forget, unless you're talking about the weather.