Just like in 2005, the White Sox opened the season at home, against a division rival, under a 2nd-year manager (Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura) and walked away with a 1-0 victory.
Chris Sale tossed 7.2 scoreless innings while allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 7 Royals.
After recording the American League's 4th best ERA (3.05) in his breakout 2012 season to go along with his 17 wins, the win Monday afternoon got Sale on the right path to avoiding the 'sophomore slump' that many have been predicting for him of late.
As far as tangible takeaways go, this start was obviously good for his psyche, considering three of his eight 2012 losses came against the pesky Royals. In fact, one of the team's biggest problems last season was beating some of their division foes (KC, DET), so it's great to see 'em win a close one against them to start the season off.
And close wins, as we know good and well, are not possible without a successful bullpen. Sox relievers combined to pitch 1.1 scoreless innings in the 'W,' highlighted by Matt Thornton striking out Mike Moustakas with runners on 1st and 3rd in the 8th and Addison Reed finishing the game with his 1st save.
Unfortunately, the offense didn't provide as many bright spots as the pitching did. But when you consider the near freezing temperatures on the south side of Chicago and the shadows that covered the field for most of the game, you have to realize that the pitchers were at a big time advantage.
Jeff Keppinger (1-4), Alex Rios (2-3), Gordon Beckham (1-3), Tyler Flowers (1-3), Dayan Viciedo (1-4), and Alexei Ramirez (2-3) combined for the team's 8 hits, although the only one with a direct effect on the game was Tyler Flowers' 5th inning solo home run off of KC starter James Shields (6 IP, 1 ER), who also pitched himself one heck of a ball game in his Royals debut.
Opening day is rarely a time for much in-depth analysis, and that's especially the case in such an uneventful game like the one we saw at 'The Cell' on Monday.
But … strong pitching is always good, strong defense is always good, large crowds are always good, and wins over division rivals are always good, as well.
So as Hawk Harrelson would say (at least for now), "It's all good!"