Tagged: A.J. Pierzynski

5/30 – Game 1 @ Red Sox

Alright. This game made absolutely no sense. How on earth can we beat the Red Sox and not the Blue Jays? Get someone in the Higher-Ups on the phone. I’m upset.

Jake Peavy was solid today. Seven strong innings, giving up three runs and striking out two, walking none. Peavy and Humber have both been huge this season and they’re the only starting pitchers keeping us in the division race. I can’t even put into words how much those guys mean to this team right now. If you remember, I had serious reservations about Peavy coming into this season. I wanted the team to take their time and not rush it. The situation was high risk, higher reward and we’re getting rewarded. You can’t handle an unknown injury much better than Kenny and Ozzie did.

The offense tonight was supplied by The Usual Suspects. A.J. Pierzynski plated two runs with a double in the top of the first inning, then Paul Konerko went deep for his eleventh home run of the season in the third inning. After Boston tied it up in the bottom of the third the White Sox jumped back ahead in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs on an Alexei Ramirez double and another two on Carlos Quentin’s single immediately after.

Dan Bernstein of 670 The Score’s afternoon show Tweeted this after Ramirez’s double: “Alexei is having a helluva year, in all phases of the game. In a disappointing season so far, he’s a bright spot.” I couldn’t agree more. His twenty-seven RBI’s are more than I thought he’d have two months into the season and he’s the second best shortstop in the game as of right now (Elvis Andrus of the Rangers edging him by a fraction). He’s also had some clutch hits over the past few weeks with tonight’s double at the top of the list. So glad we got this guy.

Peavy pitched the seventh inning then the bullpen took over. Jesse Crain pitched two thirds of an inning before Matt Thornton came on to face David Ortiz and eventually finish the remainder of the game. Thornton has been slowly earning back my confidence. It used to be that whenever I heard he was warming up in the bullpen I’d know that we were in for a fun inning but he’s becoming the old Thornton once again. I like it. Because of this huge win after such a terrible series in Canada, Crain and Thornton get three points for keeping their cleats on the necks of the Red Sox.

I’m excited that we were able to get a win against such a good team. Feels nice to beat a really hot ballclub like this. Gavin Floyd (5-5, 3.69) probably won’t pitch tomorrow after his outing in Toronto. I remember Ed and DJ saying something about who was pitching for the Sox tomorrow but I can’t remember who. If it’s Floyd, forget I said any of this. Whoever it is will be facing Alfredo Aceves (2-0, 2.22) of the Red Sox.

Go Sox!!

…what?

Oh! The White ones.

5/26 – Game 1 @ Blue Jays

How about that!?

Yet another spectacular outing from Mr. Philip Gregory Humber. I talked about consistency in yesterday’s post and I’ll bring it up again. Humber has been the most consistent starter on the staff this season and I had no idea we acquired him until he was on the mound out of the bullpen. Now he’s showing off a sparkling ERA of 2.85. How awesome has this guy been, huh? I’d give him some honorary bullpen points but that would be too cheesy. This blog draws the line at cheese.

The offense wasn’t much tonight but what we got was enough. Juan Pierre drove in A.J. Pierzynski in the fifth inning on a single that went through the gap between first and second. Pierre again reached base in the top of the tenth on a grounder to first baseman Juan Rivera. Pierre was chugging hard down the line and beat out Jays pitcher Mark Rzcpsuiueofhshfkhski… I think that’s how you spell that… anyway, two runs scored on that play. Adam Dunn struck out four times. *sigh*

Jesse Crain came through with another huge outing. He came on to pitch to Jose Bautista in the eighth inning, ending up walking him, then got Arencibia to ground out to Alexei Ramirez. The Mohawked Monstrosity gets three points for Situational Clutchness. Sergio Santos earns his eighth save of the year and collects two points in doing so. Crain takes over the top spot in the standings.

What a fantastic game. I jumped off my chair in the ninth inning when we scored the two runs. My dad looked at me and said, “Did they win?” and I said, “No, we’re in Toronto.” and he said, “…but did they win?” and I said, “No, but we scored two runs.” to which he said, “And you reacted like that?”

He just doesn’t understand.

Mark Buehrle (4-3, 3.92) will go against young up-and-comer Kyle Drabek (3-3, 4.34) tomorrow at 6:07.

Go Sox!!

5/22 – Game 3 vs. Dodgers

Unfortunately I missed the game today because some people from church invited my family over for lunch. I had a good time and forgot about the game until I was in the car on the way home.

From the looks of the box score it seems that Edwin Jackson pitched pretty well. He threw one hundred seven pitches, though, in his short outing. Edwin allowed one run in five and two thirds innings of work, striking out seven and walking two. It’s frustrating when I miss good games like this one (but like I said I had a good time).

Alexei Ramirez had a breakout game, collecting five RBI on four hits including a two-run home run in the first inning. A.J. Pierzynski also went deep in the first – only his second home run of the year – as the Sox bats continue to heat up. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko also drove in one run each.

Can we give Paulie a standing ovation really quick? *stands up and applauds* He has thirty-six RBI so far and he’s been the most consistent batter on the team this year. He’s definitely earning the money we paid to bring him back. Unlike another first baseman on the roster. Who’s name isn’t Dallas McPherson. Twenty-one runs batted in is nice… four home runs is alright… fifty-seven strikeouts though? He’s leading the Major Leagues. Not the American League… he’s leading everybody. He’s even leading Mark Reynolds.

The bullpen had a decent game. Chris Sale gave up two runs so he’ll only get one point (I’m excited about the win so I’m being a little forgiving today), Jesse Crain picked up his seventh hold of the season after one inning of work, and Matt Thornton somehow picked up a save with a five run lead. The save rule has always confused me. Two points for both Crain and Thornton.

I’m excited all over again for this team. I know the entire Sox fanbase has gotten that way a couple of times this year but I think this is for real now. Two out of three from the Dodgers is excellent. Let’s keep it going.

The winless John Danks (0-6, 4.32) will take on Alexi Ogando (4-0, 2.13) as the Sox head out to Texas to play the Rangers. Get Johnny in the win column, boys!

Go Sox!!

5/16 – Game 1 vs. Rangers

Let me just say that WordPress is one of the main reasons I don’t blog on the site I pay money for a domain name for, and now I have to use it for the blog I was really starting to like. Just an aesthetic thing from my standpoint. I won’t stop blogging, I’ll be here all year, I just don’t really enjoy WordPress.

Anyway!

And what a game to come back to, huh? The Rangers shut us out four to nothing. Apparently someone forgot to tell Colby Lewis that it wasn’t the postseason. A.J. Pierzynski, who always seems to be most productive when the Sox are losing, collected two hits in three at-bats against the Texas right-hander. Two out of the five we could pull out of the air. Lewis was really, really good tonight and when a pitcher is on like that you’re not gonna do much.

The bullpen dominated after Edwin Jackson’s shaky start. Tony Pena, Chris Sale, and Will Ohman only allowed one hit as a collective group. We’re turning into one of the most effective and dangerous bullpens in the league but it’s too bad our starting pitching is starting to go south (and I don’t mean to that side of Chicago). Two points for errebuddy.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 24 points
2. Jesse Crain – 19 points
3. Will Ohman – 16 points
4. Chris Sale – 15 points
5. Matt Thornton – 10 points
5. Tony Pena – 10 points
 Jeff Gray (DFA 5/11/11) – 9 points
I have a new… hmm… well, I don’t know how to describe it without giving away what it is, but IT will be in my possession soon and I can’t wait to share it with you. It will make… things… a lot better and a lot easier – you’ll see why when you see what it is. I could get it as early as tomorrow or as late as Friday the 27th, but definitely on or between those dates. Probably sooner than Friday but I’m rambling now.
The winless John Danks (0-6, 4.50) will take on some kid named Matt Harrison (3-4, 4.35). I’ve never heard of him. That’s a bad sign.
Go Sox!!
EDIT: Above is a prime example of why I don’t like WordPress. It doesn’t separate my paragraphs and that drives me nuts. Can someone help me figure out why it won’t do this?

5/11 – Game 3 @ Angels

YES!
I will admit that I was as nervous as a nervous person when Thornton came into the game in the ninth inning. He has a few blown saves which lead to him losing the closer job so naturally I’d be on the edge of my seat. We had worked so hard to tie the game and then take it to extras (what a job by Santos but I’ll get to that later). That play that he and Konerko made… oh my goodness. Yunieski Betancourt, Brandon Phillips, and now Paul Konerko – OF ALL PEOPLE – getting in to the Behind-the-Back Flip Club. Turned out to be a fun game and I’m glad I stayed up for it.

Adam Dunn started the scoring (for the Sox) in the top of the third inning with a MAMMOTH blast to right field, his fourth home run of the year. Dunn has gotten extremely hot on this West Coast trip and hopefully that will continue into Oakland and when we come back home. I don’t remember exactly when Omar Vizquel replaced Mark Teabag but I know that Vizquel’s first at bat was in the eighth inning and it was a double that scored Alex Rios. This brought the Sox within two runs with some work to do. A.J. Pierzynski hit a double in the ninth inning that scored Adam Dunn and moved The Bridge to second base. Vizquel hit a sacrifice fly that scored Lillibridge who moved to third base on a wild pitch.

Sergio Santos walked the leadoff hitter then got a popout and a double play in the bottom of the ninth inning. We moved to the top of the tenth tied four to four. Alexei Ramirez singled with one out then moved to third base on an Adam Dunn double. A wild pitch scored Ramirez and then The Bridge sacrificed to bring Dunn home. Matt Thornton worked a one-two-three bottom of the tenth for his first save of 2011.
Whew!
Jake Peavy was better than most of us hoped he would be. Six innings, four runs, four strikeouts, and no walks is fantastic for a guy who hasn’t faced Major League batters in almost a year. His defense could’ve done a much better job behind him (Teabag and Pierre just to point fingers) but he did all he could on the mound. Unfortunately The Project couldn’t get a win but there will be other chances. My only concern now is waking up and reading that he has unusual pains in his shoulder and needs to be shut down. That’s obviously the worst-case scenario but it could happen. Let’s just hope it doesn’t.
Santos will get three points for earing the win and holding the Angels in a close ballgame. Thornton earns two points for a save. I’ll leave Jeff Gray on here to show that he was part of the bullpen at one point this season.
Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 24 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 14 points
4Chris Sale – 13 points
5. Matt Thornton – 10 points
6Tony Pena – 8 points
Jeff Gray (DFA 5/11/11) – 9 points
The Sox will head to Oakland on Friday night to face the Athletics. My Humberometer tells me that we’re due for a start from The Kid Nobody Saw Coming (2-3, 2.97). He’ll go up against Brandon McCarthy (1-3, 3.26). Remember that guy? Who did we trade him for again…? Oh yeah, John Danks. I’ll take it.
Go Sox!!

4/29 – Game 1 vs. Orioles

I’m so glad we’re home. That long road trip felt too long and I really missed our home white uniforms with the black pinstripes. I also missed hearing the sounds of the fans at The Cell getting up from their seats and leaving in the seventh inning when the stinking Baltimore Orioles score five runs because Alexei Ramirez decided to hold on to a ground ball that would’ve been a sure inning-ending groundout. Didn’t you miss that? 

The Bridge (still looking for a better nickname but until I get it he’s The Bridge) has been really good over the past week. He cracked a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning that just barely snuck over the left field wall. His stance reminds me a lot of Aaron Rowand’s before he started doing that weird thing with the bat that he does now. I’m talking 2004, 2005 Aaron Rowand – the good Aaron Rowand. His defense lately is also very Rowand-esque. I’m glad he’s making his way into the lineup more often, we really need his productivity lately. 
The highlight of the game for me was this exchange between Ed Farmer and Darrin Jackson
DJ: He[Vladimir Guerrero]’s got the wingspan of an Anaconda.
Ed: …Anaconda’s don’t have wingspans… they’re snakes…
DJ: Oh, well what’s that big bird thing?
Ed: A pterodactyl?
DJ: No…
Ed: A Condor?
DJ: Yeah, Condor, that’s what I meant.
I’m glad the guys are still humorous when the Orioles are shellacking the Sox 10-4 in a game that should’ve been 5-4 into the ninth inning. 
Pierzynski’s two-run home run in the second inning (his first of the year) was also a highlight but it didn’t make me laugh. 
Crain and Sale allowed five runs but only one of them was earned, so I don’t know how I should go about awarding the points. Matt Thornton was solid in his one inning of work so he’ll definitely get two points. I guess since Crain was on the mound for the brunt of the damage he’ll only get one point and Sale will get two? Yeah, that sounds good.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 15 points
2. Jesse Crain – 11 points
3. Will Ohman – 10 points
3. Chris Sale – 10 points
5. Tony Pena – 6 points
6. Jeff Gray – 5 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

I’m thinking of doing this for position players, too, once May rolls around… your thoughts on that? 

Like I said at the beginning of the post: I’m just glad to be home. It’s only April, we should settle into a groove pretty soon here – hopefully a winning groove – and everyone will be blogging with happy faces. However, as I said on Facebook, “For those of you who don’t know, baseball is my life. The outcome of Sox games really do temporarily affect my mood. Needless to say I’m very unhappy right now.”

*shakes head solemnly 

First pitch is tomorrow at 6:10, Phil “Oh My Gosh We Really Need You Right Now” Humber (2-2, 3.20) will pitch against Chris “He’ll Probably Pitch Better Anyway” Tillman (0-2, 6.16). By those numbers it should be a 6-3 Sox win. We’ll see… numbers have been lying a lot lately. 

Go Sox!!

4/27 – Game 3 @ Yankees

Curse Robinson Cano and his talent.

One piece of good hitting from the New York second baseman was all they needed. Little Debbie Cakes pitched eight fantastic innings of one-run ball, striking out six batters… I just don’t understand it. The guy was 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA when he pitched for us! What gives!? HE’S TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY POUNDS!! 
Wow, sorry about that.

Adam Dunn had a nice run-batted-in for us tonight, so that was cool. He’s being rather productive lately and I’m a big fan of production. I thought all of those foul balls that Pierzynski was fighting off in the ninth inning was going to lead to some sort of production but then I saw Mark Teahen in the on-deck circle and I knew I was going to be disappointed even if he came to bat. I really don’t like Mark Teahen. 
Mariano Rivera has 567 career saves for a reason: he’s the best in the game. You’re not gonna do much off of the guy and when you do you better ask for the baseball cuz it doesn’t happen very often. 
Great inning by Jesse Crain outta the bullpen – he’ll get two points. I’m going to start boldifying the guys who appeared in the game even though I’ll mention them before I give out the points. It’ll just be aesthetically pleasing and a quicker way to see who pitched. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 15 points
2. Jesse Crain – 10 points
3. Will Ohman – 9 points
4. Chris Sale – 8 points
5. Tony Pena – 5 points
6. Jeff Gray – 4 points

7. Matt Thornton – 3 points 
Are you kidding me? Will Ohman was in there twice and nobody told me? Come on, you guys =P (Oh crud, that’s an emote in a post… I think I can do that. Act casual.)
Because, yet again, I didn’t realize this was a four-game series (does it seem like there are a lot of those so early in the year?), it turns out we are facing Cap’n Crunch tomorrow at 6:05. But we have Edwin Jackson going for us… so… that may be a good thing, I dunno. We’ll see.
Go Sox!!