The Sox are coming back home after splitting a four-game series with the New York Yankees in New York. Currently sitting atop the American League Central division with a record of 42-37 the Sox hold a slim two-game lead over the Cleveland Indians who took a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight. The Sox send Chris Sale (9-2, 2.27) to the mound tomorrow night against Roy Oswalt (2-0, 4.26) in game one of a 3-game series with Texas Rangers, Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.50) will oppose Scott Feldman (2-6, 6.13) in game two, and Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19) against Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.16) in game three.
Paul Konerko, Chris Sale, and (HOLY CRAP!) Adam Dunn will represent the White Sox in next Tuesday’s All-Star Game. As opposed to last Tuesday’s All-Star Game when nobody represented them. Jake Peavy is up for the last remaining roster spot in this year’s Final Vote so text #VoteJakeTheSnake44 or something like that to a phone number to vote for him.
Tune into AM 670 The Score tomorrow night at 6:30 for the pregame show because radio is so much better than television. No seriously. Alright I’m kidding.
Over the course of one hundred sixty-two games there is bound to be a heartbreak or two. Or seven. Or ten. You never know, but there are going to be some. Tonight was just one of those games.
Any time Justin Verlander takes the mound you know it’s going to be a difficult battle. With an ERA of 3.12 it should be obvious that it will be tough. And it was. Much like Mark Buehrle yesterday, Verlander really only made one mistake: Gordon Beckham’s two-run home run in the fifth inning. Verlander stuck around until the eighth inning, still dealing, and then Jose Valverde came on in the ninth. Edwin Jackson had a decent outing himself, but a home run by Brennen Boesch in the top of the first inning sort of got things started at an awkward pace.
The usually reliable Jesse Crain gave up a two-run home run to Miguel Cabrera in the top of the ninth inning but that will happen when Cabrera is up to bat. The man is a professional ballplayer and he’s at the top of the Silver Slugger categories (batting average, home runs, runs batted in) year after year. I would rather be burned by a big flame than a little wimpy one. *coughCasperWellscough*
Crain will not earn any points for his appearance tonight. Chris Sale, who was in the game before Crain, and Will Ohman, who entered afterwards, will earn points – two each, to be exact. It’s rare that Jesse Crain lets us down. He’s only done it one or two times this year, not counting tonight, that I can remember. This far into the year I think that’s still a pretty good ratio of clutch situations to let-downs.
I’m glad to see that after a rough start to his year Will Ohman has turned it around. We now have a couple left-handers out in that bullpen that we can go to. I’m seeing Ohman more as a specialist throughout the remainder of the season and Chris Sale as long man/he’s-just-a-left-handed-pitcher man. Left-handers are highly coveted in baseball and we’ve got a couple of good ones on our hands.
Adam Dunn continued his struggles tonight, striking out another three times. Frank Thomas said in an interview with Boers and Bernstein on The Score (a sports radio station here in Chicago) that he “knew this was going to happen. You play outfield or first base your whole career and then you switch to at-bat by at-bat, it’s going to take a while to adjust.” Big Hurt also said that he should turn it around this month and we should start to see Adam Dunn-like numbers again. The guy knows his stuff so hopefully that’s true.
Alexei Ramirez was two-for-four in the game today so he’s still swinging a hot bat. He should smack everyone in the leg with it, maybe some of his luck will rub off. Or bruise off? Bruise off sounds pretty cool so we’ll go with that.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s game as Jake Peavy (2-0, 3.24) will take on Brad Penny (4-4, 4.72) at 1:05 pm. For whatever reason this pitching matchup looks really good to me. I’ve always been a fan of Brad Penny and with Peavy on the mound for us the two should make for a fantastic ballgame.
Well, I didn’t get to see all of this game. I left in the fifth inning when the score was 6-1 and I get home and the final is 10-7? I checked the box score and of course Brian Bruney, the new guy, would mess it up for us. I should stop complaining though, cuz we still won. As pre- and post-game show host Chris Rongey said on Facebook: “A win is a win right now.”
Phil Humber was brilliant once again. Four runs over seven and two thirds innings is right around where he normally is, and he even struck out five batters. I hate blogging about games I didn’t see because I feel like my opinions are like… not what they could be had I seen the game. You know? So I’m not entirely sure exactly how effective Humber was. I’m just going off of numbers here.
Could Alexei Ramirez stay hot? Please? We need him to keep producing like he has been. The kid has had an incredible month of May (.291/3/17/) and he’s had so many clutch hits over the last week. I’ll stop here because I’m pretty much copying word-for-word what I said in yesterdays post. Alexei Ramirez needs to stay hot. I’ll leave it at that. He went four-for-five and drove in another two runs to finish off his red-hot May.
Adam Dunn was back in the lineup tonight. It’s really odd to see him in the seven spot in the lineup but he looks really comfortable there. The other day in Toronto he had four walks in four plate appearances in the seven hole, and today he had a hit and walked twice. Maybe he needs to be down in the lineup? Who knows. The Adam Dunn Experience continues.
The bullpen was horrible except for Sale. Will Ohman and Brian Bruney get no points, Sale gets two points for one third of an inning of work and a save. I’d give out some points because we won but had it not been for our offense Ohman and Bruney would’ve blown the game. That’s not cool. I’ll go ahead and put Bruney’s name on the leaderboard, though, so we know he’s actually a part of the team now.
I’ll have to go back and watch this game so I can see how close it got. Two runs in two thirds of an inning of work, Bruney? Really? I’ll take David Aardsma over you any day. (Okay, maybe not, but I needed a good comparison.)
It’s a 12:35 start tomorrow as Gavin Floyd (5-5, 3.69) looks to improve to 5-0 in his career against the Red Sox. Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.14) will stand in his way.
TWO PITCHERS, ONLY ONE WILL SURVIVE. WILL FLOYD BREAK OUT THE BROOM OR WILL WAKEFIELD *pun related to chimneys and/or house cleaning*!?
EDIT: Wow, I’m not doing this for comedic effect, I legitimately forgot this. I had to leave because I had tickets to the Weird Al concert. That is all.
Well, I’ve had enough time to recuperate after this loss and I’m ready to blog about it now.
It was an excellent fight through all fourteen innings in Toronto. We battled as much as we could, our bullpen (for the most part) held us in there… it just came down to one pitch. Corey Patterson launched a Gavin Floyd fastball into the right field bullpen for a two-run walk-off home run. The Sox had several chances to score runs but, as Ozzie Guillen pointed out (quite blatantly, actually) the offense just couldn’t execute.
Brent Lillibridge started off the Sox scoring with a home run that drove in Alex Rios (who seems to be moving from second to third on wild pitches quite a lot in this series). Then Alexei Ramirez drove in Brent Morel on a single to tie the game and Adam Dunn struck out to end the inning. The Jays jumped ahead with two runs in the bottom of the third and it stayed that way until the top of the fifth. Juan Pierre led off the inning by reaching first base on an error and moving to second on an Alexei Ramirez ground out. Adam Dunn singled to center field to drive in Pierre as the Sox moved within a run of Toronto. Paul Konerko hit a rocket double that moved Dunn to third, then both Dunn and Konerko scored on an A.J. Pierzynski two-bagger.
The score stayed the same until the bottom of the seventh when, with the bases loaded and the reliable Jesse Crain on the mound, Juan Rivera hit a double off the wall in left field that cleared the bases. Some argue that Juan Pierre had a legitimate chance at catching this ball and upon looking at the replay I agree. Had Pierre not done that stupid little Alfonso Soriano hop and had he not turned his head away from the ball we would’ve gotten out of the inning and probably would have won the game. No biggie, though, cuz in the top of the eighth inning The Bridge scored on a passed ball to bring us within one. An inning later Konerko doubled to score Alexei Ramirez and that’s where the nailbiting began.
The game stayed tied for five innings and both teams had a few opportunities to score. Then yadda yadda Corey Patterson wins and Canada is happy. Hooray Corey.
I’m starting to feel really bad for Adam Dunn. No doubt he came into the season with a lot of pressure on himself to be the big bat in the lineup. Almost two months in he’s leading the Major League’s in strikeouts and is fighting to keep his batting average over .200. My mom, who isn’t that big of a baseball fan, says he has to be really embarrassed. I just don’t know what’s wrong with him. Is it the pressure? Is it the DH? Is it the American League pitching? The ballparks? The uniform? Ozzie? That one hot dog guy? He left his toothbrush in Washington? It has to be something. He’s even changed the color of his bat from plain wood to completely black – he’s doing anything to get out of this rut. The engine is revving but the wheels are stuck in the mud.
Edwin Jackson pitched… well, he pitched. Six and two thirds innings, six runs, one walk, seven strikeouts. Not the best outing for a starting pitcher that we’ve seen and it was completely avoidable. The Blue Jays aren’t even that good of a team so I don’t get why we’re struggling both offensively and on the pitching side.
For the bullpen, Chris Sale and Sergio Santos get two points; Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain, and Gavin Floyd don’t get any points.
Man, I had a lot to say about this game, didn’t I? Huh.
The fourth and final game of this series is tomorrow at 12:07. The still winless John Danks (0-7, 4.34) will go against Ricky Romero (4-4, 2.91).
Can someone – FOR THE LOVE OF MINNIE MINOSO – get Johnny a win!?
One positive to take from tonight: Adam Dunn was walked in all four of his plate appearances. While that doesn’t seem like much it is a HUUUUGE adjustment. Watching the Gameday tonight I saw that he wasn’t swinging as much as he usually does and that shows me that he’s trying really hard to turn his season around. Being dropped down to the seven spot in the lineup will probably take some pressure of as well. The look on his face over the past week has been that of a player who is absolutely lost at home plate. I’m proud of the Donkey for being more patient tonight.
There’s a song that the little kids at my church sing that goes like this: “Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry.” I think Adam needs to learn this song and keep singing it to himself.
Buehrle pitched very well tonight but, much like Gavin Floyd on Sunday, he just couldn’t get any run support. Seven innings, three earned runs, three strikeouts, and two walks. A typical Mark Buehrle outing.
Alexei Ramirez and Carlos Quentin had one RBI each, Ramirez brought home Juan Pierre on a sacrifice fly in the third inning and Quentin drove in Adam Dunn on a walk in the fifth inning.
What made all of our hearts skip, though, was what happened in the third inning. Alex Rios’ relay throw to second base hopped up and hit Gordon Beckham square in the eye and Beckham went down immediately. His eye was swelling up after he left the field and X-rays have been done to check for fractures. Apparently the brunt of the ball hit the bone just below the eye and no real damage was done to the eyeball itself. Hopefully Beck is alright and will be able to come back soon. I’ll be praying for a speedy recovery to this scary accident.
Tony Pena pitched an inning of relief and allowed one run so I’m not really sure what to do about it. The Sox were down anyway when he came in to the game… so should I give him one point? None? Let me know what you think.
Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.26) will go for the Sox tomorrow and Carlos Villanueva (2-0, 1.53) will deal for the Blue Jays.
Stay patient, Donkey.
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.
Adam Dunn is really starting to bug me. I’m still tolerating him because he’s adjusting to both being a full-time designated hitter and American League pitching… but really, Adam? He struck out with runners on first and third in a situation that could’ve given us a shot at winning this ballgame. Not only did he strike out but he struck out pinch hitting. Ozzie put him in there for one reason: to drive in a run. Last time I checked, unless the ball is dropped, you can’t drive in a run on a strikeout.
He’s up to sixty strikeouts in one hundred fifty-one at-bats. He’s batting .192. Not quite $56 million numbers thus far into his Sox career.
We got the good Pitcher of Mystery today but unfortunately our offense couldn’t muster up enough… well, offense to get him a win. Paul Konerko drove in the lone run for the Sox in the top of the seventh inning, scoring Alexei Ramirez on a RBI single. Floyd is remaining consistently inconsistent. Look at his numbers over his past six starts going back to his start against the Yankees
4/26 @ NYY | 8 IP | 4 H | 2 R | 2 ER | 1 BB | 10 SO | 3-1 win
5/1 vs. BAL | 6 IP | 7 H | 6 R | 6 ER | 2 BB | 5 SO | 6-4 loss
5/7 @ SEA | 8 IP | 3 H | 0 R | 0 ER | 2 BB | 6 SO | 6-0 win
5/14 @ OAK | 4.1 IP | 9 H | 5 R | 5 ER | 2 BB | 4 SO | 6-2 loss
5/19 vs. CLE | 7 IP | 5 H | 1 R | 1 ER | 1 BB | 3 SO | 8-2 win
5/25 @ TEX | 7 IP | 3 H | 2 R | 1 ER | 1 BB | 1 SO | 2-1 loss
Man, I have to be honest, I fell asleep during this game. The rain/tornado delay was a couple minutes shy of three hours long and the game didn’t end until about 1:30 am. I was awake for most of the delay show but I finally gave up and just let myself fall asleep.
That being said, how about this Carlos Quentin kid!? First time this season (I think) in the third slot in the batting order and the guy hits three home runs. Adam Dunn even threw in a home run to offset his home runs-to-strikeouts ratio. And Dunn even bumped his batting average up near .200. Wayta go, bud.
The bullpen was pretty shaky and since my leaderboard is based on individual performance and not performance as a collective bullpen, not everyone gets points. Will Ohman pitched a good inning after the delay so he’ll get two points; Tony Pena allowed two runs so I’m afraid he won’t get any; Chris Sale allowed one run so no points for him; Jesse Crain was his usual self so he gets two points; Matt Thornton = same situation as Sale; finally, Santos struck out two batters en route to a save – two points for Sergio. Santos and Crain are fighting it out for the top spot in the standings.
Tomorrow’s game (well, actually, today’s game as I’m blogging this on Wednesday) will be a 1:05 start (which I didn’t know until I got in the car and found out they were in the eighth inning already… ugh…). It’ll be Gavin Floyd (5-3, 3.88) against C.J. Wilson (4-3, 3.42).
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!
That game sucked.
We had it and then Sergio Santos, of all people, gave it up. His first runs allowed all season – including Spring Training. We tried to come back but it didn’t really work as Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier, Scott Elbert, and Mike MacDougal held us to one run over three innings. It’s really a shame because Humber pitched very well, again, in his seven innings of work. He only allowed to runs to this Dodger offense that has the potential to walk all over you. Humber just can’t catch a break. I’m sure his head dropped when the ball jumped off of Russell Mitchell’s bat in the ninth inning.
Gordon Beckham had a two-run home run and Alex Rios scored on a Ramon Castro double in the second inning. Adam Dunn drove in our fourth run on a sacrifice ground out in the bottom of the tenth and that was it.
Jesse Crain gets three points for, at that point in the game, an extremely clutch two thirds of an inning of work. He came on with the bases loaded and struck out Juan Castro and then got James Loney to hit a tapper in front of Alexei Ramirez which the short stop handled nicely. Three points for Crain, no points for anyone else. (“Anyone else” referring to Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos.)
I’ll be at the game tomorrow and I’m bringing my video camera to document it for my blog. I’ll take pictures as well so tomorrow’s game recap well be very media-oriented. And an update on that thing that I teased the other day, it will be here by Tuesday. And then I can share it with you. Cuz it’s awesome.
Mark Buehrle (3-3, 4.07) vs. Jon Garland (1-3, 3.55) tomorrow. Pretty cool to see Garland back in Chicago, he was always one of my favorite pitchers. Him and Neal Cotts.