Tagged: Alex Rios

5/27 – Game 2 @ Blue Jays

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.

Go Sox!!

5/20 – Game 1 vs. Dodgers

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.

Go Sox!!

5/8 – Game 3 @ Mariners

That’s two in a row! Such a fantastic feeling to be blogging after back-to-back wins. The last time I was able to do this was at the beginning of the Yankees series. 

The scoring started in the fourth inning when Ramon Castro hit a single to left field which scored Paul Konerko. Left fielder Milton Badley made a horrible throw to home plate which Miguel Olivo couldn’t get a handle on, allowing Alex Rios to score on a not-so-close play at the plate. The game was tied at two until the tenth inning when the Sox pushed three runs across the plate against Brandon League. Brent Morel started off the tenth inning with a single then was driven in on an Alexei Ramirez double. Adam Dunn drove in Alexei Ramirez on a double of his own, then moved to third on a Paul Konerko single, and then scored on an Alex Rios single into center field. Konerko was a perfect five-for-five. 
Dunn is starting to look like a ballplayer again lately. Catherine’s shirt that says “This Girlie Loves Buehrle” inspired me to come up with a t-shirt idea of my own, which I shared with my family at lunch today: “Adam Dunn’s Batting Average + Time = Comedy.” Eventually we’ll all be laughing about his slow start and frankly I think that shirt would fly off the shelves. I’ll get my sister to work on it right away. I also thought of custom making a Twins jersey with number seven on it that says “DORK” instead of “MAUER.” That one would probably be a little more expensive… 
Mark Buehrle pitched eight innings of two-run ball for the third straight quality start from White Sox starting pitching. Buehrle struck out three batters and surrendered nine hits to the Mariners offense but didn’t earn a win as the game was tied when he came out of the game. Sergio Santos pitched two innings of shutout relief, matching Buehrle with three strikeouts, earning him two points. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 21 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5Tony Pena – 8 points
5. Matt Thornton – 8 points
7Jeff Gray – 7 points

The Sox will move down the West coast tomorrow to take on the Angels who are currently in first place in their division with a record of 20-15. Edwin Jackson (2-4, 4.98) vs. Ervin Santana (1-3, 4.43) tomorrow night at 9:10. If you haven’t heard by now, Jake Peavy is scheduled to make his first start of the year on Wednesday. I definitely do not want to miss that game as I think Peavy will be better than people expect him to be. 
Go Sox!!

5/7 – Game 2 @ Mariners

I don’t think anyone could’ve asked for a better outing from Gavin Floyd. The man was sharp as a knife on the mound tonight and his command and control were the best I’ve ever seen from him in a long time. I don’t often get a chance to watch a ballgame but tonight’s game was MLB.tv’s free game of the day so I was very excited. I noticed at the beginning of the game that Floyd’s delivery has changed a little since I last got to watch him pitch on TV and at first I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Apparently it’s a good thing as he dealt eight innings of three-hit shutout baseball. What a gem.

The offense had a night to be proud of as well! Fourteen hits off of Mariners starter Doug Fister were good for five runs. The seven, eight, and nine hitters were ten-for-ten in their first ten at-bats with four runs scored and two runs batted in. Rios, batting seventh tonight, went four-for-four and was quite smiley about it. Adam Dunn also had a pretty good night as he was two-for-four with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. My boy Brent Morel was three-for-four with an RBI in a great night for the Sox offense. 
Mark Teahen pinch hit for Paul Konerko in the ninth inning because of an injury to Konerko’s wrist. Ichiro scorched a grounder to Paulie and the ball hopped up and “bit” Konerko in the wrist. Paulie was having a hard time in his final at bat as Ozzie and trainer Herm Schneider had to go out and check on him. Hopefully Konerko’s injury isn’t too bad and he’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow afternoon. 
Tony Pena pitched an excellent ninth inning out of the bullpen, allowing just one walk and striking out Jack Cust to end the game. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 19 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5Tony Pena – 8 points
5. Matt Thornton – 8 points
7Jeff Gray – 7 points

Whoever signed Milton Bradley to a professional baseball contract needs to have his scouting certification reevaluated. The man is absolutely terrible and I was literally laughing at his outfielding skills. Michael Saunders, however, is one heck of a center fielder. He’s filling in for Franklin Gutierrez who is currently on the disabled list but the way Saunders is playing I’d have a real hard time putting Gutierrez back in the lineup. Saunders has very good range and takes good routes to liners, and he can even rob home runs! It pays to be tall. The Mariners have a good outfielder on their hands and I hope they use him wisely. 
Congratulations to Justin Verlander on the
second no-hitter of his career. Bunny struck out four batters en route to the second no-hitter of the week and the second in the division. And congratulations to Andre Ethier on an awesome 30-game hit streak that came to an end tonight. I had a good feeling about his chances to make it to at least 40 games but the Mets had other plans and held the left-handed left fielder hitless in four at-bats. 
Tomorrow’s game, as I mentioned earlier, is an afternoon ballgame. The Mariners’ Erik Bedard (1-4, 5.23) will take on Mark Buehrle (2-3, 4.37). Let’s build on this one-game winning streak!
Go Sox!!

5/4 – Game 2 vs. Twins

Well, the Twins took both games of this enjoyable little series. 3-2 today, so we got some hits, which is cool. Juan Pierre led off the Sox half of the first inning with a single up the middle so Nick Blackburn’s hopes of a no-hitter were dashed immediately. We left a handful of runners on base, including two in the bottom of the ninth. John Danks followed up Edwin Jackson’s great start with a great start of his own, going eight innings and allowing three runs on eight hits.

Alexander the Resurgent continued his hot streak with a home run, his third of the season. 
Jesse Crain had yet another dominant inning out of the bullpen. This guy is really picking up his game lately and I’m confident every time he toes the rubber. If he and Santos can keep this up I’ll be happy with the back end of our bullpen. Two points for Crain will tie him with Santos for first place.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 19 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5Jeff Gray – 7 points
5. Matt Thornton – 7 points
7Tony Pena – 6 points

I was distracted for most of the game because, as you should know, today
is May 4th. For us Star Wars nerds this is “May the Fourth” as in “May the Fourth be with you.” Someone on Twitter decided it’d be hilarious to change a word in a Star Wars quote to the word “pants.” So EVERYONE on Twitter was doing this, including myself, and I was having a blast. Here are some of the good ones:
It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. You, like your pants, will be mine.
It’s an older code, sir, but it checks out. I was just about to pants them.
Hey Luke, thanks. Thanks for coming after me. I owe you pants.
Lord Vader, this is an unexpected pleasure. We are honored by your pants.
I’ve just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of pants forever.
You look strong enough to pull the pants off a Gundark.
Just to give a few of them. Those were all mine, by the way, but people had some hilarious ones. A good time was definitely had by all – even during another painful Sox game. Gotta give the boys credit for trying. 3-2 is a lot better than 1-0. 
Off day tomorrow as the Sox are traveling to Seattle for our annual West Coast trip. Mariners, Angels, and A’s (Oh my!) on this swing starting with the M’s Friday night at 8:10. Phil Humber (2-3, 3.06) vs. Felix Hernandez (3-2, 3.21). They kid nobody saw coming has a better ERA than the defending AL Cy Young award winner. 
Go Sox!!

5/2 – Game 4 vs. Orioles

Of course! The night I’m at an awesome concert and miss the game the Sox have to win. 

Alex the Resurgent hit a home run, his second of the year. I’m really glad that he’s starting to heat up because he was our spark plug last season and, even if he won’t be that guy this year, it’s good to have him doing things. Konerko homered as well, his eighth of the season, which is awesome. We’re sort of getting into that “We really need a long ball here” mode that we’ve been in for so long. I know home runs are good but we can’t depend on them – moving baserunners along is good, too. Scoring on a double, even scoring on a single if you’re fast. But that’s enough of that for right now. We won and that’s all that matters.
Pretty good night out of the bullpen! Jesse Crain had yet another solid outing, striking out another three batters. Chris Sale still seems lost on the mound as he gave up a two out, two-run homer to Derrek Lee. Sergio Santos came in and locked up the save, though, so that is stellar. Because Crain is so hot lately he’ll get another three points, Santos will get two, and Sale will get one. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 19 points
2. Jesse Crain – 17 points
3. Will Ohman – 12 points
4. Chris Sale – 11 points
5. Jeff Gray – 7 points
6. Tony Pena – 6 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

Hate to see Thornton still chilling at the bottom of the list but that’s what he gets for not being good. 

I took a good amount of pictures at the concert tonight. They’re all on my sister’s iPod so once she posts them on Facebook I’ll put a couple in a post on here. 
The Sox welcome in the Minnesota Twins tomorrow. Lets beat up on them and keep them in the cellar, shall we? Edwin Jackson (2-3, 5.86) vs. Francisco Liriano (1-4, 9.13) – see what I did there? I bolded the lett–nevermind… we should score a lot based on Liriano’s ERA…
Go Sox!!
EDIT: Instead of going in and editing what I said I’m just going to admit my mistake. Konerko homered twice tonight, his seventh and eighth. See what happens when I miss a game? I can’t even read a box score correctly.

4/30 – Game 2 vs. Orioles

It looked pretty good for a while there until our defense once again handed the ballgame over on a silver platter. 

A.J. Pierzynski’s error in the eighth inning was a bit contributor to the Orioles’ four-run explosion. Mark Teabag also flubbed an easy enough play. This defense is really frustrating me lately. Forget the offensive struggles, forget the bullpen issues, the defense is our big problem right now. We’re just giving games away. 
Phil Humber once again was brilliant. He pitched seven innings of two-run baseball, striking out five, walking one, and surrendering two runs, one on a home run off the bat of Robert Andino. His record falls to 2-3 after a wasted performance.
“Alexander the Seemingly Resurgent” Rios hit his first home run of the year in the bottom of the ninth inning. It’s annoying when the a dangles hope in front of your face and then yanks it away as you reach for it. The Sox have been doing that a lot lately, too. And as Keleigh pointed out in the comments, Adam Dunn is hitting below .200 – .160 to be exact. He’s been driving in runs but he can’t get on base, which, to me, is just as frustrating as the floundering defense. We’re paying this guy the Big Bucks to hit home runs and drive in one hundred thirty runs but all he’s done is strike out thirty times in seventy-one at-bats. I’m hoping that it’s the weather (which is a bogus excuse but I’ll accept it) and that he’ll warm up as the weather does. 
Once again the bullpen pitched well enough but it was the defense’s fault that they gave up as many runs as they did. Thornton came on in the eighth, faced six batters before recording an out, gave up four runs, three earned, and then Jeff Gray pitched an inning and two thirds of shutout relief ball. Two points for Gray. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 15 points
2. Jesse Crain – 11 points
3. Will Ohman – 10 points
3. Chris Sale – 10 points
5. Jeff Gray – 7 points
6. Tony Pena – 6 points

6. Matt Thornton – 5 points

First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 1:10 PM, Zach Britton (4-1, 2.84 [Yeah, I know, I said “Oh no…” as well]) will go against The Pitcher of Mystery (3-1, 3.60). According to Ed Farmer, Jim Palmer says Britton “can really pitch.” Jim Palmer was a pretty good pitcher so I’m positive he knows what he’s talking about. 
Ugh… 
Go Sox.  

4/25 – Game 1 @ Yankees

So I guess it’s okay to be a White Sox fan again? Phil Humber took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the New York Yankees… that’s gotta be a good thing. And our offense played some good “Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in” baseball… so that’s gotta be a good thing. And that bullpen! Best outing of the year from those guys… so that’s gotta be a good thing. 

Maybe everything is okay? 
Seriously, great job tonight by Phil Humber. This kid has come out and proven that he can be a big league pitcher and frankly we needed that tonight. The Yankees are the epitome of a professional ballclub and Humber mowed through them like something that mows through professional ballclubs.
Alex Rios finally busted his 0-for-21 slump with a single in… whatever inning that was. It was awesome, during the first inning they showed Adam Dunn kneeling on the top step of the dugout and he had a huge smile on his face. My sister looked at him and said “He seems awfully chipper for a big fat loser.” Then he drives in the Sox’s first run since the seventh inning of that Friday night game back in 1997. (It felt like that, anyway.) 
As I mentioned before, huge appearances out of the bullpen by Chris Sale and Sergio Santos. They’ll both get three points for their clutch performances. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 13 points
2. Will Ohman – 9 points
3. Jesse Crain – 8 points
3. Chris Sale – 8 points
4. Will Ohman – 7 points
5. Tony Pena – 5 points
6. Jeff Gray – 4 points
7. Matt Thornton – 1 point

Santos is showing no signs of coming down from the top of this leaderboard. I’m extremely proud of this guy so far this year and I’m hoping beyond hope that he doesn’t let me down like Thornton has. 
Our next game will be tomorrow against these same New York Yankees. Gavin Floyd (2-1, 4.00) will go against Ivan Nova (1-2, 7.63) at 6:05 Central time. 
Hopefully tonight’s win was a sign of good things to come. Stellar starting pitching, solid fundamentals on the basepaths and on defense, and two much-needed (especially in the situation) shutdown innings out of the bullpen. 
Don’t stop now, boys!
Go Sox!!

4/7 – Game 1 vs. Rays

Edwin. Jackson.

During the game I posted “Arizona can have Daniel Hudson. I’ll take this Edwin Jackson any day” as my Facebook status. A couple of my Sox fan friends liked it and that made me smile. When he made his starts for us last season I was thinking to myself “I know we were gonna get Dunn but why would we trade this guy?” And those are my thoughts again so far this year. He was hitting 95 miles per hour with the fastball, his slider or curve or whatever it was had some ridiculous drop on it. Look at this, started here…
Jackson 1.jpg
Ended here
Jackson 2.jpg
That’s pretty much belt to feet right there. Amazing. 

You win ballgames primarily on pitching. Much like how in football defense wins championships, the pitcher is in complete control of the game. I’d much rather have this Edwin Jackson than Adam Dunn. But you won’t hear me complaining that we have both. (Speaking of Dunn, he’s eager to get back ahead of schedule. MLB.com reported he may have been available to pinch hit today and that he wants to be in the lineup tomorrow. We’ll see, Donkey.)
The offense scratched across a few of runs. I’m really glad Alex Rios is heating up. If that 1-2-3-4-5-6 of Pierre, Beckham, Dunn, Rios, Konerko, and Quentin keep hitting like this all season – even if any two of those guys stay hot at any time during the season – this will be a very potent offense. It’s already one of the best in the league but we have a chance to be really good. 
One thing that disappointed me (it was the home opener so I swept most of the mistakes under the rug) was A.J. Pierzynski grounding into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. In those situations you need to bring home at least two runs. But as I said, home opener, I’ll let it slide.
Sergio Santos did a good job out of the ‘pen. Starting right now, I’m gonna give out Bullpen Points to players who deserve points for a good job out of the bullpen. Leader board will be at the bottom of every post. 
Game two of this three-game series will be tomorrow, John Danks (0-1, 3.00) vs. James Shields (0-1, 2.45). Both guys obviously pitched well enough in their first starts but couldn’t come away with a win. John Danks’ first strike thrown is scheduled for 7:05 tomorrow night. 
—–
1. Sergio Santos – 2 points

What If

So I’m an intern at Fox Sports Radio and tonight was my first night. I was happily surprised when I and my friend Ethan got to jump on the radio and talk baseball for a segment (roughly twenty minutes). We got on the topic of Albert Pujols and how he may or may not come to the Cubs. That, of course, lead to the Adam Dunn signing and the one host, John Popovich, said “There’s no way Adam Dunn will hit forty homers this year.” Even though I smiled and disagreed, this got the back of my mind working.

What if Adam Dunn doesn’t hit forty homers this year? What if Adam Dunn doesn’t produce the way we’re projecting him to? What if he strikes out 220 times? 
We’re placing a lot of expectations on a guy who has never even played in the American League. He’s faced a handful of these pitchers in interleague play, but that isn’t the same as playing 162 games a season and seeing some guys five or six times each. 
It’s nice to look at Dunn’s stats and think “Man, I can’t believe we have this guy.” Then you have to jump into reality and face the truth that he might not perform like that. Sure he’s hit 46 homers in a season and has driven in 100 runs a few times. It isn’t guaranteed that he’ll do it again. Nothing is guaranteed. 
I’m not trying to sound like Debbie Downer here, I’m really excited that we brought in Dunn for the 2011 season. Konerko, Dunn, and Rios (not necessarily in that order) in the 3-4-5 slot should be able to match Mauer, Morneau, and Cuddyer up in Minnesota. Heck, they could even do better than those three guys. I’d love for Adam Dunn to club fifty homers and drive in 120, for all we know right now it could happen. 
But for every upside there’s a downside.
Nobody thought Jake Peavy would tear his arm clean off his shoulder and miss the remainder of the 2010 season. 
Nobody thought Carlos Quentin would randomly break his hand back in 2008. I know I joked yesterday about how he was practicing krav maga, but that ruined our playoff hopes. Sure we still made it but if we had Quentin we could’ve gone farther than we did.
However, like I mentioned, there are upsides as well.
Nobody thought Paul Konerko and Alex Rios would bust out like they did, Konerko finishing fifth in AL MVP voting because of it. 
Nobody thought a kid who was in college in March would be saving games in the Major Leagues by August the same year. 
The beauty of baseball is that we have no idea what will happen, to whom it’ll happen, and when it will happen to that person. Be it good or bad, this sport is completely random and in my mind that’s what makes it so compelling. 
So sure Adam Dunn might not hit forty homers. Sure he couldn’t even get to thirty. But it’s the thought that he might lead us to the playoffs and earn every penny Kenny Williams is paying him that is making me excited for this season. 
41 days until Opening Day. 
Go Sox.