Tagged: Brent Lillibridge

6/1 – Game 3 @ Red Sox

The Sox are slowly but surely climbing their way up the standings in the AL Central. The Indians have been cooling off lately (although they beat the Jays 13-9 today) and the Sox are heating up. Dying first place team + red-hot bottom feeders = recipe for Soxcess. (I’ll stop there, I promise.)

Gavin Floyd started the game a little shakily today, giving up three runs in the bottom of the second inning. He settled in after that as he went on to pitch six and two thirds innings, striking out one and walking one. His record in Boston remains perfect as he picked up his fifth career win at Fenway Park. My friend Keleigh has said (several times this year) that Gavin needs to stop and breathe every once in a while. He seems to get in a hurry on the mound and we’ve seen that his stuff is good enough for him to be a dominating starting pitcher. Apparently he stopped to breathe today.

If the Sox go on to bigger and better things this season we’re gonna have to have a Brent Lillibridge day. I doubt we’d be where we are if it weren’t for this scrappy little guy. The Bridge (this is probably the most unoriginal nickname I’ve ever given) drove in two runs today, one on an RBI double off of the Big Green Monster in the fourth inning and a solo homer over the said Green Monster in the sixth. Paul Konerko had arguably his best game of the season as he went three-for-four with three runs batted in. He had a huge two-run home run off of Jonathan Papelbon (who was having a pretty good season) in the ninth inning to ensure our 7-4 victory. Oh, and Adam Dunn was disappointing again. No hits in four at-bats, two strikeouts. Come on, man… $56 million.

This is embarrassing.

Chris Sale is now becoming one of the more reliable arms in the bullpen. Whatever problems he was having earlier in the year he’s fixed them now. Perhaps he can share his magical ways with Adam Dunn? Anyway, Gavin Floyd left the game with two outs in the seventh so Sale came in to finish off that frame, then he stuck around a little bit for the eighth inning. Three Sweep Points for Sale. Sergio Santos came on in the ninth inning to nail down the save – his tenth of the year – and he’ll earn three Sweep Points as well.

I’m still really excited that we managed to sweep the Boston Red Sox. Of all teams!  This was pretty much the equivalent of when I played for the Yankees about four years ago and our team beat the only undefeated team in the league. It was awesome. We weren’t terrible, we finished with a 12-3 record, but that game definitely gave us a confidence boost. Hopefully this sweep will have the same effect on the Boys in Black.

Much deserved off-day tomorrow before we come home to play the Detroit Tigers on Friday. Mark Buehrle (4-4, 3.91) will be laughably opposed by Andrew Oliver (0-0, 4.50).

Go Sox!!

And whoever found my blog by searching for “can you pitch one third of an inning and get a save,” you’re awesome.

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5/18 – Game 1 vs. Indians

What a game! Jake Peavy with a complete game, three-hit shutout. Those two strikeouts in the ninth inning were insane. I groaned when I heard Matt Thornton was warming up in the top of the ninth inning, but then when Peavy came out I was relieved.  I knew that if he came out to pitch the ninth inning he would finish it off and sure enough he got the job done. Definitely the best he’s looked in a Sox uniform. I’m considering adding this to the Games of the Year list.

Our only run came on an Adam Dunn sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning. From then on Justin Masterson and Jake Peavy were in an all-out pitchers’ duel. Masterson finished with eight strikeouts, Peavy with seven. Masterson allowed five hits, Peavy three. Masterson walked two but Peavy maintained a zero in that column. So glad that The Project could bust us out of this home slump we’ve been going through. Crazy game! Well done, Jake!

Despite squandering two scoring chances there wasn’t much I had a problem with in this game. Brent Lillibridge definitely made a game-saving catch in the bottom of the eighth inning, covering a lot of ground on his way to left-center field to make a sliding catch on the warning track. Is there anything this kid can’t do?

No Bullpen Points tonight as Ozzie had no need to call upon someone. As much as I like giving out points I like not needing to even more.

Tomorrow Fausto Carmona (3-3, 3.94) will go for the Indians and Gavin Floyd (4-3, 4.22) will pitch for the Good Guys.

Go Sox!!

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!!