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.
Alright, I’m gonna try writing tonight’s post on my iPad. I can’t edit the widget for bullpen points on here so I’ll have to do that later. Other than that (and typos I’ll have to fix), this should go smoothly.
Phil Humber is climbing into the upper tier of American League pitchers. Anyone who can out-duel Felix Hernandez is one heck of a pitcher. Even Humber’s ERA is better than Felix’s! 2.87 as of the conclusion of the game against Hernandez’s 3.29. I don’t want to get way ahead of things, but could there be a Cy Young award on the way to the South Side? If not, at least give the guy Comeback Player of the Year,
Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin are swinging hot bats lately. Konerko launched his fourteenth home run of the season in the second inning and Quentin hit his fifteenth (a frozen rope down the left field line) of the year in the third. Both are among the tops in the Majors in runs batted in (Konerko with 47 and Quentin with 42). And of course there was Omar Vizquel’s two-run triple in the third inning, a few batters before CQ’s laser. This wouldn’t be a proper recap of the offense without an Adam Dunn mention so here it is: he didn’t play. Mark Teahen manned first base tonight while Paulie filled the DH spot.
Here’s a thought to chew on… Dayan Viciedo is ripping triple-A apart right now. What if we call him up and put him at DH? I know we have Dunn and his $56 million dollar roster spot to deal with, but I say we convert him to the leagues highest payed pinch hitter. It could work, right?
Not much to say about the bullpen. These are the good games when I have nothing but praise for whoever comes out of the pen. Chris Sale was the lone reliever to make The Jog tonight, pitching one inning and some change, allowing one hit. Two points for Sale. See how nice that was? No Thornton explosions and Jesse Crain nail biters to report. Just a solid outing we can watch in peace.
The Sox will go for the sweep tomorrow as they’ll send Gavin Floyd (6-5, 3.84) to the mound to go against Jason Vargas (4-3, 3.96). Wait, no… Vargas is going against Floyd, right? Yeah. The way I write these always sounds funny to me. I’ll pay more attention from now on.
I fixed twelve typos in this post and if there are any I didn’t catch, point them out and… I dunno. You’d make a good editor some day.
EDIT: Turns out I can edit the widget I just have to go to WordPress in Safari. Perhaps I never need to leave my room again…?
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.
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).
And whoever found my blog by searching for “can you pitch one third of an inning and get a save,” you’re awesome.
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.
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).