Tagged: Cleveland Indians

Sox Return for 6-Game Homestand

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.

But seriously.

Go Sox!!

5/19 – Game 2 vs. Indians

Gavin Floyd came out ready to pitch tonight. He gave up one run in the top of the first inning and then Cruised like Tom through the next six innings (for seven total). Three strikeouts and one walk is pretty darn impressive from Floyd. Not as impressive as Peavy’s outing last night, but I won’t complain. Gavin has been really back-and-forth over his last few starts and that is why I call him The Pitcher of Mystery. He had that fantastic start in Seattle (one of the Games of the Year that you can find in the sidebar) then he gave up five runs in four innings against the A’s in his next start. Go figure.

The offense was ready to go from the start as Paul Konerko drove in a pair in the bottom of the first. Doubles off the bat of Alexei Ramirez and Adam Dunn plated two runs each and then a Carlos Quentin two-run homer in the fifth inning gave Gavin Floyd and the bullpen all of the runs they needed.

Speaking of the bullpen, Chris Sale and Tony Pena both made appearances. Sale gets two points but Pena only gets one for allowing a run and killing the buzz of the evening. I was pretty pumped for the eight to one final score and then Pena had to give up a run. What a loon. Is it too much to ask for our bullpen to shut people down? I know they had a seven run pillow but still.

Overall, a good W from the guys. Offense, defense, pitching, bullpen, everyone was solid. Even Juan Pierre was fine.

The Sox welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers of a City that is Nowhere Near Los Angeles… oh wait, no, sorry, that’s the Angels. The team we’re gonna play is the Los Angeles Dodgers who are Actually in Los Angeles. Ted Lilly (3-4, 4.83) will go for those guys and my Humberometer is off the charts, which means Phil Humber (3-3, 3.18) is due for another start. Hopefully he can keep the magic workin’.


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!!

5/17 – Game 2 vs. Rangers

Is it safe to say that Sergio Santos is the best closer in the game right now, or is it too soon? In my mind right now it’s Santos, Leo Nunez, and Mariano Rivera. If your ERA is zero you’re definitely a candidate for Best in the League.

Danks was a bit rocky in his 6.1 innings of work, giving up three runs, two earned, with six walks and two strikeouts. Not his best of the season but it was good enough to get us a win. Unfortunately Danks didn’t earn the win but any win is acceptable right now.

How about that Brent Morel kid, huh? He picked a fantastic time for his first home run of the season – a three-run shot in the fifth inning that tied the game. Then we pushed across another run and Jesse Crain came in to the ballgame. He pitched an inning and some change before Santos came in and shut down the Rangers. Two points for both of them. Since WordPress has these widgets now I’m moving the Bullpen Points Leaderboard to the side of the blog, that way it will always be in the same spot. Plus I think that had something to do with the spacing of my posts… the list format was throwing it off.

The Project (0-0, 0.00) will pitch against Justin Masterson (5-1, 2.73) tomorrow night. I’m hoping two things: one, that Peavy can pitch a little bit better than he did in his first start, and two, that the Indians don’t score nineteen runs.

I apologize if this post isn’t up to my usual standards, I’m still trying to get back into it after the break.

Go Sox!!

4/21 – Game 4 @ Rays

Wait, are we allowed to do this? The number in the “W” column – not quite sure what the W stands for, I’ll have to look it up – went up by one. Can we do that…? 

The W must stand for Wefinallywonagame…
Believe it or not, that is actually how I felt when the game was over. It feels so good to win a ballgame! Floyd pitched very well, everyone on the offense contributed, and our defense was more than average. Adam Dunn drove in a run! Ed Farmer thinks that it’ll take another few games before he’s completely re-acclimated to playing full-time, but as long as he drives in a run per game he can take as long as he needs to before he hits home runs again. 
Ohman, Santos, and Gray all pitched very well out of the bullpen. Somebody must’ve knocked out and bagged the old Will Ohman, stuck him in a closet, brought out this new guy, jersey’d him up, and told him that he is now Will Ohman and will pitch effectively. Whoever he is, I like him and he needs to stay. Two points for everybody. Hooray for good outings!
Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 10 points
2. Will Ohman – 9 points
3. Jesse Crain – 8 points
4. Will Ohman – 7 points
5. Chris Sale – 5 points
5. Tony Pena – 5 points
6. Jeff Gray – 4 points
7. Matt Thornton – 1 point

Thankfully I can now change my background theme, as you have seen already, as it was literally making me sad to look at the Rays theme even though it was only up for less than twenty
-four hours. 
Cleveland is still off to a white-hot start as they’re currently leading 2-0 over the Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Tribe 13-5 on the season, which is ridiculous. Now that Grady Sizemore is back that team is looking really good. Choo, Hafner, Sizemore, Cabrera, Carmona, and Masterson are a pretty good core group of players. 
The Royals aren’t doing too bad, either, as they trail the Indians by two games in the AL Central standings. A lot of early walk-off wins for that young team (with a few veterans peppered in for good measure). 
And, saving the best for last, Joe Mauer is on the 15-day DL. I typically don’t smile at other peoples’ misfortune but I have the biggest grin on my face right now. I love seeing Twins go down. Call me horrible, but it’s true. 
Wow… can’t believe I said that… actually, I can. Nevermind. 
The Sox will head into Motown tomorrow as Mark Buehrle (1-1, 4.50) will take on Justin “Bunny” Verlander (1-2, 3.41). I’ll tell you the not-so-interesting story about that nickname tomorrow. 
Go Sox!!

4/3 – Game 3 @ Cleveland

Normally when I go to church I wear a button-up shirt so I can look presentable, but today I wore my Joe Crede jersey. I have a pretty good relationship with our pastor so before the 10:30 service started I asked him if he could try to finish speaking by noon so that I could listen to the 12:05 first pitch. He finished speaking at 11:50 and the band was off the stage by 11:55. 

People at my church know how much I love baseball so they understood. (I probably had nothing to do with the fact that they finished early but as our pastor was leaving church he looked at me, at his watch, then back at me and said “You’re missing the game.” I held up my radio to show him that I wasn’t missing a thing. He smiled as he left.)
Everything looked as though it were going to be a good game. John Danks had five strikeouts through two innings and seven K’s through four, so it looked like we were on our way to a nice win. Our offense just couldn’t score any runs to support him. Konerko drove in a run but on April 3 one run won’t be enough. 
The pitching got a little sloppy, we had a triple play turned against us, but we didn’t commit any errors. Orlando Cabrera clubbed a two-run home run in the sixth inning, then Cleveland got two more in the seventh inning and added three in the eighth inning.Will Ohman went an inning and a third allowing three runs, Phil Humber allowed two runs without recording an out, and finally Matt Thornton stopped the bleeding in an inning of work. 
I can’t really complain about much after the way the first two games of the series went. I guess Cleveland fans should be happy that a starting pitcher got stuff done and that the bullpen realized these games count. 
Day off tomorrow then we take on the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday. Gavin Floyd vs. Luke Hochevar. 
Go Sox!!

4/2 – Game 2 @ Cleveland

I know this will never be read by the players, but… could this dominant play like… keep going? 

Edwin Jackson pitched a heck of a ballgame. Seven strikeouts and three runs over six innings will keep an offense in any game – especially this offense. Even his four walks weren’t too bad. Then Sale and Santos threw three innings and only allowed two hits combined. 
Carlos Quentin kept up his hot streak by going 2-4, including a double that drove in two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Gordon Beckham was also 2-4 and is tied with Quentin for the team lead in batting average. 
It’s good to see that this team can score eight runs without hitting a home run. I was worried that with Dunn, Konerko, Rios, and Quentin our scoring would be like video game scoring: All home runs and not many runs driven in via singles and doubles. In the first two games the Sox have proven they can do both. Someone on Facebook pointed out, though, that we’re beating up on the Indians and not a team that’s a real threat. When we play the Rays starting Thursday, or even the Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday, it’ll be interesting if we can hold our own against them. 
Johnny Danks will pitch tomorrow against Justin Masterson in the final game of this opening series. Hopefully Carlos Quentin can keep driving in runs like he has been and we should be in line for a sweep.
I’d like to point out that the last time the Sox started the season with two wins was 2005. That was a decent season.
Go Sox!!

4/1 – Game 1 @ Cleveland

As far as Opening Day’s go, this was a very roller coaster-y one. So roller coaster-y that I made up a word for it. That should make it clear… how much of a roller coaster… this Opening Day was.

I’m not saying roller coaster in the sense of a back-and-forth score. I’m saying roller coaster in the sense that one inning you could be comfortable with a fourteen run lead and the next inning you could be biting your fingernails asking yourself how the heck Will Ohman is going to hold onto this ten run lead. You’d think ten runs would be enough to laugh off Jack Hannahan’s seventh inning lead-off home run (I don’t know who he is, either) but you could just tell Ohman didn’t have it. The only guy out of the bullpen who I was happy with was Chris Sale. 
Other than the bobbled ball by Lastings Milledge and some plays Lillibridge missed that Beckham would’ve made our defense was pretty solid. The offense is what really made me smile. Adam Dunn collecting four RBI, Carlos Quentin, who I just blogged about the other day, with five RBI, and both with two-run home runs. There was some worry that Gordon Beckham wouldn’t produce very well because of the Spring that he had, but here he is going 3-4 with three runs scored. Heck, my boy Brent Morel even drove in two runs!
When the Sox were exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning Ed Farmer joked that “the exits are gonna get crowded here shortly.” Those Indians fans that stuck around saw the Tribe come close to completely scaring the hope of winning a division out of me. If we can’t hold a 14-0 lead against Cleveland then there’s no way we can beat Minnesota. Cleveland came within five runs, though, before Jesse Crain was finally able to finish the game off (even he allowed one run). Gotta get used to rooting for a former Twin.
Farmer also said Edwin Jackson was probably a couple runs away from telling the guys to save some for tomorrow when Jackson will pitch for the Sox. He’ll take on Carlos Carrasco (don’t know who he is either) at 12:05 central time.
Go Sox!!

4/8 Game 3 vs. Indians

I don’t even feel like writing a full review on this game so I’m just gonna say that Quentin homered and that’s pretty much the only good thing that came from tonight’s action.

Jenks was decent; Putz gave it a try but let the Indians blow the game open; Thornton (for the third game in a row) was lights-out; Teahen can’t do anything… nobody on the team can come through in the clutch except for Beckham if you need him to make a sacrifice bunt or Pierre to take a walk.

We welcome the Twins into town tomorrow for game one of a three-game set. Minnesota sends left-hander Francisco Liriano to the mound while the Sox counter with fellow southpaw John Danks.

7:05 for the first pitch and as always you can catch it on 670 The Score beginning at 6:30.

Go Sox!! (Please get a win tomorrow… doing this is much more fun when you win…)

4/7 Game 2 vs. Indians

Well, you win some, you lose some, and even with the 2007 National League Cy Young award winner on the mound… we lost some…

Jake Peavy struggled his way through five innings of three-run baseball, and even though he only gave up three runs, it was painful to watch at times. It seemed to me like he was trying to get the batters to chase his breaking pitches that were outside of the zone anyway instead of getting a good fastball over to start things off. He did manage five strikeouts, one of them against Travis Hafner with two on and two out to end the third inning, but it was a rough first start for Peavy.

Juan Pierre was able to draw a walk from Fausto Carmona (one of six) to lead off the ballgame and ended up stealing his way to third. He was then driven in on a sacrifice fly from Paul Konerko allowing the Sox to jump ahead early. In Konerko’s second at-bat he cracked his second home run of the season, a 2-run blast into the bullpen in left field, to put the Sox up 3-0.

Unfortunately that’s where our scoring stopped and where Cleveland started to pile on gork shots, bloopers, and in-betweeners to eventually tie the game. Peavy was pulled after the end of the fifth inning which gave our so-far stellar bullpen a chance at some early action.

Randy Williams was the first to toe the rubber. He pitched an inning and a third, giving up the run that would saddle him with the loss.

Then came Tony Pena who pitched two thirds of an inning surrendering a hit and a walk in a decent effort.

Matt Thornton was once again lights-out, sandwiching a strikeout between two ground outs.

The bottom of the ninth inning brought on Big, Bad, Bobby Jenks… who is now officially demoted to “Just Big” Bobby Jenks. He let the final run of the game come across home plate while also walking two and striking out two. I know I said watching Peavy struggle was bad, but this was even worse. Peavy we need every five days while Jenks we’ll need close to fifty times this year.

We’ve only played two games and everyone in the division is currently tied for first until the Twins game finishes, at which time they’ll be in first by half a game, so there really isn’t anything to complain about.

Tomorrow we finish off the series by sending Gavin Floyd to the mound to face Justin Masterson. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 and, as always, you can catch all the action on AM 670 The Score starting with Chris Rongey’s pre-game show at 6:30.

Go Sox!!