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.
It seems like forever since we’ve been at home. It’s good to be back, I gotta tell you. It’s also good to have The Duke of Buehrl on the mound.
Buehrle pitched seven innings and really only had one mistake – that three-run home run off the bat of Casper Wells in the top of the fifth inning. Other than that, this outing was arguably his best of the year.
Carlos Quentin, Brent Lillibridge, and Juan Pierre all hit home runs. (It’s 2:26 am as I’m writing this so I apologize for it not being as thorough as usual. I’ve been at the Home School Conference the past two days and I have to go again in four hours so my mind is in other places 😛 That and yesterday’s off-day threw me off a little bit.)
Two points for Bruney and Thornton, three points for Santos for reaching double-digits in saves.
Good way to start off a series! We were a little more dependent on the home run than I wanted us to be but, with a team like this, that will happen some times. As long as we win it doesn’t matter.
I like sharing funny things that Ed and DJ say and I got one from tonight. Miguel Cabrera reached first base on a single and started removing his equipment
DJ: He has a lot of equipment to take off. Shin guard, elbow guard…
Ed: Right Guard.
DJ: Right Guard? You’ve been getting a little closer to him than I have…
Hilarious. I love it.
Oh! And remember that thing that I teased a few weeks ago? That I said was coming and is insanely awesome? Well, it’ll be here on Monday. I’ll be sure to take some pictures for you to see. I’m so excited about it!
Game two of this series is tomorrow – Justin Verlander (5-3, 3.12) will take on Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.63).
I’m so tired.
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.
Let me just say that WordPress is one of the main reasons I don’t blog on the site I pay money for a domain name for, and now I have to use it for the blog I was really starting to like. Just an aesthetic thing from my standpoint. I won’t stop blogging, I’ll be here all year, I just don’t really enjoy WordPress.
And what a game to come back to, huh? The Rangers shut us out four to nothing. Apparently someone forgot to tell Colby Lewis that it wasn’t the postseason. A.J. Pierzynski, who always seems to be most productive when the Sox are losing, collected two hits in three at-bats against the Texas right-hander. Two out of the five we could pull out of the air. Lewis was really, really good tonight and when a pitcher is on like that you’re not gonna do much.
The bullpen dominated after Edwin Jackson’s shaky start. Tony Pena, Chris Sale, and Will Ohman only allowed one hit as a collective group. We’re turning into one of the most effective and dangerous bullpens in the league but it’s too bad our starting pitching is starting to go south (and I don’t mean to that side of Chicago). Two points for errebuddy.
Back to back shutouts and three consecutive note-worthy performances out of our starting pitching. This is by far the best we’ve played all season and it’s looking like this is what we’re gonna get for the rest of the year. If that’s the case we’ll finally be watching the team we were waiting for. The offense, defense, starting pitching, and bullpen have all been great for the past week.
Curse Robinson Cano and his talent.