I’m sitting here in the tech booth of my church getting ready for night number two at our Vacation Bible School and my friend Mr. Doane, a Cubs fan, walked in, pointed to me, and said, “Hey! Those Sox… they’re starting to look real, real good.” That made me smile.
The Sox are, indeed, looking real good lately. Adam Dunn is starting to hit consistently (I just need five more good games from the guy before he earns back my trust), the starting pitching has been phenomenal, the defense has been solid all season but as of late they’ve really been solid – pretty much all aspects of the Sox are clicking lately.
This Minnesota series is gonna be a big test for the Sox. The Twins are playing some good baseball lately, relying on their talented pitching staff to win ballgames, and they’re looking to gain some ground on us. Where we sit in the standings isn’t entirely close but we can’t afford to lose games right now. The Indians and Tigers are fighting it out for first place but the way the Sox are playing I think we’ll be on top by July. Mark that as my official prediction. Kansas City is looking good, too, as they recently called up top prospect Mike Moustakas. Moustakas at third and Hosmer at first will be a good combination for a long time.
Gavin Floyd (6-5, 3.89) will go for the Good Guys tonight and Carl Pavano (3-5, 4.54) will deal for the Twins. Let’s keep this momentum in our favor! And keep Adam Dunn hitting… please…
Once Rios kicks in we’ll be set.
I’m sitting here listening to the Alter Bridge station on Pandora as I try to figure this game out.
Well, it looked good for a while there, right? I hate seeing games like this go to waste. The Twins beat the Indians earlier today which set us up for a chance to get even closer to first place. Then the Mariners spoil the sweep and keep us where we were.
I tweeted during the game (or I tried to but the app like… crashed or something. Timed out? I think it timed out. I’m still getting used to the jargon) that this is as locked-in as I have seen Carlos Quentin since his 2008 campaign. Seventeen homers? It’s Jose Bautista junior over here. I was in the extreme minority of Sox fans who wanted to hold on to Quentin this offseason and I think, now, we can all agree its a good thing we kept him. The kid is ridiculous.
Alex Rios was in the lineup for the first time in a few days tonight. He didn’t do anything special, as usual. He and Dunn have been huge disappointments so far but the last few weeks have shown that our offense can produce anyway. Imagine how good we’d be if those guys chipped in once every thirty at-bats or so. Until then we’ll rely on Lillibridge (which is fine) and Teahen (blech, threw up in my mouth a little bit).
I just wanted to point out how consistent Gordon Beckham has been this year. He struggled a bit towards the end of last season and he was one of the question marks going into 2011. We’ve seen some flashy hitting from Konerko, Ramirez, and Quentin, some surprising games from Lillibridge and Vizquel, and of course those disappointments I mentioned above. I feel like Beckham has kinda gotten lost in the middle. He drew two walks tonight and drove in a run in the seventh inning. Another guy who needs more recognition is Brent Morel. How about that kid, huh? This is some Crede-like defense he’s displaying and I’m always impressed by him. Let’s not forget these guys.
Floyd pitched a pretty good ballgame, but so did Jason Vargas. (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) Sergio Santos, however, was completely out of character. He just had no command of his pitches tonight and that’s why he got burned. No points for Sergio. No points for Crain either as he allowed the game-tying run to score. Matt Thornton and Brian Bruney will get points – two each for outings that made me feel like we had another chance at a win.
Well, we tried for the sweep but it just didn’t work out. Thankfully, just as these guys are getting hot, the Sox will welcome in one of the worst teams in the game right now, the Oakland Athletics. Trevor Cahill (6-3, 2.65) will do battle with Mark Buehrle (5-4, 3.95) tomorrow night at 7:10.
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…?
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.
Alright. This game made absolutely no sense. How on earth can we beat the Red Sox and not the Blue Jays? Get someone in the Higher-Ups on the phone. I’m upset.
Jake Peavy was solid today. Seven strong innings, giving up three runs and striking out two, walking none. Peavy and Humber have both been huge this season and they’re the only starting pitchers keeping us in the division race. I can’t even put into words how much those guys mean to this team right now. If you remember, I had serious reservations about Peavy coming into this season. I wanted the team to take their time and not rush it. The situation was high risk, higher reward and we’re getting rewarded. You can’t handle an unknown injury much better than Kenny and Ozzie did.
The offense tonight was supplied by The Usual Suspects. A.J. Pierzynski plated two runs with a double in the top of the first inning, then Paul Konerko went deep for his eleventh home run of the season in the third inning. After Boston tied it up in the bottom of the third the White Sox jumped back ahead in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs on an Alexei Ramirez double and another two on Carlos Quentin’s single immediately after.
Dan Bernstein of 670 The Score’s afternoon show Tweeted this after Ramirez’s double: “Alexei is having a helluva year, in all phases of the game. In a disappointing season so far, he’s a bright spot.” I couldn’t agree more. His twenty-seven RBI’s are more than I thought he’d have two months into the season and he’s the second best shortstop in the game as of right now (Elvis Andrus of the Rangers edging him by a fraction). He’s also had some clutch hits over the past few weeks with tonight’s double at the top of the list. So glad we got this guy.
Peavy pitched the seventh inning then the bullpen took over. Jesse Crain pitched two thirds of an inning before Matt Thornton came on to face David Ortiz and eventually finish the remainder of the game. Thornton has been slowly earning back my confidence. It used to be that whenever I heard he was warming up in the bullpen I’d know that we were in for a fun inning but he’s becoming the old Thornton once again. I like it. Because of this huge win after such a terrible series in Canada, Crain and Thornton get three points for keeping their cleats on the necks of the Red Sox.
I’m excited that we were able to get a win against such a good team. Feels nice to beat a really hot ballclub like this. Gavin Floyd (5-5, 3.69) probably won’t pitch tomorrow after his outing in Toronto. I remember Ed and DJ saying something about who was pitching for the Sox tomorrow but I can’t remember who. If it’s Floyd, forget I said any of this. Whoever it is will be facing Alfredo Aceves (2-0, 2.22) of the Red Sox.
Oh! The White ones.
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!?