Tagged: Gordon Beckham

6/4 – Game 2 vs. Tigers

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.

Go Sox!!

5/20 – Game 1 vs. Dodgers

That game sucked.

We had it and then Sergio Santos, of all people, gave it up. His first runs allowed all season – including Spring Training. We tried to come back but it didn’t really work as Kenley Jansen, Matt Guerrier, Scott Elbert, and Mike MacDougal held us to one run over three innings. It’s really a shame because Humber pitched very well, again, in his seven innings of work. He only allowed to runs to this Dodger offense that has the potential to walk all over you. Humber just can’t catch a break. I’m sure his head dropped when the ball jumped off of Russell Mitchell’s bat in the ninth inning.

Gordon Beckham had a two-run home run and Alex Rios scored on a Ramon Castro double in the second inning. Adam Dunn drove in our fourth run on a sacrifice ground out in the bottom of the tenth and that was it.

Jesse Crain gets three points for, at that point in the game, an extremely clutch two thirds of an inning of work. He came on with the bases loaded and struck out Juan Castro and then got James Loney to hit a tapper in front of Alexei Ramirez which the short stop handled nicely. Three points for Crain, no points for anyone else. (“Anyone else” referring to Matt Thornton and Sergio Santos.)

I’ll be at the game tomorrow and I’m bringing my video camera to document it for my blog. I’ll take pictures as well so tomorrow’s game recap well be very media-oriented. And an update on that thing that I teased the other day, it will be here by Tuesday. And then I can share it with you. Cuz it’s awesome.

Mark Buehrle (3-3, 4.07) vs. Jon Garland (1-3, 3.55) tomorrow. Pretty cool to see Garland back in Chicago, he was always one of my favorite pitchers. Him and Neal Cotts.

Go Sox!!

4/15 – Game 1 vs. Angels

You know what? I’m alright with this loss. There are some that really frustrate me, there are some that make sense, and there are some that I’m just at peace with. This is one of those.

Gordon Beckham drove in a run in the bottom of the third inning and Adam Dunn clubbed a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning (after a half-hour rain delay), and that was as close as we got. The Angels got all of their scoring done in the top of the fourth inning and with Jered Weaver on the mound I knew that was the end of the game. No chance we get close against Weaver – even though Dunn’s homer came off of Jered, I knew it was just because of the delay.
Good job out of the bullpen for Ohman and Santos, two points for both of you. Jeff Gray makes his debut appearance on my Bullpen Points Leaderboard, he’ll also receive two points.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 8 points
2. Will Ohman – 6 points
3. Jesse Crain – 5 points
3. Chris Sale – 5 points
4. Tony Pena – 3 points
5. Jeff Gray – 2 points

Santos is starting to pull away a little bit. I’m glad we have him to count on out of the bullpen. Thornton has been a huge disappointment and even Chris Sale has let us down a couple of times. Santos is looking really good as of late and hopefully his performance will continue. 
Sox and Angels will go again tomorrow at 3:05, Gavin Floyd (1-0, 2.40) vs. Tyler Chatwood (0-1, 7.20). 
Let’s get a nice streak going and make a run at the Indians and Royals in first place!
…wait, what?
Go Sox!!

4/7 – Game 1 vs. Rays

Edwin. Jackson.

During the game I posted “Arizona can have Daniel Hudson. I’ll take this Edwin Jackson any day” as my Facebook status. A couple of my Sox fan friends liked it and that made me smile. When he made his starts for us last season I was thinking to myself “I know we were gonna get Dunn but why would we trade this guy?” And those are my thoughts again so far this year. He was hitting 95 miles per hour with the fastball, his slider or curve or whatever it was had some ridiculous drop on it. Look at this, started here…
Jackson 1.jpg
Ended here
Jackson 2.jpg
That’s pretty much belt to feet right there. Amazing. 

You win ballgames primarily on pitching. Much like how in football defense wins championships, the pitcher is in complete control of the game. I’d much rather have this Edwin Jackson than Adam Dunn. But you won’t hear me complaining that we have both. (Speaking of Dunn, he’s eager to get back ahead of schedule. MLB.com reported he may have been available to pinch hit today and that he wants to be in the lineup tomorrow. We’ll see, Donkey.)
The offense scratched across a few of runs. I’m really glad Alex Rios is heating up. If that 1-2-3-4-5-6 of Pierre, Beckham, Dunn, Rios, Konerko, and Quentin keep hitting like this all season – even if any two of those guys stay hot at any time during the season – this will be a very potent offense. It’s already one of the best in the league but we have a chance to be really good. 
One thing that disappointed me (it was the home opener so I swept most of the mistakes under the rug) was A.J. Pierzynski grounding into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. In those situations you need to bring home at least two runs. But as I said, home opener, I’ll let it slide.
Sergio Santos did a good job out of the ‘pen. Starting right now, I’m gonna give out Bullpen Points to players who deserve points for a good job out of the bullpen. Leader board will be at the bottom of every post. 
Game two of this three-game series will be tomorrow, John Danks (0-1, 3.00) vs. James Shields (0-1, 2.45). Both guys obviously pitched well enough in their first starts but couldn’t come away with a win. John Danks’ first strike thrown is scheduled for 7:05 tomorrow night. 
1. Sergio Santos – 2 points

4/5 – Game 1 @ Royals

We should’ve had this game.
Nice triple Pierre, good job driving him in Beck, nice homer Paulie, good job outta the ‘pen Santos, and nice hit Melky Cabrera. 
Ugh… these games give me headaches… 4-0 right off the bat and we can’t hold on to it. We could barely hold on to 14-0. If the whole season is gonna be like this I’m going to need a lot more bags of Sweet Tart Gummy Bunnies.
One game, I know. Royals are hot, I know. But still… 
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!!

4/11 Game 3 vs. Twins

It was a close game but the Sox managed to salvage a win from this series.

I was at the home opener of the Kane County Cougars, a single-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s, so I didn’t actually hear any of the game. However, I was catching updates from the two older gentlemen a row ahead of me and my sister, so I knew what was going on… sorta…

The game was tied 4-4 until the bottom of the eighth inning when Andruw Jones, pinch hitting for Mark Kotsay, laced a single through the hole between third base and short. Carlos Quentin came chugging around third base as the ball was being thrown in towards home plate. As Quentin neared the batters’ box area the ball actually hit him in the back of the foot and deflected away from Joe Mauer, allowing Quentin to score without a bang-bang play at home.

Mark Buehrle gave up four runs on eight hits while striking out one and walking two in eight solid innings of work. Just Big Bobby Jenks came on in the bottom of the ninth to close things out for his first save of the season. If Jenks wants the “Bad” to be put back in his nickname I’m going to need to see this type of outing another twenty times.

Paul Konerko cracked his third home run of the season, a 2-run shot, while Kotsay and Gordon Beckham each hit solo homers.

The Sox are 2-4 after our six-game season-opening home stand and travel to Toronto tonight to face the Jays. Jake Peavy (0-0, 5.40) faces Brian Tallet (1-0, 2.70) in game one of this three-game series.

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…)