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.
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.
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.
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.
Adam Dunn started the scoring (for the Sox) in the top of the third inning with a MAMMOTH blast to right field, his fourth home run of the year. Dunn has gotten extremely hot on this West Coast trip and hopefully that will continue into Oakland and when we come back home. I don’t remember exactly when Omar Vizquel replaced Mark Teabag but I know that Vizquel’s first at bat was in the eighth inning and it was a double that scored Alex Rios. This brought the Sox within two runs with some work to do. A.J. Pierzynski hit a double in the ninth inning that scored Adam Dunn and moved The Bridge to second base. Vizquel hit a sacrifice fly that scored Lillibridge who moved to third base on a wild pitch.