Tagged: Jesse Crain

6/9 – Game 1 vs A’s

Who was that huge guy with the bat that hit a home run in the eighth inning? He had Adam Dunn’s jersey on…

I’m gonna need to see eight more one-for-three or two-for-four games before Dunn earns back my trust. I think that’s a pretty reasonable number, and definitely achievable with one hundred one games left to play in the season. (Can you believe that? Already. Man.)

Mark Buehrle keeps turning in good outing after good outing and it’s making me very happy. Another seven solid innings out of the left-hander tonight as he improved his season record to six wins against four losses. I know we beat up on a team that came into the game having lost nine in a row, but a win is a win, right?

The offense was huge tonight. Dunn had a home run, Konerko had another homer (how many games in a row is that now?), Pierre, Vizquel, Ramirez, and Quentin all drove in runs as well. Everyone contributed in this game and that more than anything will help us win ballgames. It’s nice for one player to have a huge game that we can ride for nine innings (see: Carlos Quentin), but when the guys work as a team we’ll have a higher chance at a win. I know I probably sounded like the John Madden of amateur baseball analysts right there but I like to stress the importance of teamwork.

Didn’t I just say yesterday that this team would be a lot better if Dunn was the Dunn we thought we were getting when we signed him? The next game we get a 9-4 win. Keep it up, big guy. And you too, Rios! I see that two-for-five in the box score, don’t try to hide from me.

Jesse Crain and Will Ohman both appeared in tonight’s game. Crain pitched pretty well and despite allowing one run so did Ohman. Two points for Crain and, even though I don’t usually give out points to pitchers who surrender a run – it was a good game tonight so I’m feeling generous – a point for Ohman as well.

Young Graham Godfrey will be making his MLB debut for the A’s tomorrow against Edwin Jackson (4-5, 4.50). Let’s give him a debut he’ll never forget. In the bad way, though.

Go Sox!!

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!!

5/30 – Game 1 @ Red Sox

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.

Go Sox!!

…what?

Oh! The White ones.

5/26 – Game 1 @ Blue Jays

How about that!?

Yet another spectacular outing from Mr. Philip Gregory Humber. I talked about consistency in yesterday’s post and I’ll bring it up again. Humber has been the most consistent starter on the staff this season and I had no idea we acquired him until he was on the mound out of the bullpen. Now he’s showing off a sparkling ERA of 2.85. How awesome has this guy been, huh? I’d give him some honorary bullpen points but that would be too cheesy. This blog draws the line at cheese.

The offense wasn’t much tonight but what we got was enough. Juan Pierre drove in A.J. Pierzynski in the fifth inning on a single that went through the gap between first and second. Pierre again reached base in the top of the tenth on a grounder to first baseman Juan Rivera. Pierre was chugging hard down the line and beat out Jays pitcher Mark Rzcpsuiueofhshfkhski… I think that’s how you spell that… anyway, two runs scored on that play. Adam Dunn struck out four times. *sigh*

Jesse Crain came through with another huge outing. He came on to pitch to Jose Bautista in the eighth inning, ending up walking him, then got Arencibia to ground out to Alexei Ramirez. The Mohawked Monstrosity gets three points for Situational Clutchness. Sergio Santos earns his eighth save of the year and collects two points in doing so. Crain takes over the top spot in the standings.

What a fantastic game. I jumped off my chair in the ninth inning when we scored the two runs. My dad looked at me and said, “Did they win?” and I said, “No, we’re in Toronto.” and he said, “…but did they win?” and I said, “No, but we scored two runs.” to which he said, “And you reacted like that?”

He just doesn’t understand.

Mark Buehrle (4-3, 3.92) will go against young up-and-comer Kyle Drabek (3-3, 4.34) tomorrow at 6:07.

Go Sox!!

5/24 – Game 2 @ Rangers

Man, I have to be honest, I fell asleep during this game. The rain/tornado delay was a couple minutes shy of three hours long and the game didn’t end until about 1:30 am. I was awake for most of the delay show but I finally gave up and just let myself fall asleep.

That being said, how about this Carlos Quentin kid!? First time this season (I think) in the third slot in the batting order and the guy hits three home runs. Adam Dunn even threw in a home run to offset his home runs-to-strikeouts ratio. And Dunn even bumped his batting average up near .200. Wayta go, bud.

The bullpen was pretty shaky and since my leaderboard is based on individual performance and not performance as a collective bullpen, not everyone gets points. Will Ohman pitched a good inning after the delay so he’ll get two points; Tony Pena allowed two runs so I’m afraid he won’t get any; Chris Sale allowed one run so no points for him; Jesse Crain was his usual self so he gets two points; Matt Thornton = same situation as Sale; finally, Santos struck out two batters en route to a save – two points for Sergio. Santos and Crain are fighting it out for the top spot in the standings.

Tomorrow’s game (well, actually, today’s game as I’m blogging this on Wednesday) will be a 1:05 start (which I didn’t know until I got in the car and found out they were in the eighth inning already… ugh…). It’ll be Gavin Floyd (5-3, 3.88) against C.J. Wilson (4-3, 3.42).

Go Sox!!

5/22 – Game 3 vs. Dodgers

Unfortunately I missed the game today because some people from church invited my family over for lunch. I had a good time and forgot about the game until I was in the car on the way home.

From the looks of the box score it seems that Edwin Jackson pitched pretty well. He threw one hundred seven pitches, though, in his short outing. Edwin allowed one run in five and two thirds innings of work, striking out seven and walking two. It’s frustrating when I miss good games like this one (but like I said I had a good time).

Alexei Ramirez had a breakout game, collecting five RBI on four hits including a two-run home run in the first inning. A.J. Pierzynski also went deep in the first – only his second home run of the year – as the Sox bats continue to heat up. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko also drove in one run each.

Can we give Paulie a standing ovation really quick? *stands up and applauds* He has thirty-six RBI so far and he’s been the most consistent batter on the team this year. He’s definitely earning the money we paid to bring him back. Unlike another first baseman on the roster. Who’s name isn’t Dallas McPherson. Twenty-one runs batted in is nice… four home runs is alright… fifty-seven strikeouts though? He’s leading the Major Leagues. Not the American League… he’s leading everybody. He’s even leading Mark Reynolds.

The bullpen had a decent game. Chris Sale gave up two runs so he’ll only get one point (I’m excited about the win so I’m being a little forgiving today), Jesse Crain picked up his seventh hold of the season after one inning of work, and Matt Thornton somehow picked up a save with a five run lead. The save rule has always confused me. Two points for both Crain and Thornton.

I’m excited all over again for this team. I know the entire Sox fanbase has gotten that way a couple of times this year but I think this is for real now. Two out of three from the Dodgers is excellent. Let’s keep it going.

The winless John Danks (0-6, 4.32) will take on Alexi Ogando (4-0, 2.13) as the Sox head out to Texas to play the Rangers. Get Johnny in the win column, boys!

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!!