Tagged: Oakland Athletics

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!!

6/8 – Game 3 vs. Mariners

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.

Go Sox!!

4/12 – Game 2 vs. A’s

See that? As soon as we get Adam Dunn back in the lineup we come away with an epic win. Adam Dunn’s presence = Epic Win. 

Since the beginning of the season I’ve posted “I love this team” as my Facebook status four times, and it is games like this that merit yet another posting of that status. Edwin Jackson had his first shaky start of the year but it was alright, our bullpen held us in it. 
Alexei Ramirez started off and ended the scoring, hitting a 3-run tater in the second inning and the walk-off bomb in the tenth. Paul Konerko and Juan Pierre each drove in one run, so everyone is getting the job done.
What’s so nice about this lineup is that you don’t necessarily need to count on one guy to drive in all of the runs. Adam Dunn? Sure. Konerko? Yeah, probably. Quentin? Sometimes. But the guys like Morel and Pierre and even Mark Teahen are driving in runs. Another team that has the same kind of lineup reliability is the Milwaukee Brewers. Other than that, I can’t really think of a team that is dangerous one through nine. The Red Sox are pretty good on paper but they haven’t really executed so far this year. The Sox and the Brewers are the only teams (at the moment) who can be comfortable with any of their players at the plate. 
Ohman, Pena, Santos, and Sale all made appearances out of the bullpen. Pena somehow blew a save in the sixth inning so he’ll only get one point, everyone else gets two. Sergio Santos is really impressing me this season. In five games he’s pitched 7.1 innings, given up five hits, surrendered three walks, but has struck out nine and has an ERA of 0. Opponents are hitting .185 against him! He was pretty solid last season and it looks as though he’s continuing that into this 2011 campaign. I hope he, Crain, and Sale can continue to be the guys we can count in the late innings. I have no clue what is wrong with Thornton right now but he just can’t seem to gain command of his pitches. Maybe being the official closer is too much for him? Who knows, he just doesn’t have “it” right now. 
1:05 start time for tomorrow’s game. In The Battle of the Left-Handers, John Danks (0-1, 4.50) will face Brett Anderson (0-1, 1.93). Danks, much like Thornton, hasn’t really found his groove yet. He pitched well enough against Cleveland but unfortunately Justin Masterson wanted to show the Sox the Indians were for real. Then the Rays beat him up for four runs over six innings in that Dan Johnson “I’ll Suddenly be a Hero” game. Ugh.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Sergio Santos – 6 points
2. Matt Thornton – 5 points
2. Jesse Crain – 5 points
2. Will Ohman – 5 points
2. Chris Sale – 5 points
3. Tony Pena – 3 points

Go Sox!!

4/11 – Game 1 vs. A’s

Juan Pierre strikes again.

Much like that game against the Royals the other night, I have nothing to say about this one. Nothing witty, nothing meaningful, nothing I really noticed. Buehrle put up a good effort, Thornton and Crain were excellent out of the bullpen (two points for each) but Juan D’Vaughn Pierre. Ugh.
Buehrle had such a good game, too! 8 innings of shutout baseball? I doubt we’ll get that from him again this season. It still counts for his final stats, he ended up with a no decision, but it seems like such a waste if you can’t come away with a win.
I got excited when, in the ninth inning, Ed Farmer said that Adam Dunn picked up a bat. “Is he gonna pinch hit!? HE COULD WIN THIS GAME HERE!!” But Darrin Jackson said it was probably just a habit. He wants to be in there but he can’t, so the least he can do for himself is hold on to a bat. I get that. But how epic would that have been if he had hit a walk-off something
He should be in the lineup tomorrow against Trevor Cahill (1-0, 1.42). Edwin Jackson will pitch for the Sox (2-0, 1.93) and if we get an outing half as good as his start against the Rays, we should be good to go.
Unless a game-changing ball is hit to Juan Pierre.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1. Jesse Crain – 5 points
1. Matt Thornton – 5 points
2. Sergio Santos – 4 points
3. Will Ohman – 3 points
3. Chris Sale – 3 points
3. Tony Pena – 2 points

Go Sox!!

6/1 Good Start to the Month

I haven’t blogged in a while and I won’t make excuses for it. I’ll just pick up as if I’ve been writing this whole time.

Being a Sox fan, it’s not unusual to see things done in dramatic fashion. That’s the way I’ve grown up! Every year we win 20 games (at least) on a heroic hit in the late innings. Today’s game was one of them for this year. Jim Thome cracked a three-run home run in the eighth inning to put the Sox up 5-2. Not only did we win the game with one more run for insurance, but that blast was Thome’s 550th career homer!

Gavin Floyd pitched a strong seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits with eight strike outs. Like Paul Konerko, it takes Floyd a few weeks to heat things up. Once he’s on fire, though, he’s the most dominant pitcher on the staff and I can’t stress how much that needs to continue.

I know, cruddy post, but at least it’s something. I’ll preview our next game tomorrow and then hopefully review tomorrow night.

Go Sox!!