Tagged: The Pitcher of Mystery

6/12 – Game 4 vs. A’s

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.

Go Sox!!

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5/25 – Game 3 @ Rangers

Adam Dunn is really starting to bug me. I’m still tolerating him because he’s adjusting to both being a full-time designated hitter and American League pitching… but really, Adam? He struck out with runners on first and third in a situation that could’ve given us a shot at winning this ballgame. Not only did he strike out but he struck out pinch hitting. Ozzie put him in there for one reason: to drive in a run. Last time I checked, unless the ball is dropped, you can’t drive in a run on a strikeout.

He’s up to sixty strikeouts in one hundred fifty-one at-bats. He’s batting .192. Not quite $56 million numbers thus far into his Sox career.

We got the good Pitcher of Mystery today but unfortunately our offense couldn’t muster up enough… well, offense to get him a win. Paul Konerko drove in the lone run for the Sox in the top of the seventh inning, scoring Alexei Ramirez on a RBI single. Floyd is remaining consistently inconsistent. Look at his numbers over his past six starts going back to his start against the Yankees

4/26 @ NYY | 8 IP | 4 H | 2 R | 2 ER | 1 BB | 10 SO | 3-1 win

5/1 vs. BAL | 6 IP | 7 H | 6 R | 6 ER | 2 BB | 5 SO | 6-4 loss

5/7 @ SEA | 8 IP | 3 H | 0 R | 0 ER | 2 BB | 6 SO | 6-0 win

5/14 @ OAK | 4.1 IP | 9 H | 5 R | 5 ER | 2 BB | 4 SO | 6-2 loss

5/19 vs. CLE | 7 IP | 5 H | 1 R | 1 ER | 1 BB | 3 SO | 8-2 win

5/25 @ TEX | 7 IP | 3 H | 2 R | 1 ER | 1 BB | 1 SO | 2-1 loss

Granted in today’s start it had more to do with the lack of offense than the lack of good pitching from Gavin. That’s a winning pitching line any day. Except today. But, as I pointed out, one start he’s holding the opposition down and the next start he’s getting beaten up. It just doesn’t make sense. Today’s start confuses me, though… he was scheduled for a loss and got it… but he had winning numbers. Will he have losing numbers and earn a win in his next start to get back on track?
Good job by our two guys out of the bullpen today. Both Chris Sale and Tony Pena earn two points for their one inning of work. (Sale pitched one third of the eighth inning and Pena finished the other two thirds.)
Our second big road trip of the month continues tomorrow as the Sox head up to Canada for a four-game series against the Blue Jays. Phil Humber (3-3, 3.10), our consistently consistent pitcher, will take on Brandon Morrow (2-2, 5.06), a pretty good pitcher.
Someone inject some life into Adam Dunn’s bat, please.
Go Sox!! [Had to put those hyphens in there to separate the paragraphs because Floyd’s stats were originally in bullet point and that really does mess up the spacing. I apologize for the ugliness but it looked even worse without those there]

5/19 – Game 2 vs. Indians

Gavin Floyd came out ready to pitch tonight. He gave up one run in the top of the first inning and then Cruised like Tom through the next six innings (for seven total). Three strikeouts and one walk is pretty darn impressive from Floyd. Not as impressive as Peavy’s outing last night, but I won’t complain. Gavin has been really back-and-forth over his last few starts and that is why I call him The Pitcher of Mystery. He had that fantastic start in Seattle (one of the Games of the Year that you can find in the sidebar) then he gave up five runs in four innings against the A’s in his next start. Go figure.

The offense was ready to go from the start as Paul Konerko drove in a pair in the bottom of the first. Doubles off the bat of Alexei Ramirez and Adam Dunn plated two runs each and then a Carlos Quentin two-run homer in the fifth inning gave Gavin Floyd and the bullpen all of the runs they needed.

Speaking of the bullpen, Chris Sale and Tony Pena both made appearances. Sale gets two points but Pena only gets one for allowing a run and killing the buzz of the evening. I was pretty pumped for the eight to one final score and then Pena had to give up a run. What a loon. Is it too much to ask for our bullpen to shut people down? I know they had a seven run pillow but still.

Overall, a good W from the guys. Offense, defense, pitching, bullpen, everyone was solid. Even Juan Pierre was fine.

The Sox welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers of a City that is Nowhere Near Los Angeles… oh wait, no, sorry, that’s the Angels. The team we’re gonna play is the Los Angeles Dodgers who are Actually in Los Angeles. Ted Lilly (3-4, 4.83) will go for those guys and my Humberometer is off the charts, which means Phil Humber (3-3, 3.18) is due for another start. Hopefully he can keep the magic workin’.

GO SOX!!

5/7 – Game 2 @ Mariners

I don’t think anyone could’ve asked for a better outing from Gavin Floyd. The man was sharp as a knife on the mound tonight and his command and control were the best I’ve ever seen from him in a long time. I don’t often get a chance to watch a ballgame but tonight’s game was MLB.tv’s free game of the day so I was very excited. I noticed at the beginning of the game that Floyd’s delivery has changed a little since I last got to watch him pitch on TV and at first I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Apparently it’s a good thing as he dealt eight innings of three-hit shutout baseball. What a gem.

The offense had a night to be proud of as well! Fourteen hits off of Mariners starter Doug Fister were good for five runs. The seven, eight, and nine hitters were ten-for-ten in their first ten at-bats with four runs scored and two runs batted in. Rios, batting seventh tonight, went four-for-four and was quite smiley about it. Adam Dunn also had a pretty good night as he was two-for-four with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. My boy Brent Morel was three-for-four with an RBI in a great night for the Sox offense. 
Mark Teahen pinch hit for Paul Konerko in the ninth inning because of an injury to Konerko’s wrist. Ichiro scorched a grounder to Paulie and the ball hopped up and “bit” Konerko in the wrist. Paulie was having a hard time in his final at bat as Ozzie and trainer Herm Schneider had to go out and check on him. Hopefully Konerko’s injury isn’t too bad and he’ll be back in the lineup tomorrow afternoon. 
Tony Pena pitched an excellent ninth inning out of the bullpen, allowing just one walk and striking out Jack Cust to end the game. 

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 19 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5Tony Pena – 8 points
5. Matt Thornton – 8 points
7Jeff Gray – 7 points

Whoever signed Milton Bradley to a professional baseball contract needs to have his scouting certification reevaluated. The man is absolutely terrible and I was literally laughing at his outfielding skills. Michael Saunders, however, is one heck of a center fielder. He’s filling in for Franklin Gutierrez who is currently on the disabled list but the way Saunders is playing I’d have a real hard time putting Gutierrez back in the lineup. Saunders has very good range and takes good routes to liners, and he can even rob home runs! It pays to be tall. The Mariners have a good outfielder on their hands and I hope they use him wisely. 
Congratulations to Justin Verlander on the
second no-hitter of his career. Bunny struck out four batters en route to the second no-hitter of the week and the second in the division. And congratulations to Andre Ethier on an awesome 30-game hit streak that came to an end tonight. I had a good feeling about his chances to make it to at least 40 games but the Mets had other plans and held the left-handed left fielder hitless in four at-bats. 
Tomorrow’s game, as I mentioned earlier, is an afternoon ballgame. The Mariners’ Erik Bedard (1-4, 5.23) will take on Mark Buehrle (2-3, 4.37). Let’s build on this one-game winning streak!
Go Sox!!

5/6 – Game 1 @ Mariners

How about this Phil Humber kid? Chris Rongey pointed out on Twitter that he has dueled toe-to-toe with Dan Haren, A.J. Burnett, and now Felix Hernandez, and he’s the guy filling in for Jake Peavy! In my opinion Edwin Jackson should go to the bullpen when Peavy gets back because Jackson is the most inconsistent starter on the staff right now. If Peavy comes back into the rotation. 

It really was a gunslinger duel out in Seattle tonight. I’ll take a 3-2 pitcher’s duel where all of the runs are scratched across over a 15-10 slugfest any day. Not all of the runs were “scratched across,” though, unless you count Carlos Quentin’s solo BOMB to left field as something we had to work to earn. I guess you could say that but it isn’t really that hard for CQ to hit homers. 
We just can’t seem to catch a break lately. Even Gordon Beckham tried to catch a blooper ten feet over his head just because he wanted a win. Most of the time people wouldn’t even try for that ball, but Beckham did. Some part inside of him thought he could get it. Oh well. 
Thornton, even though he gave up the game, pitched well enough to earn one point. Brendan Ryan hit a little flair into the outfield that scored a pinch-running Adam Kennedy from third base and the Mariners had a walk-off victory. Despite that, though, Thornton has really turned around his game lately, I dunno if I’ve pointed that out or not, but I’m noticing it. He’s a lot better than he was at the beginning of the season.

Bullpen Points Leaderboard
1Sergio Santos – 19 points
1Jesse Crain – 19 points
3Will Ohman – 12 points
4Chris Sale – 11 points
5. Matt Thornton – 8 points
6Jeff Gray – 7 points
7Tony Pena – 6 points

Tomorrow the Pitcher of Mystery (3-2, 4.39) will do battle with Doug Fister (2-3, 2.70). We need a win here, guys… your fan base could really use one.

Go Sox!!