The Sox follow ecstasy with disappointment today after losing both games of the double-header. They now sit 2 games behind Detroit in the standings.
Bartolo Colon did his job tonight. Colon delivered a quality start, but the offense couldn’t pay him back. The Sox had no situational hitting tonight while facing a pitcher they should have hit. This was a blast from the past that Sox fans did not want to see: hit a home run or two, take yourself out of innings (seen when Ozzie entrusted Wise with a hit and run early in the game) and sputter until the end of the game. Castro also hurt the Sox when he couldn’t bring in runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs late in the game.
I have another gripe with Ozzie and his handling of the bullpen, AGAIN. Like I said last week, Scott Linebrink has proven that he can not be trusted. Why in the world would he be the first guy you go to in a tie game in the 8th inning? Let them beat your best! Let’s go back in time:
– July 17th – Sox vs. Orioles – Linebrink is brought into a 6-3 game. He gives up a hit to Roberts and a HR to Jones to make it 6-5. Linebrink gives up another hit, but gets out of it. The next day, July 18th, the Sox lead 4-1, Buehrle gives up a couple hits in the 8th, Adam Jones is up, and who does Ozzie bring in? Linebrink. Jones quickly singles, Linebrink is pulled, and Thornton comes in to save the day with the bases loaded. So Linebrink was brought in to face Adam Jones, who had homered off of him the night before?
– July 20th – Sox vs. Rays – Sox lead 4-3 in the 8th. Linebrink is called upon to relieve Gavin Floyd. Linebrink gets an out but gives up a hit and a walk, and again, Thornton is called upon to save Linebrink and Ozzie (and he is successful).
-Tonight – Sox vs. Tigers – Linebrink is called on in the 8th to relieve the starter against the top of the order. He gets an out and then proceeds to load the bases. Again, Thornton is called upon to save the day, but is not perfect this time, and walks in the deciding run before getting out of the inning.
These are examples of Ozzie using Linebrink in big situations. Why? These are situations that used to go to Dotel, Thornton, or both. Dotel has his faults, but I trust him much more than Linebrink. I know that Dotel was used in Game 1 today, but honestly, I would have much rather wasted Linebrink in Game 1 once it was known that Contreras turned in a decent outing and you had no idea what you were going to get from Colon in a big game for the Sox. Linebrink has now suffered his 5th loss of the year. 3 of those losses have come against the Tigers…