Tagged: bullpen

July 31 Postgame – Bullpen and Offense Combine for Big Sox Win

What a day for the White Sox! They acquire Jake Peavy, lose their starter for tonight’s game in the process, only have the bullpen available against the Yankees’ offense, and they go on to win the game. The win puts Sox back into 2nd place and back in the A.L. Central race after losses by both the Tigers and Twins.

D.J. Carrasco had a rough start when he failed to cover 1B on what should have been an easy out on the first play of the game, but was decent enough in the next few innings. I normally criticize Ozzie Guillen for his bullpen choices, but I was very happy with the way it was managed. I’m not sure if Bobby Jenks was available tonight. I was at the game last night and was upset when Jenks wasn’t called in to close the game, but later learned he was out due to kidney stones. If he was available, I might have had Dotel pitch one less inning and fit Bobby in with a big lead before being thrown into another close situation. 
The Sox offense had a great approach tonight. They were down early, but still looked for base hits and didn’t try to solve everything with one big swing. The Sox also used speed with a double-steal (which included a successful steal of home) and took advantage of walks. Carlos Quentin also looked very good tonight. He seems to have started coming along recently and really boosted the offense with his home run (along with his double and walk). 
Overall, the Sox looked impressive with a big win against a very good team during tough circumstances!
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July 27th Pregame – Sox back in Minnesota

This place again? The Sox return in Minnesota for another series in the little dome of horrors tonight. 

Mark Gonzales confirms that Matt Thonrton has left the team to be with his wife, who is having a baby. This means there are no lefties in the bullpen.
The Sox lineup, per ESPN:
Podsednik – CF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Quentin – LF
Beckham – 3B
Nix – 2B
Fields – DH
Danks – SP
Again, Ozzie sits many of the lefties, even though lefties are hitting over .350 against tonight’s starter, Glen Perkins. 
John Danks is back after missing a start. He had a very rough first inning when he last pitched in Minnesota, but he then came back and did very well. He needs to avoid all mental obstacles and keep himself out of trouble tonight.

July 9th Postgame – Sox lose to Indians 10-8

This loss really frustrated me. Ozzie shot the Sox in the foot too many times with his decisions today . I’m not going to pretend to be a baseball genius, but everything played out exactly as I expected it too. Trust me, I took no pride in being right, it was actually frustrating as hell! But yes, for a while I’ve been mad about the same decisions that took place in the game today:

-The decision to start Clayton Richard: I don’t know what Clayton Richard has shown that tells the Sox he deserves more starts. Aaron Poreda was called up, give the kid a shot and use him! Why else is Poreda up? Too often the Sox misuse their prospects and make their jobs much harder than they should be. We take Poreda away from his regular starts and use him here and there. We bring up Beckham and say ‘here kid, and learn a new position while you’re at it’. We platoon guys when they should be starting (who remembers Anderson vs. Mackowiak?). Anyways, enough painful memories, and back to, well painful memories…Clayton Richard. There was the short period after the Peavy trade where Richard had some trade value, but you just knew he had no where to go but down, and the plummet continues. I mean, who didn’t see this coming?

– Following up Richard with Carrasco: Carrasco has decent stats this year, but I don’t know what tells Ozzie that Carrasco could be the stopper or that he should be used in some sort of long-man role. I could see a team using Carrasco when they concede a blowout or are running thin and really need to give other relievers some rest, but Ozzie seems to think much more highly of him. Of course, Carrasco then goes on to give up more runs. Needing that bullpen guy to stop the bleeding is very important when a team tries to come back and the Sox failed to do it twice today.

(Poreda is finally brought in, does his job, and is then pulled…)

– Octavio Dotel: I have a love-hate relationship with Octavio Dotel. I think Ozzie Guillen is just in love with him. He loves to use him, and seems to like to do it in any situation possible. The one situation I hate to see is when Guillen brings Dotel into the game in the 6th. Ozzie has loved to do this in 09 and I absolutely hate it. This means that the bullpen will now have to handle 4 innings of outs, meaning that it’s likely that either all of Dotel, Thornton, Linebrink, and Jenks will be used, or that one of those guys will go more than one inning. Now, using simple odds, how likely is it going to be that so many bullpen guys are all going to be ‘on’ on a given night? And how comfortable are you when any of those guys goes more than one inning? Would it kill to have a guy like Poreda go one more inning?

Anyways, Dotel comes in and promptly gives up a run, which again hurts the comeback momentum. It was only the top of the 6th, but the momentum effect was clear and I already felt like the Sox were done, which is a sad statement against the Indians’ bullpen.

So, the Sox go on to lose 10-8. My gripes  sound like second-guessing if you don’t know me, but if you do know me, you’ll know that I’ve been harping on these points for weeks (take my word for it 🙂 ). So tonight you’ve learned that I hate:
-using Dotel early or ‘handing it over to the bullpen’ in the 6th
-using Carrasco in a meaningful role
-continuing to count on Richard when you have a guy like Poreda
-and now a new one, using pinch hitters against closers (This was done today with Wise. Again, not the first time Ozzie has done this in 09. Guys don’t see a pitch all day and then they’re asked to hit off a closer? Not to mention it’s fricken Dewayne Wise…)

I don’t hate Ozzie Guillen. No manager will be perfect and no one would be able to please every fan, but I have to continue to question the way Ozzie handles the pitching staff and rotation. I really believe he blew it today and this was a win the Sox should’ve had against a bad team. The one positive is that the offense did try to come back and did score 8 runs. The bad news is that it was done against a bad pitcher and it didn’t continue against a bad bullpen.