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!
The Carlos Quentin is back…and it comes at the expense of Brian Anderson. Let’s start off with Quentin. Obviously, sticking Quentin in the middle of the order is going to help both the entire lineup and the bottom of the order. It’ll be interesting to see how Carlos does. The general belief is that he is still banged up, but the only way he’ll be able to play is to tough it out and play through pain. Because of this, Sox fans probably shouldn’t expect the MVP performance of last year, but he is still a welcome addition.
Mark Gonzales, White Sox beat writer, has the lineup today per his Twitter account (http://twitter.com/MDGonzales/status/2743867038
Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Konerko – 1B
Pierzynski – C
Quentin – LF
Beckham – 3B
Getz – 2B Nix – 2B (Update: Not sure if Getz was scratched or if Mark just had it wrong)
Fields – DH
Floyd – SP
Quentin starts off hitting 6th, which is a nice move since the Sox offense has been doing well recently and too much pressure isn’t thrown onto Carlos. I am a little surprised he isn’t a DH tonight. Thome is sitting against a lefty (even though he is red hot. Ozzie loves those %s…). Tonight the Sox face the talented David Price, who showed everyone what he had during last year’s playoff run. Price hasn’t won a game on the road this year, and has been roughed up in a few of his starts, but is coming off a good start.
Let’s face it, the Sox offense has been fine recently. If the Sox want to win games, the pitching has to step it up. Floyd beat the Rays in Tampa this year, but has had his share of struggles. He has been good at home, and his great June showed hope of a return to last season’s form, but he has been average in his two starts in July (though his last start in Minnesota was better than his stats lead on).
Now, back to Quentin…there has been speculation these past weeks about who would be the roster casualty, and it’s Brian. For many Sox fans, this is a tough pill to swallow. The move makes me wonder about Ozzie playing favorites and having some personal problem with Anderson. Since Anderson, a great defender, was slated to be the CF heir in 2006, he has battled Rob Mackowiak, Darin Erstad, and an older Ken Griffey Jr. for playing time. The problem with Anderson has always been his offense, but he has never really gotten a chance to prove himself. He had a tough start at the plate, just like Gordon Beckham when he came up, but Beckham got time and came out of his hitting woes in a fury. Now if you compare Dewayne Wise to Brian Anderson, you start to really wonder why this decision was made. Here are their stats this year:
Career numbers tell the same story. Anderson is also a good base runner and a much better defender. In fact, he has been used as a late game defensive replacement many times since 2005. Remember, Quentin in LF also moves Podsednik, who is not the strongest defender, to CF. Wouldn’t it be smarter to keep a guy like Anderson on the team…? Something’s not right here…