Tagged: defense

July 28th Postgame – Buehrle Sets Record, But Sox Lose Game

The Sox lost another game in Minnesota tonight.

You don’t have a pulse if you didn’t have a nervous feeling while following this game. Buehrle lit up the sports world again as he brought a perfect game into the 6th inning, one start after making history against Tampa Bay. Mark still made history by breaking the major league record for consecutive batters retired when setting a new record at 45 (a streak that was snapped in the 6th after giving up a walk. The walk happened on a full count, and I thought Casilla swung at strike three, but the home plate umpire said he checked his swing). The previous record was held by a couple players, including teammate Bobby Jenks.

After the nostalgia was gone, the Twins went to work. Actually, I should say “the team that possesses the White Sox whenever they play in Minnesota” went to work. Bad defense killed the Sox again and lead to runs for Minnesota. Scott Podsednik had a terrible effort on a ball to LF which led to a run for Minnesota (a play that was clearly an error, but called a hit), and the next inning, Chris Getz darts to second base for no reason with a runner on first right before a ball shoots through the spot that Getz had just left. Quentin is likely to make Podsednik’s play. Maybe it would’ve helped the Sox if they were nostalgic and went with the same lineup used in Buehrle’s last game (Thome also sat, Quentin was in LF, and Fields at DH). Podsednik is an average defender and the constant shifting of positions seems to be exploiting him. Meanwhile, the Twins did their usual act of hitting balls that fall in at the perfect moment and showing good defense. 
The Sox offense did nothing against Scott Baker. The offense is starting to look lost when the top of the order doesn’t get on base. When that doesn’t happen, the team relies on home runs, which doesn’t work well in Minnesota.
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July 12th postgame, White Sox get thumped, lose rubber game

Buehrle was the most disappointing aspect of today’s game. The offense did not look great early (making quick outs against a guy like Baker with a big deficit), but they did wake up later in the game. In the end, the deficit became too big and the Sox lose the series. At the start of this series I said that anyone in their lineup could beat the Sox, and sure enough, Carlos Gomez kills Sox pitching again, which is a shame since he’s gotten benched for his poor offense this season. 

Beckham had another miscue at 3rd today. I have to wonder if it’s time to end the experiment and move the kid to his natural position. Ramirez has not looked great at SS either, but he dazzled at 2B last year. The problem is that Getz would be the odd man out (who is having a great July and helps the Sox in the youth and speed department). The Sox really shot themselves in the foot by putting their money on Fields and having no else to go to at 3B. Unless Nix can play there, you might have to consider giving Fields another chance. He did look good very early in the season, with a good approach at the plate (and also providing youth and speed, similar to Getz), but that all disappeared fast. But let’s remember, he is a young player, and if he was given the job, he should have probably had more time to prove himself. 
Luckily, Beckham seems to be unfazed by the issues, coming up strong at the plate and on plays later in the game whenever he makes an error. However, it still makes me wonder if the Sox are mishandling another prospect. Beckham was a very good shortstop and has all the makings to be a star. The transition to the big leagues is very hard and we are making the kid learn a new position on top of that. Since expectations are so high for Beckham, I’d rather not mess with the kid at all.
We all know the Sox aren’t perfect in that regard. Examples:
– Bringing up prospects too early because of the 5th starter hole years ago. The likes of Munoz and co. were billed to be decent pitchers, but never recovered after being brought up to have big leaguers hammer their stuff (Fixing the 5th starter fiasco, by the way, is one of the big reasons I credit the Sox finally putting it all together in 2005. Even if you put an average pitcher in that spot, you still help the bullpen, don’t have an automatic loss, etc. I think Javier Vazquez would have been incredible in that role this year.)
– Never really giving Brian Anderson the reins to start in CF. Since Rowand left, Anderson has been forced to platoon with Rob Mackowiak, Darin Erstad, and now Dewayne Wise.
– And even more recently, how about Aaron Poreda? He is taken away from starting regularly in the minors, is used very sparingly, then is told he can’t start because he has to be stretched out. 
I have to wonder if Josh Fields will just be another name on the list…and I really hope the Sox don’t make similar mistakes with Beckham

July 12th Pregame, Sox in Minnesota

Quite simply, this is a game the Sox should win. Baker is a pitcher the Sox should light up, and Buehrle is an All-Star. 

Again, Ozzie puts Podsednik in center, which worries me since Buehrle loves to rely on his defense. I’m sure Ozzie is testing this alignment for when Quentin returns, but the Dome seems to be the worst place for a test run. Also, with Anderson’s great game yesterday, one would hope he’d earn another start and more playing time. Hopefully the offense scores enough to ease the Sox into victory. 
Lineups: