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.
This tells you all you need to know about the White Sox playing in Minnesota:
I was too busy to do a pregame post today, but I’ve been following this afternoon’s game on the radio. I will be posting as the game goes along, so scroll down to read the latest updates.
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.
Verlander takes care of the Sox with a complete game today. He was on the ropes a few times during the game but got himself out of it. The Sox did not have a very good approach this afternoon. There were way too many quick innings by the offense. Verlander is very good at home and the Sox should’ve been a little more patient later in the game to get to the bullpen (Rodney has been good but the rest of the bullpen has 17 blown saves). Verlander is a freak, however, and again showed he can get stronger late in the game (with the gun coming in over 100 m.p.h. in one of the last pitches of the game). On the other side, it was a positive outing for Contreras. He stayed long enough in the game to rest the bullpen in case it is needed tonight.
Beckham – 3B
There is no other way to put it. This loss rests entirely on the shoulders of Bobby Jenks. It’s one thing to get hit around. It’s another thing to hit batters and give up walks in critical spots. Unfortunately, the unbelievable outing by Clayton Richard gets lost in the shuffle.
More to come later in the night…I need a break after a game like that
Like I said, all the blame goes to Jenks. Could the Sox offense have done better? Sure, they squandered some opportunities, but Niemann is a great pitcher and in the end, it was a Sox lead in the 9th and Jenks did not do his job. As a fan, I can only hope that this type of game doesn’t have a carryover effect.
A blog post wouldn’t be complete without complaining about an annoying Ozzie Guillen tendency. Again, I hate a pinch hitter being used against a closer, and I hate Ozzie’s obsession with avoiding R/R and L/L matchups. This happened when Nix pinch hit for Getz, even though Getz, a lefty, has a better average against lefties, and Howell, a lefty, has a higher batting average against stat against lefties.
Also, an important note for tomorrow’s game. John Danks has been scratched because of a blister and the Sox have called up Carlos Torres to make his debut and start in his place. http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090721&content_id=5980586&vkey=news_cws&fext=.jsp&c_id=cws
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
Well, there’s a reason why I need a day job, and there’s a reason no team has ever won a championship “on paper”. Today, all the cards were aligned for the Sox to complete the sweep…and the Orioles kicked their butt. Everyone stunk today. I wonder if the Sox had the same mindset I did and took the game too lightly…This season the team has given up too many games that they should have won. This is something the Sox can not afford to do, especially with their 2nd half schedule. The Sox have an extremely difficult schedule coming up, and have two very hard stretches which will tell the story of the season. Who knows, if the Sox blow it early in this tough stretch, they may turn into sellers, but as it stands now, the Sox will need to hang tough during these games if they seriously want another division title. I will be posting more on the schedule in the coming days. Right now, both the players and fans need to forget this one and enjoy the rest of their Sunday.
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.
The Sox gave another one away tonight. John Danks’ 1st inning from hell ends up costing the Sox. His four straight walks to start the game all come in to score and end up being the difference.
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.