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.
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:
Clayton Richard steps up again as the Sox avoid the sweep. Richard goes 8 innings for his 2nd straight start, giving up 5 hits and 1 run in the win.
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
The Sox rebound nicely after last night’s disaster and set themselves up for no worse than a split heading into the series finale. Alexei Ramirez and Jermaine Dye save the Sox offense with the help of some terrible CF defense by B.J. Upton. Even more unlikely then the Rays’ gaffes this series was the home run by Scott Podsednik. Carlos Torres kept the Sox in the game, and you can’t say enough about his effort. A quality start with 6 IP and 3 ER in his major league debut against a very good lineup comes up big, followed by D.J. Carrasco’s quick inning of holding down the Rays were part of a great effort in the win.
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
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Bobby Jenks makes it way too interesting, but he closes out a big win against a good team. Tonight felt like an uncharacteristic night for the Rays. Tampa Bay didn’t turn a couple double plays, had a few errors, and were caught on the base paths a couple times. The Sox let the Rays off the hook in the 6th, 7th, and 8th without being able to bring in runners in scoring position. At the end of each of those innings, I told my friend, “oh crap, the Rays are too good, they’ll let you pay for not capitalizing”, and it was close in the 9th. Two mainstays for the Sox this year, Podsednik and Konerko, did the damage tonight. Podsednik got on base all four times he went to the plate, forced the issue on the base paths, and continues to be an amazing pickup. Konerko homered and just missed his 2nd HR later in the game, showing David Price that he isn’t afraid to turn around a fastball. Konerko has now surpassed his RBI total from last year. Quentin had a base hit in his return, but otherwise looked as one would expect after coming off a rehab stint, as he had issue catching up to the fastball in his first at-bat.
As I mentioned earlier today, pitching is going to be big for the Sox in this stretch, and Floyd was great. Again, I’m not happy with Linebrink being used in a big spot, and he almost blew it, but Thornton really saved him. And when we talk pitching, some credit has to go to the catcher, and Pierzynski really saved the Sox tonight. The Rays got caught stealing red handed twice tonight, and what a big out it was when Pierzynski threw out Crawford in the 8th. I’m really happy for A.J., because he has a bad rep around the league, but he really isn’t a bad guy. He’s brought an edge to the team, he’s consistent, and has played a big role in helping this pitching staff since 2005. During that season, I remember Jon Garland commenting that it was nice to have a great catcher around, and that A.J. was the best he’s ever worked with. A.J. is not known for being a great defensive catcher, but other than Buerhle, the Sox have a lot of pitchers that have a slow delivery, and that plays a big role in the opponents running all over you.
While the Sox weren’t perfect tonight, Sox mainstays Podsednik, Konerko, Pierzynski, and Thornton did it again tonight, and Floyd’s great outing was the perfect formula for the win.