Tagged: Postgame

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!

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.

July 26 Postgame – Sox Fire On All Cylinders to Salvage Game in Detroit

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. 

The Sox offense struck early against Porcello. A few hits and a couple of homers gave the Sox a 5-0 lead. On the flip side, the Sox were not able to score later in the game. Luckily for the offense, the pitching did the job and the Sox cruised to a big win. The Sox now travel back to Minnesota for another series with the Twins. 
The Sox are now faced with a tough decision as the trade deadline looms. Do the Sox trust Clayton Richard until the end of the season or do they use recent strong starts as leverage to make a deal? If the Sox can make a good deal for a pitcher, and not include a guy like Beckham, I would be all for it. We’ll see what happens…

July 25th Postgame/In-game Post: Sox lose in 10

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.

Pierzynski got the Sox on the board with a solo shot in the 2nd, and the new guys have helped the Sox break through against Detroit in the 5th. Getz scored from first on a Beckham double (and misjudged play by Ryan Rayburn in LF) while Ozzie implemented the hit and run. 
As it stands now, the game is heading into the bottom of the 6th. The Sox threatened but couldn’t score in the top half of the inning.Gavin Floyd seems to have settled in after a tough first inning, but he already has 92 pitches. It’s likely we’ll see the bullpen later in the game, and the pitching will have to be strong to hold the Tigers.
UPDATE: Matt Thornton saves the day again in the bottom of the 7th and strands a runner on 3rd to preserve the 3-2 lead. A.J. has led off the top of the 8th with a hit and is now 4-4 on the day. The Sox are currently facing Detroit’s bullpen.
UPDATE: Dotel comes into the 8th to preserve the 3-2 lead. He takes care of Polanco and Thomas, but walks Miguel Cabrera (with a very tight strike zone behind the plate). Jenks is warming and Ozzie has now made the call for the 4 out save. It will be very interesting to see how Jenks recovers from his recent struggles
UPDATE: Jenks has blown another save in the 9th. The inning just ended and Sox are going into extras. It’ll be interesting to see who the Sox go to if they take the lead. Pena?
                                                                         

The Sox have lost and Bobby Jenks has blown another save. The offense could have performed better and again blew chances late in the game, but again, it means nothing to Jenks since he has the lead and his job is to close it out. His recent struggles have come against good teams, but today he faced the bottom of the order in the 9th. Today Ozzie opted for the 4 out save. This may have been a questionable move with Jenks’ recent struggles. He  is also the type of pitcher who likes to leave everything out there and has always seemed to have issues when having to pitch for more than one inning. I do think he has an issue leaving it all out there, coming to the dugout, and then going out there and having to do it again. Again, the fact that he’s been struggling only adds more issues to his mental approach in that situation.

July 24th Postgame – Sox Blow Golden Opportunities, Go 0-2 in the DH

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.

Bartolo Colon did his job tonight. Colon delivered a quality start, but the offense couldn’t pay him back. The Sox had no situational hitting tonight while facing a pitcher they should have hit. This was a blast from the past that Sox fans did not want to see: hit a home run or two, take yourself out of innings (seen when Ozzie entrusted Wise with a hit and run early in the game) and sputter until the end of the game. Castro also hurt the Sox when he couldn’t bring in runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs late in the game. 
I have another gripe with Ozzie and his handling of the bullpen, AGAIN. Like I said last week, Scott Linebrink has proven that he can not be trusted. Why in the world would he be the first guy you go to in a tie game in the 8th inning? Let them beat your best! Let’s go back in time:
– July 17th – Sox vs. Orioles – Linebrink is brought into a 6-3 game. He gives up a hit to Roberts and a HR to Jones to make it 6-5. Linebrink gives up another hit, but gets out of it. The next day, July 18th, the Sox lead 4-1, Buehrle gives up a couple hits in the 8th, Adam Jones is up, and who does Ozzie bring in? Linebrink. Jones quickly singles, Linebrink is pulled, and Thornton comes in to save the day with the bases loaded. So Linebrink was brought in to face Adam Jones, who had homered off of him the night before?
– July 20th – Sox vs. Rays – Sox lead 4-3 in the 8th. Linebrink is called upon to relieve Gavin Floyd. Linebrink gets an out but gives up a hit and a walk, and again, Thornton is called upon to save Linebrink and Ozzie (and he is successful). 
-Tonight – Sox vs. Tigers – Linebrink is called on in the 8th to relieve the starter against the top of the order. He gets an out and then proceeds to load the bases. Again, Thornton is called upon to save the day, but is not perfect this time, and walks in the deciding run before getting out of the inning.
These are examples of Ozzie using Linebrink in big situations. Why? These are situations that used to go to Dotel, Thornton, or both. Dotel has his faults, but I trust him much more than Linebrink. I know that Dotel was used in Game 1 today, but honestly, I would have much rather wasted Linebrink in Game 1 once it was known that Contreras turned in a decent outing and you had no idea what you were going to get from Colon in a big game for the Sox. Linebrink has now suffered his 5th loss of the year. 3 of those losses have come against the Tigers…

Sox Lose Game 1 of Double-Header, Look To Colon In Game 2

Game 1 Postgame

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.

Game 2 Pregame

The Sox lineup for Game 2, per Mark Gonzales’ Twitter account ( http://twitter.com/MDGonzales/status/2825311919 ):
Podsednik – LF
Ramirez – SS
Dye – RF
Thome – DH
Konerko – 1B
Beckham – 3B
Wise – CF
Castro – C
Colon – SP
Castro catches Colon in game 2. Quentin gets a break as well. The lineup should be okay tonight with Detroit starting Eddie Bonine. This is Eddie’s first start of the season (and 6th in his career). Bonine pitched out of the bullpen in April and did not fare that well. The question mark is Bartolo Colon. I really have no idea what to expect from him and the Sox are hoping for a quality start to salvage the double-header.

July 22nd Postgame – Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cuban

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. 

Ozzie Guillen had Matt Thornton go 2 innings to close out the game. I normally don’t like relievers being stretched out when not used to it, but it worked tonight. There can be a few different schools of thought towards not going to your closer tonight, but I have no problem with Jenks getting the night off. Jenks will get a chance to redeem himself, but returning to the scene of the crime too soon could’ve led to another meltdown. One thing that troubled me tonight was the performance of Jim Thome, who is now 0 for 9 since sitting in the series opener. At the time, Thome was red hot and coming off a ‘Player of the Week’  award. Even if he would’ve faced a lefty, you shouldn’t really mess with what’s working, especially when dealing with a future hall-of-famer. 

Jenks blows brilliant outing for Richard – July 21st Postgame

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

Alright, Clayton Richard deserves some more attention. 8 IP, 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 K’s and 1 earned run. His fastball really had some action tonight. I’m not sure if the extra rest helped him. It could also be a matchup factor with the Rays, who Richard performed well against in last year’s playoffs (1.42 ERA in 6 and a third, out of the bullpen). His mentality may have also helped him. This was a big start for both Clayton and the team, and he probably gained some confidence after the Rays came out of the 3rd inning with just one run. Bottom line, Clayton came up huge for the Sox tonight. It’s a shame his start was wasted and the Sox threw away a possible win with such an unlikely performance.

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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Sox win! – July 20th Postgame

Mercy!

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.


Now excuse me, I may need a drink or some Pepto after this game…