Monday, July 28, 2008

Like a Greek Tragedy: Sox -Twins Game 1

I almost wish I missed today’s game. I stuck through it to the end, but cringed at everything and everyone. Compared to today, our last game against Detroit was a glorified win! No, you can’t win them all, but this loss felt like a week’s worth of losses. A night of bad decisions, errors, and just awful performance at bat leads to a 7-0 Sox loss against the Twins. The division lead shrinks to 1.5 games. Get ready for a long one. And just as a warning, I couldn't think of anything nice to say.

Mark Buehrle was the starting pitcher. And while everyone was excited, you can’t expect a guy to have good outings every time. The first inning seemed indicative of a low-scoring day for the opposing team despite any batting hiccups for the Good Guys. The only part of that prediction that came true was the part about the batting hiccups. Well, Buehrle was fine. Not spectacular, but fine. If I had to guess, his actual earned runs for the day were 2 or 3, although 4 were put on him. He was followed up by Ehren Wasserman. We haven’t seen him in awhile. I liked his pitching, I was just always scared of his delivery. He’s extremely wild, but he’s the guy with the lowest ERA at AAA, so you know there’s something about him. Almost every pitch is underhand, it throws off batters, it throws me off, it works. Logan was warming up in the 6th despite being publicly “in trouble” with the bosses. Nick Masset went out there, essentially, as a closer in the 8th and pitched like a struggling starter rather than a closer, giving up two more runs. No help from the bullpen? Check.

The only man to find success against Slowey was Pierzynski. He had 2 hits, accounting for 1/3 of the hits of the night. The other hitters to make it on base were Cabrera, Ramirez, and Dye. Of course, those hits all went to waste. For 4 unvariable innings, the lead-off man made it on base only to be left stranded. The 5th and 6th innings had similar situations. What must be mentioned is Jermayne Dye’s foul-HR-foul in the 5th. He hit one (right size, wrong shape as Hawk says) that started foul at the top of the dome, but began to drift right. The cameras lost track of its final location as it hit the stands, but he was given the point. JD only ran the bases incredulously after encouragement from Jim Thome, thinking that he’d hit a foul ball. The HR was revoked shortly after some arguments between the Twins’ manager and the home plate umpire. JD walked away with a base hit, and the Sox walked away with another call turned against them. Needless to say, with so little to do, Slowey finished the game. With just 102 pitches. Batting like you’re desperate for sombreros? Check!

Tomorrow needs to be a fresh day, the guys should file this away and act like they won the first game. But for tonight, they know what they did, and I’m expecting some harsh words from Ozzie, that’s for sure. Cabrera barely dodged an error in the first, and later made a throw to Ramirez instead of first. The error was put on Ramirez, who dropped the ball, so make that 2 errors dodged. Fields, too, picked up another error today. The error was really a bad call by the first base umpire who missed a tag by Paulie because he focused on the location of his foot. Of course, he wouldn’t have had to run and tag the guy had Fields made the throw on the mark. Ok, so the error stays. He was also responsible for the two-run double that Masset incurred in the 8th. It may have been a hard ball to catch, but the least he could have done was pretend like he wanted to dive to get it. Fielding like you had runs to spare? Check!

Now, let’s talk about some bad decisions. New request: okay, don’t bench Konerko, I guess that’s too drastic and too much for me to ask, but at least drop him in the lineup, this is unreal! Ozzie says he’s not giving up on him just yet, he just doesn’t like his body language. I think that means that even HE thinks he can’t do it, so make a change. And another sight to behold: Nick Swisher dropped back in the .220s. And yet, they still won’t give him a day off. And when they do, they bring in Wise over Anderson. I’ve done my research on the two, and Ozzie seems to be making the wrong choice here. And speaking of bad choices regarding Anderson and Wise, Ozzie chose to throw that last inning away as if it was batting practice, letting Wise bat for Dye and Anderson for Thome (No, seriously!), then Konerko to put the cherry on top. Should’ve left Dye and Thome in. Anderson and Wise didn’t throw away the game, the starters did, and the damage should be done to their batting average, not these two. Poor decisions all night? Check, again!

Someone made Brian Anderson write this. Curious if anyone edits what he’s writing, and if I can give him props on no misusage of the word your/you’re. He DID get the college education… Said he was getting in a lot of batting practice. And that’s exactly what that boy needs. That and playing time.

Life in the Cell wrote an entire article previewing the Twins Series. There are three whole games left, so get your preview there. There is also an article there that addresses Konerko. He’s bad on paper, but still not as bad as he is in person.

Don Cooper isn’t expecting a pitching miracle. He seems to see the need for a replacement for Contreras, having no words of encouragement or support for him, just optimism about Clayton Richard. Read his little shpeal here.

The mandatory paragraph of incoherent note-taking and other nonsense! “O.C.’s AVG is amazing. It doesn’t move from .266. Ever.” “The Sox seriously hurt the Twins at U.S. Cellular. Sox are 7-4 against Twins this year.” “Hawk & DJ are going with Konerko & Fields for their picks to click. Really?!”

The Rivalries? Well, Swish and Paulie are neck-in-neck, racing to see who can be the first to batt under .200 again. Anderson and Wise both came in off the bench to no results. And finally: Crede –v. Fields: Crede is cheering again, knowing how much everyone misses him. It might be too early for me to reference what Crede did last time the Sox met the Twins, but let’s just say, our team really would’ve needed some of that in today’s outing. Fields made great strides today (not good, mind you), moving his count for the year to 2 hits, 2 errors, maintains 3 K’s, 1 BB, and lowers his average to .200. Impressive for a day’s work.

No comments: