Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lucky Inning Number Thirteen: Sox - Royals Game 1

While normal people gave up on the game while the Sox were still trailing 2-5 (maybe 3-5 if you were patient, a die-hard fan, very optimistic, or had to cover the game for your own blog), I stuck through thirteen nerve-wrecking innings. Yes, right when you were naïve enough to think that we had done it, and the Royals were going to have to count their losses, our pitching staff would have none of it! To sum up the end of a stressful night, the Boston Red Sox come back from a three-run deficit to beat the Twins, while the Sox gain a 2.5-game lead by beating the Kansas City Royals 8-7 in extra innings.

Clearly, the downer of the night is, once again, Grandpa Jose. I swear, after the second batter in the bottom of the second (a record-breaking endless inning in a seemingly endless game), I was already praying for a pitching change. There was an error somewhere in there that was never stuck on anyone, but Konerko was in fact right to expect Contreras to mobilize to first base. The guy isn’t John Danks or Gavin Floyd, but from what my inside sources lead me to understand, he’s not paralyzed either. Inexplicably, the man made it all the way into the sixth. In fact, the only inning that was acceptable for him was the fourth. Insert similar derogatory remarks about pitching buddies Linebrink and Nick Masset. Honestly, the game was too long and too frustrating for me to waste more witty commentary.

In terms of pitching, there are some bright spots. Boone Logan had a fairly good outing, and Dotel proved to me that he’s quite good on occasion. Matt Thorton was my hero as a pitcher. No hits, no runs, no awful pitches. Quick question: why wasn’t Adam Russel out?

Because this game lasted so long, next thing you know, it’ll be time for the next game, so let’s move on to some bad batting. Jermayne Dye. Everyone’s allowed to have a bad day, but for such a good player to come up with nothing when he had six at-bats was very disappointing. Disappointment number two, Carlos Quentin lucked into a single, but tried too hard to get home runs, and popped out like the champ that he is.

Good batting? Hello, Jim Thome! Mr. Incredible really was incredible today! He went 4 for 5 and scored three times. He picked a good game to show everyone that he’s still got it. The Cuban Missile went 4 for 6 today, bringing his average up to .310, and Cabrera got two hits. Struggling slugger Joe Crede got himself two hits, tied the game with his “sacrificed fly,” and hit home run number 16 over the fence. He was my pick-to-click today, and the only one of our players to get a home run today. I could gloat in a million different ways right now, but hey, we won! That speaks for itself!

Alright, that’s about as much as my brain can handle. I’m going to leave you with whatever remains of my notes. “Give TCQ a day off. Bring Anderson in left field. Please? Cabrera got out of a double play by a miracle! Konerko’s back, but they don’t really want him. Brought out Swish and B.A. back. Why mess with a winning formula? If only Alexei, Cabrera, and Pierzynski were the only players in the game, the score would be way different right now. If I took a shot for every person they stranded on base, I’d have to use Uribe’s salary for an entire year just to get that much liquor.”

And a closing comment: Pablo Ozuna was sent back to Charlotte. Amen, hallelujah! In case you’re not a loyal reader, I think Crede’s left shoe would be a better third baseman than Ozuna is and I knew they were only keeping him for his pinch-running. (And did you just get an awesome mental image of a fly ball landing in Crede’s cleats? Or the shoe flinging the ball over to Konerko? Aren’t you glad you stuck around to the end of the blog just for that colorful comment?)

Join the Sox tomorrow on Comcast SportsNet Plus for game two with Javier Vazquez pitching!


Jeeves said...

The reason Russell didn't get out there is just by chance. The Sox brought out their best relievers early and then turned the ball over to Linebrink to close it out. Since he failed, and there was no definite end in sight, they gave the ball to Masset who was the only pitcher left who could go 3 or 4 innings. Had the game gone say 17 innings, Russell probably would have pitched and then after him some starter.

I'm glad to hear you were in the Send-Pablo-Down-Camp unlike Joe Cowley who apparently has a personal vendetta against Uribe.

White Sox Blog said...

I know Russell would've been sent out EVENTUALLY, but the last couple of weeks, I got the feeling that he was a contender for "back-up closer" when Jenks couldn't. When they sent out Linebrink, I wasn't surprised, because he's closed before, but in the 13th, when they had a one-point lead, I was surprised that it was still Masset. I always think of Masset as more of a reliever than a closer.

Jeeves said...

I think Masset was in to close the game because they needed Russell (and I guess Masset for another inning or two) to be available in case the Royals tied the game and it continued on.