Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Comeback Too Few: Sox - Royals Game 3

I can’t explain how many times in this ballgame I cheered, only to have my excitement extinguished by the Royals. It was another in a chain of surprising losses for the White Sox. Surprising is the appropriate word because, like Gavin Floyd against the Royals, John Danks had an atypically unsuccessful outing, partaking in a 8-7 loss for the White Sox. And while the Sox could’ve taken advantage of a Twin loss today to get their division lead back to 1.5 games, the Sox are still only .5 games ahead.

John Danks came in as one of the most successful White Sox pitchers to date. His performance today, however, was quite shaky. While he is typically able to get out of tough spots, Danks allowed the Royals to score four runs in just the first inning. The only inning that seemed to go well for Danks was the third. To add to the odd nature of his outing, Danks only made it through the fourth inning. To add to the runs, Carrasco was brought out in the 5th, Dotel pitched in the 8th (and probably did the best in terms of pitching), but, then they brought out Thornton. Rare as it may be, Thornton was not successful at his job as a reliever today. He walked one, then two scored. Bobby Jenks was back in the 9th and had a nice inning despite being down one run.

Despite the pitching mishaps, I had nothing but good news. First of all, there was no giving up. There were comebacks every time the Royals scored (every time but the last time, I suppose) and the team was surprisingly successful at bat with 2 outs today. Most of the runs scored came from such situations. A.J. had a hot bat, going 3-for-5, Anderson deserves a shout-out for getting a great, solid base hit despite not having had any at-bats in (I think it’s safe to say) over a week. In fact, had Cox not waved A.J. around, Anderson’s hit may have lead to a different ballgame. Swisher got a two-run home run (the last to score for the day, and got an RBI walk as well), Crede had a 3-run homer, and Jim Thome celebrated his 2,000th career hit, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd, along with cheers of, “Thome! Thome!” He really deserves his moment of glory. Over a quarter of those hits have been home runs, and he is one of the few to have over 500 HRs, 2000 hits, and over 1500 walks. He’s had a slow start to the year, but lately he has been a great, consistent hitting for our team.

Let’s move on to another big subject today: injuries. Dye was hit by a pitch right on the kneecap. He was hit so badly, he was immediately escorted off the field, taken for X-Rays, and replaced with Brian Anderson. Jenks is back from the D.L. This is quite a happy occasion, and he had a very successful ninth inning. And now, on to Grandpa Jo. Jose Contreras was placed on the D.L. on July 18. I know this is a terrible thing to say, but I couldn’t be happier. Not that he’s injured, but that he’s out of the game. In fact, I think everyone is and that this stint on the D.L. might be a bit too convenient. Perhaps it is a paid vacation while they try out Carrasco as a starter? I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I would not blame them one bit if this was the case.

And in the last category (the “I can’t find a good transition for this in any other paragraph” category), let me once again mention that I hate Mike Teahen, I hate the Konerko-Swisher-Crede combination at bat, and that Alexei Ramirez needs a day off to get his act together. While I won’t explain why I have such strong feelings against Teahen (Honestly, he irks me more than Grady Sizemore, and that’s saying something!), but I will say that the bottom of the ninth inning for the Sox proves my dislike of the Konerko-Swisher-Crede combination. Surely, you can’t RELY on them in the clutch. You can hope and pray, but nothing in the world can guarantee a hit from these three. But, I guess it’s always nice for the opposing pitchers to know there is a 1-2-3 inning coming up at the bottom of the order. And as for Ramirez, I don’t know. I think he may have a case of the B.A.s. I say this as a joke because I couldn’t care less what Anderson does as long as he’s winning, but Ramirez is already married, so he doesn’t need to impress the ladies. He doesn’t need to impress anyone, just go out there and play his best.

Tomorrow, Javi Vazquez is taking on the Rangers.

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