Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sox Can't Sweep: Sox - Tigers Game 3

No rally caps, no brilliant pitching, and no base hits were in sight to save the Sox in their last game against the Tigers. Today wasn’t the case for a strong outing for Javi, either. On a slow offensive day, Vazquez gave away the game as early as the third inning. The Sox are 7-5 overall with the Tigers this year, and only 2.5 games ahead of their division after a 6-4 loss.

After 11 hits and 6 runs in seven innings, Javi Vazquez gave the reigns of the sinking ship over to Matt Thornton. Javi threw a lot of balls today, allowing himself to get behind in the count more often than not. He even gave up back-to-back walks in the 3rd. Javi seemed to recover in the next innings, but the damage had been done. It didn’t help that the umpire was making some iffy calls. I’ll give that to Javi. He didn’t have the ump on his side. By the time Matt came in, I wasn’t expecting much. Thankfully, Thornton seemed to be back in his groove despite several weak starts in the last few weeks. Matt allowed one hit, but no runs. Some strong defense from Uribe helped Matt put the Tigers away in a fast inning.

And speaking of bad all-around, Nick Swisher, what are you doing? From one extreme to the other, really. He spent a couple of days refusing to swing, then today swung at everything he saw, showed no patience at the plate, and couldn’t manage a hit. Cabrera, Quentin, and Ramirez also failed to get hits all day. Konerko got himself a hit (After seeing about 8 pitches in one at-bat, who wouldn’t?), but rained on the Sox’ parade, ending the rally that had gotten the Sox within 2 runs of the Tigers. In an embarrassing 9th inning, Swisher, Ramirez, and Uribe invariably saw 6 pitches, then swung at a high fast-ball on the 7th, putting no runs on the board for the Sox. On a happier note, Jermayne Dye added to the double he obtained in his first at bat by extending his home run streak to three days. Helping out his effort was Pierzynsky, who picked up his 8th homer run of the year. Uribe had a double to start off the day, and in fact, he’s raised his average .031 since his return from the D.L.

The Rivalries: Just Crede –v. Fields today: While Fields didn’t add any strike-outs or hasn’t lowered his AVG today, we can still give Joe a reason to scoff at him: Fields was passed up for Uribe today. And it was a very good choice, as Uribe proved. Uribe made several good plays, including one very Crede-like dive paired with a long, but perfect throw to first base. That brighter-than-the-sun goatee must be good luck for Juan.

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