Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Clay's Second Chance: Sox -Mariners Game 2

I lost track of how many times I told myself, “Remember that you liked Richard the first time you saw him.” That I did, but it’s been so long that I completely forgot why. Thankfully, Clay finally pulled it together and picked up a win. With him on the mound, the Sox keep their place atop the A.L. Central with a 5-0 win over the Mariners.

Clay and his big shoulders didn’t just pick up a win- he shut out the other team. Although he had a rough first inning and it seemed as though A.J. would knee him in the crotch out of frustration, he had his best outing to date (only his fourth starting game, so we do have a limited sample size to work with here [Shrug]). He completed a major league career-high 6 innings. He did give up 5 hits and a walk (and a really ugly error right off the bat on what should’ve been an easy out of Suzuki that turned into a double), but did what he wasn’t able to in his previous outs: get out of trouble. I could hear someone in the stands yell “Clay, worry about the batter!” And he did. He certainly had some help, but he pulled himself together today. He didn’t defeat the best team in baseball or anything, but it’s a good start toward building himself a career. What matters is that he did his job today. Paired with some excellent time from Thornton and some damage-free (by no means brilliant) pitching from Dotel, plus the typical Bobby Jenks outing, our pitching shut down the Mariners’ offense.

Our offense was solid today. We had two home runs today, but both were solo shots (Swish and Thome) and we didn’t use our HR guys as crutches. The guys put in some hard work and got themselves 14 hits, 3 walks, and worked hard to make them cross home plate. It wasn’t a great day for Dye, but the absence of hits coming from Dye didn’t cost us a win today (there were a couple of double plays coming from him that may have cost us some runs, though…). In other news, I appreciate that Griffey’s not trying to do too much at the plate, but in his search for base hits, he’s been doing a whole lot of grounding out to first base. Invariably. Sometimes costing us a run because of double plays. And unless we’re talking about O.C. or A.J. who don’t go deep much, I don’t believe in sacrificed flies- just failed home runs, so he’s done less than he has on his scorecard in my book. (Cheap joke: I guess someone needs to be a grandfather figure to the team now that Grandpa Jo is gone; why not Grandpa Griff?)

Juan Uribe’s getting tired of all this attention. He said to himself today, “Joe Crede’s coming back, and I want him to have a nice welcome. I want people to miss him if they haven’t missed him yet.” Of course, he said it in Spanish and only in my imagination, but depending on how much credit you give Crede and on how lenient you are, he missed 1-3 plays today. Once again, they didn’t cost us today, (and I’m not saying Crede hasn’t had his share of awful moments on 3B this year) but it’s a little reminder of why Uribe was the odd man out earlier this season. He’s good, but we have better.

Speaking of Joe Clutch, he did start his rehab assignment today. He went 0-for-2, but started off a double play, and was involved in two other assists. So, he’s not tearing up the farm system with home runs just yet, but at least he’s out there and playing. I’m happy. More from the farm, Lance Broadway was pitching in Charlotte when he could have/should have/was scheduled to have been pitching for us. And Ehren Wasserman continued to be in Charlotte what he couldn’t be in the majors; a shut-out reliever.

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