Saturday, August 9, 2008

Contreras Ends His Season With Sox: White Sox - Red Sox Game 2

I expected disaster to strike today, but not like this! It was “Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey, goodbye, Jose Contreras.” For the rest of the season. Hopefully, the same thing isn’t true for our lead of the division. In a shocking, hopeless game, the White Sox lost to the Red Sox 6-2, ending their hopes of holding onto their division lead, at least for today.

Jose Contreras was back, and Don Cooper had talked him up to Ozzie, who in turn talked him up to the public. And his first inning seemed to confirm that the Good Jose was back. In fact, he was about to end the 2nd with no score, when an easy play turned into an error (actually, it was never put on the scoreboard as an error, but come on! It was either a bad throw or a bad missed catch, it wasn’t a hit, that’s for sure!) suddenly turned into an injury. Yes, Joe Contreras ruptured his left Achilles tendon running toward first base, and after being back from the D.L. less than two innings, he’s back. Or rather out. There is no way for him to return this season from such an injury. I’m not sure that Kenny Williams will be able to return as a manager after the heart attack I’m imagining he had today. So what’s a manager to do?

Send in Carrasco to finish up the 2nd inning, for one. He pitched a little over four full innings, walking just one, giving up just three hits, and only allowing one runner to cross the plate. The problem with using Carrasco, however, was that in the 7th, the man we had to rely on was Boone Logan. Now, if this was two months ago, there would have been no problem, but Booner hasn’t been throwing well at all lately, and four hits and a walk turned into four points for the other team. In just one inning. Well, after the damage was done, Adam Russell was brought in. The only point he allowed came from a solo home run by Ellsbury. He pitched a full 8th and 9th inning, doing a fine job, but his performance wasn’t enough to save the Sox from the damage Boone had done.

On the other hand, there was the BoSox’ pitcher, Matsuzaka, who allowed four hits and 3 walks, of which only 1 crossed home plate. Neither Quentin, Swish, nor Dye could do anything with him today. The worst of the bunch was Pierzynski, who got himself into three double plays. In his defense (I guess), Swish himself was a victim of one, Thome and Wise both narrowly escaped double plays, but 3 times in one game by the same player? Well, that’s something! A.J.’s been slumping lately, and it really affected the Sox today. Another slumper is JD, but he’s due for a resurgence. (Either that or he’ll go back to the guy he was in May: someone has to go back to popping out all over the infield while Crede’s gone. Personally, I’m hoping for the other option.) There was also a lot of bunting today- something every atypical for our team. In fact, that was about the only thing Wise managed to do today. Uribe put a good one down, and a few others (Well, just Cabrera off the top of my head) tried it. Bunting, patience at the plate to get walks, and a little base hit by O.C. got the Sox their only point until the 9th when Thome hit his 23rd homer of the season with 2outs. Noticeably absent? Konerko and Griffey (General soreness, they say). Wise taking over for Anderson Swisher in CF.

Well, this is a fine mess. Buh-bye first place, to start with. In terms of Contreras’s injury, it seems KW has made a quick move and acquired Royals’ pitcher Horacio Ramirez. [The Official Report] He is a reliever, his numbers are decent (2.59 ERA), and he may be the 5th starter or working as a reliever, while the Sox call up another starter from down on the farm. As it turns out, Kenny’s move at the trade deadline came back to bite him in the derrière. While everyone was crying for a pitcher, Kenny got Griffey. And now we find ourselves looking for someone to cover for Boone Logan (perhaps one of our many, many, many outfielders can lend a hand in the bullpen), a starting pitcher, while working around waivers and finding that it is probably too late to give Josh Fields up because his trade value has dropped down to the point where the only thing we could get in exchange for our “third baseman of the future” is a bat boy, and after we’ve already gotten rid of Pablo Ozuna- useless as he was (We need a backup infielder now that Uribe is the starting third baseman). To add to our embarrassment, while we’ve been struggling against the Royals, the Twins haven’t even blinked at them, winning over them in two straight games.

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