There was the curse of the Babe keeping the BoSox from the World Series, the Cubs have been cursed for the past hundred years with no World Series, but The Sox have been dealing with their own curse. Sure, it only lasted about 7 years, and it was only effective in Oakland, but nevertheless, it seemed to be a curse! Perhaps it was as easy as adopting one of their players (Yes, that's where we found Nick Swisher), but we are no longer the laughing stock of Oakland. (Well, we still might be. There are some pretty ridiculous things about our organization.) We had an offensive explosion today of 4 home runs, including a grand slam. That paired with another great day of pitching for Javi makes for a 13-1 win and the first series win for the Sox in Oakland since 2000. Damn those Mariners, couldn’t they win one against the Twins to help us get ahead? For now, we’re still tied for first.
Alright, so how about that Javi Vazquez? I was a little worried, I won’t lie, because he does tend to have a case of Dr. Vazquez and Mr. Hidefromthestrikezone, but he was fantastic today. In fact, short of breaking in Richard and his big shoulders a little bit more, there was no reason for him not to finish up this game. He threw 91 pitches, struck out 8, walked NONE, and only gave up 4 hits. Then, our closer in the 9th was a familiar face: Clay Richard. Clay, his big shoulders, and his fast ball struck out a couple and got a lucky out thanks to some good running on the part of Dewayne Wise. Was he warming up for Tuesday or does this 9th inning appearance make him officially part of our relievers? I guess we’ll find out Tuesday.
Now, in terms of the offense, what a day it was! Paired with some bad pitching by Gio Gonzalez (who the Sox gave up in exchange for Swish), the Sox got themselves 9 hits, 7 walks, and made sure to make 13 of those men on base cross home plate. Needless to say, after giving up home runs to Uribe, Quentin, and Dye, Gonzalez would have to leave the game as early as the 4th inning. Poor guy’s ERA spiked to 7.53. And the trouble for Oakland didn’t stop there. Reliever Blevins stood his ground and held the Sox to their 8 runs, but Meyer couldn’t, giving up 3 hits, walking 2, and allowing all of them to cross home plate on an RBI single by Wise and a grand slam by Alexei Ramirez. That Ramirez fella, he has 2 for the year. He and Swish. Would you have believed me if I told you that in April? Griffey didn’t do anything today at bat, but even he contributed with a sacrificed fly to get Thome to 3rd, who then scored on a wild pitch. Ok, maybe Brian Anderson didn’t contribute much today, but he’s been punished enough. He had to give another interview about embracing his role as a (not even THE) spare tire.
In the 7th inning, after the game had turned into an 8-0 massacre, Ozzie decided to let the bench guys stretch out their legs. B.A. pinch hit for Dye and gave Griffey the rest of the day off. Well, he tried a bit too hard and all he did was fly out twice. (You make me so proud, Bri.) I got another chance to check out Getz- who I already like even though I’ve only seen him a couple of times and he came up empty today. So, he’s a pretty good second baseman, but the real question is, “how’s he on third?” Wise got himself an RBI single his only time up at bat. Still, unless you’re going to part ways with Anderson (via a trade or sending him to Charlotte for awhile), having Wise on the team is a waste of bench space 97% of the time.
So, my usual notes. Found myself another guy that has the number 24 and is a pain in the side of the Sox: Suzuki, the catcher of the A’s. AJ is booed pretty much everywhere he goes. It’s universal. And, in case you were wondering, Konerko is batting .293 this month, .323 in the last 10 days with 10 walks. Ozzie has said that they will see how Crede feels when they get back to Chicago, which leads me to believe Crede hasn’t done his rehab assignments because he’s not traveling with the Knights and they’ve been playing away? In the meantime, there’s more baseball to be played, and we will be home starting tomorrow.