I can’t say I was as excited as many others were about GRIFF-EY playing today, but I was very excited about the possibilities. After leaving Minnesota, it was like escaping the clutches of death, and, to me, it felt like we had a fresh start. I had opening-day jitters, and I knew that if I was feeling the electricity, the Sox dugout must be buzzing with excitement before the game. “Adrenaline alone oughta get GRIFF-EY a good start,” I figured. I even had a feeling that Javi’s been getting less and less sloppy in the field and would have a good outing today. And, boy was I right. The Sox bring their record against Kansas City to 10-6, as they bring in a 4-2 win, maintaining their division lead to .5 games.
There was some good pitching today if the other team only scored 2 runs, right? Vazquez kept the innings scoreless until the 6th. I noticed that he was going pretty deep into counts, but no harm, no foul. The benefits of having a guy like Javi on the mound is that he can make plays, and had a very nice backhanded catch in the 2nd And I wouldn’t have been sad if that guy who was hobbling during that attempted pick-off was injured. There were a couple of hits in the 4th, but I only got worried in 5th, when, with no outs, Javi got in a pitch-off with Teahen. You know my theory: lots of pitches leads to bases. Thankfully, OC made a great play on it in short left. First walk came only in the 5th. The problem (thankfully, minimal) began when he walked Avilez in 6th with one out, then two consecutive hits got two separate cases of runners on the corners. Carrasco moved into pen during top of 7th and started with a base hit. Then walks one. However, some nice plays by Uribe, who seemed to be the main defense in the last three innings got Carrasco out of trouble. Easy innings came for Dotel and Jenks in the last two innings. Gotta love it when the pitching is in top form!
And the batting wasn’t too bad either. 12 hits on 38 AB (that’s 31.6%) aren’t too shabby. My little buddy OC scared me, going hitless into the fifth, but got 2 hits overall. He almost got an ass-kicking from Jermayne Dye, too. And possibly Ozzie. Top of the 9th. Two outs. JD at bat. Cabrera tries to steal a base and… fails. Now, you know JD was upset to begin because he had gone 0-for-4. You don’t mess with Texas, and you don’t mess with JD. It’s in the Constitution! AJ’s only base hit came out of revenge. Not really, but it was sure convenient that the pitcher was inside, inside, almost hit him, and then AJ’s hit almost knocked him off the mound. If only AJ’s mind really was as diabolical as it is in my head… TCQ had some big hits, one to lead off the 6th (Which moved him to 2nd on a wild pitch), and one with two-outs and OC on in the 9th. Up until the 6th, I had already written that he had a case of the Credes. Ramirez and Swisher got on base due to errors but not really by Grudzielanek. He was just having a bad day. Good for him. In Swish’s case, his hit brought an RBI. Actually, the 6th inning was just 2-out RBI after 2-out RBI at the bats of GRIFF-EY, Uribe, and Swish. And then there was GRIFF-EY! He started off with an RBI base hit, and then a second. He went 2-for-3 with a walk. Don’t get too happy just yet, (Kenny Williams, this means you!) the electricity in the air might have helped today. We have a couple of months to see what this trade really did for our club.
Notes, fillers, and more notes: I am not used to Buehrle pitching after Javi. I just automatically expect doom the next day. Now, this switch has thrown me completely off balance. Oh, and Contreras is “better than he’s ever been,” according to Coop, so, as I predicted, we can’t keep the stray puppy- Richard, that is. Well, to retract what I wrote yesterday, Swish is going to stay the Dirty 30 and GRIFF-EY will stick with 17. It’s just a number. The one you want is 24. It’s lethal. Sizemore, Crede (On a good day, sure), and then there’s Mike Teahen. I completely forgot about Teahen until today. I’ve only mentioned it about 100 times, so I should reiterate that I just hate him. Thankfully, he was shut-out in his 4 at-bats. Now, Harrelson needs some help in the censorship department. There are some things that he just shouldn’t say. For instance, we’re in Kansas and still talking about how “Mauer has a gorgeous swing.” Yes, and when he sneezes, gold dust comes out of his nose. Fun fact, he’s never seen, “A League of their Own.” I’m not sure how that’s even possible. And in some, “WHY!?!” news, there is someone else in the Sox dugout sporting a similar beach-blonde ‘do as AJ. WHY!?! And… poor Paul Konerko gets to sit in the dug-out, thinking “Why me?” when GRIFF-EY (I swear, that’s the last time I’m spelling it like that, I’ll go back to normal tomorrow. It’s too complicated to type, anyway) turned out to surpass expectations today.
Ok, The Rivalries. Crede –v. Fields is the only one that is worth addressing today. Today isn’t going to be as much of me picking on Booger, because he didn’t add any embarrassing numbers to his WS totals. He didn’t even play. I guess we can add to the tally of games in which Uribe has been chosen over him? Crede, on the other hand… Always making me proud to be a fan of his. In his first day with the Knights, he managed to collect a K, 2 pop-outs (Well, duh! Is his name Joe? Is the sky blue?), and an error. And was pulled out of the game around the 6th inning. Regardless, the official countdown is down to 3 days until he is back on 3B and we can hand Booger a tissue and plane ticket to Charlotte.