Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homers, Holds, and Roster Moves: White Sox - Red Sox Game 3

“Well, that was a little scarier than it had to be,” was my first thought after Swish caught the ball for the final out. Gavin Floyd, who has picked up his 12th win of the year didn’t have an easy job to do against the BoSox. However, after two big blasts and some change, the Sox defeated the BoSox 6-5 and with a little help from the Royals in extra innings, regained their lead of the American League central division.

Well, I haven’t seen this pitcher before. Sure his name was Gavin Floyd, looked the same, got a win, but he completely threw me off. You know I always say I look to the first inning. Well, it wasn’t good. After a double and a walk, a 3-run homer got the Sox behind in the first inning. His second inning wasn’t much better (but didn’t add to the score), so I’m thinking he’ll pick up a loss today. But all of a sudden, in the third inning, the Good Gavin game back. He had a good 4th and a scary 5th that thankfully ended without Boston scoring. It seemed like he was working in reverse. But then the 6th started off with a ball that should’ve been caught, but got away from Dye for a triple. A couple of singles, and another run crossed the plate, so it was time to bring in Thornton. Thornton came in the 6th and he struck out the two guys he needed (after a run crossed home plate on a pitch that got away from Pierzynski), and seemed to be okay. Of course, in the 7th, he was only able to get one out, and then followed it up with three consecutive walks. I haven’t seen a 7th inning like this since… well, yesterday. Boone Logan, is that you? Well, what could Ozzie do? Dotel to the rescue. Indeed, it took him one pitch to get the double play and end the inning. He had a great 8th, and Jenks followed up with a seamless 9th. But what about the other two? Floyd and Thornton, that is. One day, they’re great, the other they’re unable to make it over the plate. And while Gavy has great range, he hasn’t had many starts lately where he’s been great out of the gate. All 5 of the runs were given to him as earned runs. He even hit a guy at some point. So the struggles of the bullpen continue.

Thankfully, all our slugging came together to make up for any damage done by our first two pitchers. Dye (27 for the season!), Quentin (A whopping league-leading 32!), and Thome (his 24th) all had home runs today. JD had a solo shot in the 2nd, In the third, Quentin had a 2-run shot with Pierzynski on base to tie the game in the third, followed up by Thome’s 2-run homer with Konerko on base. You know who had a good day? Paul Konerko. He went 1 for 2, had two walks, and almost stole a base. With the exception of Uribe (who still got on base due to an error once or twice), everyone had at least one hit today, and JD seems to be out of his slump. And in other news, our guys are taking a beating again. Specifically, TCQ. He was hit for the 19th time this year. JD was, too, I think, but wasn’t given a base, or… maybe I imagined it all? Well, thank goodness for that great batting that had happened in the third because there was nothing pretty otherwise. Many guys swung for the fences and missed, the fielding (in the outfield, especially) was spotty, and A.J. and O.C. picked up an error apiece. Thankfully, so did the other team.

Griffey was noticeably absent again. “General soreness” was the way they chose to put it, but I suspect it’s a case of “low productivity.” With Konerko doing better, and Swish being indispensable (I guess…), Griffey is the odd man out this time. Or, at least, that’s a theory. Perhaps he just needs some rest. After all, he is 38.

More important are the changes made in the roster. With Contreras permanently out, reliever Horacio Ramirez was traded from the Royals to the Sox to fill the empty spot Contreras left behind and will wear number 49. He will most likely take Carrasco’s place as a long-term reliever, or Boone Logan’s place. Yes, Boone Logan has been scolded enough times, and it was time for him to get grounded by Poppa Oz; Logan is on assignment at AAA Charlotte. Another ‘pen move involved bringing starter Lance Broadway from Charlotte. It hasn’t been decided yet if he or Carrasco (or even Ramirez) will have the 5th starting position. And in some happier news, number 27 22 Josh Fields has been send down to Charlotte once again in exchange for utility infielder Chris Getz. Getz will wear 39, and seems to be a good hitter. Once again, Joe Crede gets the win.

Well, there are 45 games left this season. 1 of these is just the remainder of an interrupted game. They say there’s a lot of baseball to be played, but really, when you look behind, 117 games have already played. The bulk of the season is done and the Sox managed to stay on top. I am looking for the injuries desist, the players on the DL return, and the “pitching situation” to settle down- both in terms of the struggling starters and when it comes to replacing Contreras and Logan.

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