Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Replacements: Sox - Royals Game 2

My time machine! It works! Well, okay, it only worked in the second inning, but I’m almost positive that if I fix the Flux Capacitor, we can make it work again. It was the top of the 2nd, no outs, and Jim Thome came up to bat. He muscled a ball hard down the middle and out of the park. Paul Konerko up at bat, flicks one just past the left field fence. Back to back home runs! That’s the old Konerko! They let him out of the mental institution! But, I spoke too soon. Konerko’s home run proved to be the last point to be put on the board until the 8th. Despite a rally and a plethora of home runs, the Sox lost to the Royals 9-7.

It was a rough day for Mark Buehrle. While he threw 63 strikes of 85 pitches, a career-high 14 of those were hits, leading to 8 earned runs. No play-by-play here, just condolences and frustrated head-shakes. If anyone deserves credit for good pitching today (From our team, that is), it’s Ehren Wasserman. His only mistake was giving up a triple to German. In fact, that hit came after Wasserman pitched to set up a double play in which the runner at 2nd was called safe. Had that happened… well, I would be writing this with a much lighter heart. Anyway, none of the hits Ehren gave up crossed the plate.

In terms of hitting, there were a few hits, but none where it counted. Four home runs (in two instances of back-to-back) were all solo at the bats of Thome (he followed this up with a double in the 8th-inning rally), Konerko (he also had a walk today), B.A., and Dye (who had had no success until that homerun- on a hit that was just to the left of the right-field divider pole). Alexei Ramirez almost added to the home run count, but his hit was just shallow of the fence and instead of bringing the score to 8-8, it just scored one run. Short of Quentin and Griffey, everyone contributed today, though. Even Booger got a walk today.

Quite honestly, I can’t bring myself to give you a recap. The most I can tell you is that the Sox were leading 3-0, then trailed 8-3 for a long time, caught up to a deceptively hopeful 8-7 in the eight before Thornton gave up the final run of the night. Today’s game was very different than maybe any other we’ve played all year. First of all, it was nice having announcers that talked about the game and the players at bat rather than taking strolls down memory lane and butchering the English language. It was a bit odd not having White Sox fans as announcers. The overcrowding situation (both in the infield and outfield) led to many changes today. It seems to be a whole different ballgame, when it’s not just pitchers you can change when their performance has peaked, but fielders, too. It started with Wise coming in for Griffey in the 5th after a leg cramp. Shortly, Anderson was moved into Wise’s place in CF, batting for Quentin, while Wise took over LF. Uribe moved to Second and Alexei to SS, while Booger took over third. Pierzynski eventually took over for Toby Hall. The only two players to stay in their original positions were Dye (whose first name I misspell on and off despite knowing him all these years) and Konerko.

I’m going to spare you the Rivalries. I have something bigger and better cooked up in terms of that for Monday. And I promise I’ll get more editorials in. I do have to sneak in a little Crede comment: Where was he today? He was pulled in the 5th yesterday and today, he made no appearance. Should I worry? Are we still banking on his return home for Wednesday’s game and Booger’s departure? On another note, professional jinx, Toby Hall seems to have learned a thing or two from A.J. Not enough, but he seems to be making progress. I have a dream that my four little children Toby Hall will one day live in a nation play in a ball club where they he will not be judged by the color of their skin how many times he strikes out, but by the content of their character many good pitching calls he makes and home runs his scores.

Tomorrow is the promise of a new day. With our seemingly endless possibilities at bat and in the field, and Clayton Richard pitching again, anything is possible.

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