Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sox' Second Shut-Out: Sox- Royals Game 2

The Mark Buehrle I love isn’t the guy that had the no-hitter. He’s not the guy that works fast. The Mark Buehrle I love is the guy that can get out of tough spots (with some help from his infielders), that doesn’t let the pressure of having men on base take his concentration away from the batter he is facing. I haven’t seen a lot of that guy lately and going into today, I was wondering if he’s still on our team. Well, the no-hitter Buehrle was pitching in the first, and it seemed like he was in charge of the second, too. The third, however, was when I got my chance to see if Buehrle could still get out of trouble. There was a single, then a double from my favorite player in the world, Teahen. One out and runners on third and second. Buehrle strikes out the next guy. That takes off some pressure- even a pop up will do to end the inning. But he does one better; he strikes out the next guy, ending the inning with no score. Yup, that’s the good Buehrle. Over the course of the night, he stranded all 5 of the hits he gave up, and walked none. Dotel and Jenks followed up with matching perfect, hitless, walk-less, scoreless innings. The Sox shut out the Royals for the second game in a row, winning 4-0 and keeping their lead of the division for another day.

The win can be attributed in large part to our defense today. Griffey, Uribe, and Swish, especially. (Yes, I said Griffey. And, in case you were wondering, yes, it did hurt me a little to admit it.) Griffey made a diving save in the top of the 2nd. I’d already dubbed the hit as a double, when I realized that Griffey had made the catch and the ball was safely in his glove. Paired with another RBI hit today, he has officially passed Josh Fields in terms of usefulness. What more can I ask for? In the same inning, Uribe channeled Joe Crede, and saved a few runs by making a great catch for an inning-ending play. In the 7th, it was Swish’s turn. He’s no Adam Russell, and we just saw Quentin miss a jump at the fence a couple of days ago. I wasn’t too excited to see this particular close call. But Swish makes the jump, and the crowd cheers, I’m petrified by the confusion, and Swish walks off the field. Three out- no home run! I think Swish was just as surprised as I was. I guess I can shut my big yap about Anderson for the day.

So how about those points? Pierzynski, Dye, Griffey, and Konerko all brought in runs. Look at that, Griffey and Konerko making themselves useful! Color me shocked. Anyway, in all we had 7 hits and 2 walks. OC was responsible for two of the hits, and the guy with the highest average on our team, Getz, got himself another one, making him 2 for 4 this season. None for Swish, Thome, or AJ, but AJ had a sacrificed bunt and a fielder’s choice, so he’s fine today.

As I’ve been watching the game, I can’t help but start to like Alex Gordon of the Royals. I know, how dare I? But, you gotta give it to him. He’s a good third baseman, he does well at bat. That or I’m getting antsy to get Crede back and I’m starting to hallucinate that any player similar to him is, in essence... Joe Crede. Speaking of the Royals! You know, we’re responsible for the Royals losing Grudzielanek to the DL. From what I hear, it’s causing quite the problem for them. And, I just have to say, this Hawk character… His picks to click really say a lot about him. It’s not that he has the least wins of the entire crew, it’s that he doesn’t understand the concept. And he’s guilty of several offenses of not finishing his sentences.

More importantly, an official starter for tomorrow has been announced today. And despite previous reports, it won’t be Carrasco; it’ll be Lance Broadway. He’s had limited time with the Sox here last year, but there are no signs that point to him being awful. In his only start, he pitched 6 innings, and had no runs. His numbers at Charlotte aren’t brilliant (10-7 with 4.68 ERA), but are acceptable. If anything, this is a safe move so that in case he goes out there tomorrow and bombs in the first couple of innings (which I am absolutely NOT expecting him to do. I’m sure he’ll be alright.), Carrasco can still come in and pick up the pieces, as he did with Contreras 5 days before. Of course, I can give you stats and drown you in opinions, but only tomorrow’s game will be telling.

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