Live Game Blog!!!!!! Nationals vs. White Sox

So here we are.  The White Sox face the Nationals this afternoon live on Fox.  At present, there seems to be some cheesy feature on TV about tying your shoes before you workout, with Prince Fielder and a kid with poofy hair.

Right now, the mood in the room with baseball neophyte Bill Bullock and disillusioned Cubs fan Joe Cronin is tired, hungry, and confused about the start time of the game.  Hopefully the Nationals are equally confused.

Jake Peavy takes the hill for the Sox, in an apparent attempt to shrug off what is probably a major shoulder injury.  J.D. Martin goes for the Nationals today, and from his profile picture and bulging neck muscles, he appears to be really into weightlifting.  He's also given up a home run in every start.  21 year-old Dayan Viciedo is making his big league debut today.  I wonder what's the correlation of having guys make their big league debut and winning a world series title.  I'm betting it doesn't happen often in the same season.

Bill just stormed out to get booze despite no one prompting him to do so.......I'm just saying.

Top 1st

J.D. Martin is on the hill; announcers are describing him
as someone who 'relies on movement and control' (this means he has no
fastball), and that pitching is in his family (his father is good but he
isn't).  They also laud his control, which makes the three straight
balls he opened the game with a little surprising.  He manages to snap
back into control by throwing two soft strikes and getting the ground
out.

After again getting to a full count, Vizquel loops a single
to center.  Not only is Viciedo NOT starting, Rios isn't either, nor is
Konerko.  We are NOT trying to win the game.

Kotsay is hitting
3rd, Jones is hitting 4th, Quentin is 5th.  That's a mighty impressive
past-their-prime trio.  Kotsay grounds into fielder's choice while Jones
throws his bat fouling off a pitch.  Joe Cronin has fled to the gym
after seeing the 12-0 score for the Cubs.

And Mark Kotsay has
committed his first RBBP of the game! (Really bad baserunning play), he
takes off for second on a not-that-wild pitch and is gunned down by
about 20 feet.  Inning over.

Bottom 1st

First pitch
from most-likely injured Jake Peavy is 87mph, second is 88....yeah, he's
hurt.

88mph pitch lined up the middle for a base hit.  Someone
wake up Tony Pena.

Jake Peavy's scouting report says he has a
nasty slider....this scouting report was written before the beginning of
the season. 

Guzman drops a drag bunt down the first base line,
Peavy can't get to it, Kotsay comes up to field it, and Gordon Beckham
was apparently seeing how long he could stare at the sun, because he
certainly wasn't covering 1st base.  Runners on 1st and 2nd now, for
Ryan Zimmerman.

Jake has hit 91 at one point today...he's also
making about $450,000 a start.  But he did manage to get Zimmerman on a
high fastball on a full count, also at 91.

Adam Dunn just popped a
ball up 8,900 feet high to center, Jake may just get out of this inning
despite looking like he's having an ucler out there.

Josh
Willingham's walkup song is "Evenflow" by Pearl Jam.  "Oh
feeeeeeeeeeeling adkshdkshfksddslkslddklsl again!  Yeah!"

Another
popup by Willingham to center, it kills several birds, but it also lands
safely in Pierre's glove to end the inning.  I don't think that this
inning was the worst I've ever seen someone pitch and get out of the
inning scoreless, but he didn't fill me with wonder and awe.

Top
2nd

Andruw Jones is out before I can even start to type
about the 2nd inning.

And Carlos Quentin is out by grounding a
ball to the pitcher before I can even finish typing about Jones.

This
is about as punchless lineup as could be assembled from this roster.

A.J.
Pierzynski seemed to have put a home run swing on the ball, but it
suddenly lost all momentum and dropped in front of the right fielder for
a hit.  Maybe the fielde mics are turned up too high and I think every
contact of the bat is louder, maybe I'm some how bizarro-hung over from
not drinking last night, maybe Alexei Ramirez just struck out on a ball
that almost bounced and hit him.

And with that, I have to
duck out to run an errand.  A Live Game Blog first!  On the plus side,
when I return, I can go back to drinking.

You know how
sometimes you just set out to do a little errand, and come right back to
resume your live game blog, only the errand fails horribly, takes an
hour, and you completely fail to even do what you set out to
accomplish?  You know about those times?  Yeah, me too.  Luckily I
returned to Bill's apartment in time to keep him from eating my
cheeseburger, which he's apparently been contemplating devouring for the
past 3 innings.

Where are we?  It's the bottom of the sixth,
and an apparent pitcher's duel has broken out.  Peavy has retired 11
straight, gotten ahead of 16 straight...wait, it's 12 straight now (now
it's 13!).  He look sprightly, he looks amped up, he's only thrown 62
pitches through 5.2 innings!

And to think, all he needed to get
him back in the groove was suffer what's probably a serious shoulder
injury.

Jake is regularly hitting 92 mph

STRIKE 3!!!!!!!

Jake
is on fire, and I'm getting a little bit less upset about how the last
hour just went for me.

Top 7th

The Dodge commercial for the
Challenger
seems like a blatant attempt to sell cars to 'bros'

The
reliever that the Nationals have brought in for J.D Martin says that he
aspires to be like Tom Glavine (this means he doesn't have a good
fastball, and is trying to aspire to be like a man who defined being the
exception to the rule in his career.  Good luck, kid.)

Beckham
and Peavy are completely unrecognizable from one another, as they both
pop up lightly to center, and the both would probably hit .160 if given a
full season of play.

The White Sox offense seems content to sit
on a 1-0 lead.  Frankly given the lineup they put out for today, 1-0 is
probably the best case scenario

Juan Pierre just got hit straight
in the funny bone with a pitch.  Imagine your last orgasm, now imagine
pain of equal intensity, that is Juan Pierre right now.

Juan,
provided that he can feel something other than agony, needs to be
running here with two outs and Omar Vizquel up.  God help, us, 7
straight homerless games is going to become a reality isn't it?

The
frumpy, old color commentator for this game just suggested that in
interleague play, he'd like it if teams played the same division from the
other league every year.  As in the White Sox would play teams from the
NL Central every year.   Hey, yeah!  You know how interleague play has
that novelty where you get to see teams that never play each other go
head-to-head?  Let's get rid of it and have everything seem as mundane
as 19 Royals vs. Indians game a year.  Great idea.

Omar strikes
out on a 2-2 count just as Pierre finally stops having a pain seizure
and tries to run.  Another nothing inning.  Hope you're ready to go for a
complete game shutout, Jake!

Bill walked in and asked
"Where we at?" for a moment, then returned to cooking the preposterous
fried egg bacon cheeseburgers he's been working on since I returned. 
This game could be over by 5:30...I could have scheduled my errand better
if I knew this.....oh wait....I'm starting to get mad...I should move
on.

Bottom 7th

They showed a dugout clip of Adam Dunn
angrily grumbling that the Nationals need to start scoring, then he hits
the first pitch of his at bat 450 feet foul.  Just a long strike, right
Jake?

A little kid is trying to distract Jake by doing jumping
jacks behind home plate.  Back in the day before they had that
protective screen (the late 1800's, I imagine), Jake could just chuck
something at that kid.

Peavy kills Dunn with a fantastic
backdoor slider, 6 strikeouts on the day.

Josh Willingham's
preference for Pearl Jam has subsided, he's now stolen Gordon Beckham's
walkup song.  Then again, Gordon doesn't deserve it anymore.  Willingham
lines out to Quentin with a drive that sounded like a missile.  The
field mics are way too high.  I can hear  Nationals manager Jim
Riggleman scream at the ump.

Bill just brought out the bacon
fried-egg cheeseburger, "I'm not going to lie...this might give you
cancer," he warns.

A groundout ends the inning.  Peavy is lights
out through 7.  The starting staff is in FULL working order.  I am going
to rub this in Joe Cronin's face haaaaaard when he gets back from the
gym, and he'll respond with his well thought-out cynicism.

Top
8th

The pitcher for the Nationals who I will only identify as
"Not AJ" Burnett is getting yanked because he walked Mark Kotsay on four
pitches, Dick Stockton announces "Miguel Batista is racing in from the
bullpen to replace him".

Uhh.. Batista is 39...he's jogging in. 

Apparently
Jim Riggleman got tossed during the TV timeout for arguing balls and
strikes, and whether one should put out knives and forks if they're
serving tacos for dinner.

Jones hits a shot to left that is only
around 75 feet short of being the first home run in 7 games for the
Sox.

Quentin's bullet base-hit is canceled out by A.J. Pierzynski
bouncing back to the pitcher for a double play.

Joe has returned
from the gym to regale us with tales on how guys playing pickup
basketball at the gym are usually jerks.

Best exchange came after
a guy scored on Joe

Joe: That was very Jordan of you

Jerk:
Naaah man, that was Kobe!

Joe: I meant the foul you committed

Bottom
8th

Jake is helped out by two outstanding defensive plays,
Alexei Ramires dives to his right to catch a sinking liner headed for
left field, while Gordon Beckham raced to track drown a ball hit up the
middle, then twirled, jumped and whipped the ball for first for the out.

The
Nationals pinch-hit former White Sox Willie Harris, who's batting a
robust .160 on the year.  Jake looks a little worn out as he gets worked
to a full count before inducing a pop out.  There have been four runs
scored by both teams through 17 innings this series.

Top 9th

The
Nationals bring out their fourth pitcher of the game in Tyler Walker. 
He's 34, 6'3" and 262 lbs.  He's a big man.   Alexei lines a shot to
right that hangs up for a while before being caught by Bernadini.  Is
it possible to score in this ballpark?

Gordon Beckham strikes out
helplessly again...ok...he's not coming out of the slump anytime soon.

Peavy
will come out for the ninth, or Ozzie is being really lazy and not
bringing out a pinch hitter.  Hopefully the former.

Joe Cronin
did not enjoy traveling through this predominantly Puerto Rican
neighborhood on what I'm pretty sure is the day of the Puerto Rican day
parade.  It seems his main complaint is overweight people not wearing
enough clothes.

Peavy strikes out...does he go back to the dugout
or just walk to the mound?

Bottom 9th

THHHHIIIIIIISSSSSS
IIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!

Peavy
starts out 3-0 to the leadoff man Morgan....uhhhh...Jenks?  Jenks
anyone?

Peavy's streak of 20 consecutive batters retired is broken with a
leadoff walk....Jenks??!?!??!  JENKS?!??! 

The camera cuts to
show Putz warming up...I'm confused, but I guess it'll do.

Guzman
attempts to bunt Morgan over, but bunts it foul...Pierzynski needlessly
smacks the ball into the dugout.  Amusing.

In the most
uncomfortable moment of the game, frumpy color commentator reminds us
that A.J. is 5 for 33 in throwing out basestealers.

Guzman bunts
the ball perfectly down the line, but Kotsay fields and whips it to Beckham, who is actually
covering this time.  1 out, runner on 2nd

Peavy has to retire
Zimmerman and Dunn to get out of the game.  I'm confident, but may
still soil myself.  Bill is explaining to me the dynamics of Rock Band 3
as Peavy strikes out Zimmerman with a high
fastball.....over-stimulation

Apparently the Rock Band 3 guitar
will be needlessly complicated to the point of just being a guitar in
itself, while also having a keyboard.  The Sox intentionally walk Dunn
to get to Willingham, who is 0-7 lifetime against Peavy.

Peavy
gets strike one on a fastball, Bill is still explaining more and more
Rock Band, it's an admittedly very interesting development, but it's
happening during the most intense moment of the game.  Good God, he
doesn't understand baseball at all.

Peavy induces a game-ending
popout, and pumps his fist triumphantly while screaming as Beckham
secures the win.  Wow, Jake just gave a massive F-you to all the
doubters out there, most certainly including myself.  I thought he was
crazy for going out with his shoulder full of fluid, especially after
Ozzie said he thought he should go on the DL.  And even though Jake
didn't hit higher than 92 all game, he was very effective, especially
with his fastball.  It was chock full of movement and effective up in
the zone.  Jake brings such an earnest intensity to every start that
when he succeeds like he did today, especially with the adversity he was
dealing with, you have to feel for him.

In a post-game interview, Peavy reveals that he "didn't feel good at
all", has had "much better stuff", and that his mix-and-match, changing
speeds and locations approach led to Nationals' hitters calling him "not
so nice names".  This is simultaneously revelatory and hilarious. 
First, apparently hitters curse at pitchers for using strategy and not
just brawn, and second, Jake's injury may still have been every bit as
painful as we thought it was, but he still managed to have his best
start of the season.

The White Sox are now only a game under .500 at 33-34.  Their winning
streak is now 5; the longest of the season, and they've won 9 of 10. 
More than that, they managed to squeeze a win out of an injured Jake
Peavy and a lineup without Rios and Konerko (or Viciedo).  The homerless
streak for the Sox has now stretched to 7 games, and they're 6-1 in
those contests.  Maybe the Sox are maxing out their potential right now,
maybe this run to get them back to .500 will leave them out of gas for
any kind of meaningful run, and maybe they'll top out after the trade
deadline, leaving them unable to unload any of their expiring
contracts, but things are going far too well to worry about any of that
now. 

Leave a comment