Oh hey, what's up guys?
As noted earlier, I'm in scenic Colorado this week. The last game I was able to catch on the radio driving out was Friday night's 6-4 triumph over the Tigers, which at the time, meant that the Sox had registered four-straight wins against playoff contending opponents in a row. Sure, they had struggled preposterously hard to reel in an even more preposterously wild Andrew Oliver, but a series of home runs bailed them out...which was the plan since Opening Day, even if that plan didn't include Juan Pierre nor Brent Lillibridge.
Since then, from the archival footage and reading I've done, it seems like someone will need to clean the fan.
No shame in Saturday's loss - If there's a clear advantage
Detroit has over the Sox, and at this point, the entire division, it's
that they have two guys in Verlander and Cabrera who are better than
anyone else. They used them to defeat the Sox 4-2 Saturday with
Verlander spinning 8 innings and Cabrera delivering a gut-punch 2-run
jack to give the Tigers the edge in the 9th.
As J.J. already examined,
Victor Martinez on deck would have made avoiding Cabrera a somewhat
dubious decision. Bringing out Sergio Santos--who fooled Cabrera the
previous night--would have been an inspired move, but he had worked 1.1
IP the night before. Ozzie trusted Crain, and was right to, he's been a
very reliable worker, and easily the 2nd best reliever. Sometimes the
best hitter in the league beats you.
Probably, actually plenty of shame in Sunday's loss - Jake Peavy
was brilliant for three innings, then ran from brilliance in the 4th
like it was a burning building in yielding 6 runs, and was later
revealed to have strained his groin. The Sox failed to fully take
advantage of how mediocre Brad Penny was, and then were massacred by the
Tiger bullpen to the tune of 7 Ks through 4 innings. 7-3. Series
lost. Still 5 games under. The Indians were swept, and now Detroit are
super-serious contenders. This feels like a missed opportunity...throw
it in the pile with the others.
Peavy Injured - The Threequel - Rare is the sequel in a series that lowers the stakes in every regard from previous entries.
The warning signs leading in - Less!
Severity of injury - Less!
Devastation to starting rotation - Less!
But as with the case with most unnecessary sequels, most of the outrage
is directed at the fact that a follow-up exists at all. As Jim dived into,
the White Sox have mistakes in the past to look upon, and preventative
plans to adhere to, and didn't seem to follow them. Jake felt
discomfort in his last start in Boston, was moved up past John Danks to
pitch Sunday, and then was left in for almost 30 more pitches after
injuring himself running to 1st.
The Sox aren't in a position to miss him terribly--which isn't so much a
vindication of the 6-man rotation as much as pitching depth in
general--but this is a fairly foolhardy way for things to play out.
As chronicled on SBT, whether or not Peavy is DL bound seems to be up in the air.
RIP 'The floating part of Konerko's wrist' - Paulie had surgery
to remove the bone fragment that had been making the rounds in his left
wrist for some time, and missed Friday and Saturday as a result. This
allowed more time for Lillibridge, and let Adam Dunn play the whole
weekend, making sports radio rants that Ozzie was managing scared moot
for a while. (Dunn went 2-12 with no walks, no extra-base hits, and 7
Konerko returned to the lineup Sunday and had two hits, so I think we're officially done worrying about this situation.
We'll cross that Bridge when we get there - For now, it seems
like Ozzie has solved the Lillibridge conundrum by playing him liberally
until the Elfen magic dissipates, as he started him for the entire
Detroit series, and will continue to give him spots as his would-be
With Rios uh, in a bad way,
this seems ideal. Ride the hot streak until it ends, then go back to
the proven veterans this season was built on. One thing to look for is
given how awful Rios has been at the plate, what level of regression by
Lillibridge is appropriate to reduce his time? If he's just a
garden-variety .750 OPS hitter from here on out, will that still be good
enough to start?
Teahen's back, look busy! - Teahen's return from the DL prompted
yet another DFA of Jeff Marquez, as the organization just seems to be
waging an assault on that guy's self-worth right now. Jim covered this morning how Morel has come around of late,
making the first hope for Teahen's return be that he stays out of the
way. Mark wasn't hitting much when he went down, which blunted the
excitement of his return to defensive adequacy. Whether Ozzie feels
obligated to Teahen is the thing to watch for.
Have you gotten a load of Beckham?: Sure, my excitement for
Gordon had a lot to do with his continued presence in my text message
score updates, and it's usually more encouraging to see him take walks
and line pitches to right field then try to slug balls over the left
field wall, but his work in the Boston series and the power display
versus Detroit gave him a .292/.346/.542 line for the week, which is
totally not him, but still nice looking.
The running game - The White Sox have clearly reduced their
stolen base attempts from the start of the season, but such ignoble ends
like Juan Pierre getting thrown out by Victor Martinez to raise the
team's MLB-high Caught Stealing total to 27 remind us of how horrid it's
been. Especially as the team is 6th worst in baseball in total stolen
bags, despite all their effort.
Looking ahead: This week brings in 7-games worth of West Coast
no-hit, run-prevention teams in Seattle and Oakland. The Mariners, are
currently proving that you can trot out Miguel Olivo and Adam Kennedy in
the heart of the order, and Chone Figgins' corpse everyday and still
win. They'll offer Michael Pineda and Felix Hernandez the first two
games, and will thus have a great shot of taking those contests.
Meanwhile, Oakland has had their rotation decimated by injuries, have
lost 6 straight, and have the negative run differential to justify their
last-place hold in the division.
That's all for now. I might make myself a mid-day G&T and chill out
in a hammock. The WordPress transfer for ChicagoNow has been pushed
off two weeks, so now I really have no reason to flick on this laptop.
Tags: adam kennedy, Alex Rios, baseball, boston red sox, Brent Lillibridge, Brent Morel, chone figgins, Detroit Tigers, felix hernandez, Gordon Beckham, Jake Peavy, jesse crain, John Danks, Mark Teahen, michael pineda, Miguel Olivo, Oakland A's, Ozzie Guillen, Paul Konerko, phil humber, Seattle Mariners, Sergio Santos, White Sox