Instant Rationalization - Sox ride dominant Peavy, long home runs to sweep

Instant Rationalization - Sox ride dominant Peavy, long home runs to sweep
An ace, apparently // Jose M. Osorio, Chicago Tribune

Pre-game projections put the wind blowing out of Wrigley Field at 10 mph on Sunday, so the team that kept the ball out of the homer-inducing air probably had the best chance for success.

Jake Peavy only allowed six balls to leave the infield through 6.1 shutout innings, and only one honest-to-goodness fly ball.

His counterpart, Paul Maholm, wasn't so fortunate.  It probably won't be remembered that Maholm slow curveball was baffling at times, and that he recorded five strikeouts on the day.  When you have three mistakes travel as long as the solo homers by Beckham, Dunn, and Flowers went, it gives the impression to all in attendance that a rout occurred.

That Peavy contributed a run and an RBI himself only enhanced that perception.

The Cubs scored six runs all series, and most of those came in garbage time versus Zach Stewart, so any offensive outburst gave the feel of a blowout.  The Cubs hit some long flies off of Reed in the 9th, and blew a bases-loaded situation in the 8th, but couldn't crack the scoreboard

White Sox 6, Cubs 0

Key Performers

Jake Peavy - 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 100 pitches - No quibbles to be made about this one; another excellent job of mixing speeds and locations, kept the ball on the ground on a windy day, and was pulled at the perfect time

Tyler Flowers - 2 for 3, HR, 2B, 2 R - His 5th inning home run went over the bleachers, out of the stadium, past the international date line, and landed in the Antebellum Era South.

Gordon Beckham - 1 for 4, HR, SF, 2 RBI - His 4th inning blast onto Waveland gave him his second homer of the series.  He might need to keep it going if Robin feels a need to offer Orlando Hudson some time at his natural position

Adam Dunn - 1 for 4, HR, BB, 2 K - That his home run was the only one not to leave the stadium might give off the notion that it was not well-struck.  This is not the case.

Turning Point

Entering the 4th inning, the White Sox had struck out four times against Maholm and his slower-than-slow curve, and managed a single infield single; a chopper off the plate by Fukudome--who made contact four times on the day and drove the ball a combined 50 feet.

Then Gordon Beckham stepped in and crushed the first pitch he saw down the line and onto Waveland.  Five pitches later, Dunn drove a ball into the upper portion of the center field bleachers, and the Sox had the lead they would hold onto for the rest of the day.

Things Would Be Different If...

Jake Peavy came into the game only getting groundballs 29.6% of the time opposing hitters made contact, the second-lowest rate in the league.  With the wind transforming Wrigley Field into a launching pad for the day, some adjustments would be needed.

Peavy didn't transform into Derek Lowe, but of the 15 times the ball was put in play off of Jake, seven stayed on the ground, and only Ian Stewart's 7th inning flyout to right displayed any real loft.  If Jake is going to continue to suppress home runs like he's been doing this season, more of this will be needed.

Takeaway

Interleague play continues to be a cure-all.  The Cubs' rebuilding project is only an easy source for wins when starters are displaying good command, and the middle of the order is pounding mistakes.

In other words, don't sweat easy victories against bad teams.  Certainly not for this team, which apparently does its best work on the road (14-9 away record).

The Sox are back at .500, and within shouting distance of division-leading Cleveland with a series against them coming up this weekend.

 

Team Record, 21-21, 2.5 GB

 

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  • The bad thing about landing a homer in the antebellum era South is traversing through the Civil War to retrieve the ball.

  • In reply to Chris Lamberti:

    It's the worst, man. The absolute worst.

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