Instant Rationalization - Rios, Hudson, bullpen, steer the Sox away from sweep

Instant Rationalization - Rios, Hudson, bullpen, steer the Sox away from sweep
Alright, so now you're the hero // Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

So long that it ends in a win, every game can be thought of as a fun little ride, with all of the various disconcerting things that occurred a long the way just being the set up to an inevitable happy ending.

Jake Peavy walked five, and needed 117 pitches to make it through six innings, but left with a quality start and the game tied.

Orlando Hudson forgot the number of outs in the 8th inning, and looked a second or two behind in his reaction times at 3rd, he laced a walk-off RBI single in the 9th.

And while Thursday night's win over the Blue Jays featured plenty of underwhelming elements, it ultimately ended a win.  The win only succeeded in avoiding a sweep against 4th place Toronto, but the Sox now enter the weekend with a 1.5 game lead in the AL Central.

White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3

Key Performers

Jake Peavy - 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 117 pitches - Time to dust off Hawk's old cliche about getting through games without your best stuff and drive it around the block a few times.

Alex Rios - 2 for 3, HR, 3 RBI - When he adds an average amount of power to all the solid contact he's making, Rios is a entirely decent right-fielder.

Paul Konerko - 2 for 3, R, BB - Returned to the lineup and looked completely like himself.

Dayan Viciedo - 1 for 4, R, K - Singled to start the 9th, advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, tagged and advanced to 3rd on a flyout and came home on the single.  Not bad footwork for a Tank.

White Sox Bullpen - 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB - Thornton, Jones, and Reed dealt with runners in scoring position in a tie game in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, and navigated around it all

Turning Point

Until Orlando Hudson nailed a 1-1 Francisco Cordero offering into center field to score Dayan Viciedo in the bottom of the 9th, this was a nailbiter.

Hudson had nearly tipped the scales the other way in the 8th and 9th.  He forgot the number of outs in 8th, and made a risky throw home when a force out at 1st would have ended the inning, and was caught flat-footed by a Jose Bautista double lined just over his head in the 9th.

Orlando Hudson on his play so far at 3B: "Right now I'm not doing a good job of it." (But that was a big hit)

— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) June 8, 2012

Things Would Be Different If...

...U.S. Cellular Field was just a bit larger.  Alex Rios' game-tying 2-run HR in the 6th was an absolute wall-scraper.  It was a high fly ball that carried on a warm June night in one of the smallest-playing parks in the AL.

However, it's not like Jays starter Henderson Alvarez has anything to complain about.  The Rogers Centre isn't much more pitcher-friendly

Takeaway

It wasn't one for the archives, but Jake Peavy halted the skid like a top-of-the-rotation starter should, and put the ugliness of two straight unfavorable pitching matchups in the rearview mirror with a very winnable series against Houston arriving.

Detroit and Cleveland bloodied each other over the week so that there was no significant movement, and most importantly of all, Jordan Danks got into the game...and was doubled off 1st.

 

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