Instant Rationalization - The Alcides Escobar game

Instant Rationalization - The Alcides Escobar game
Alcides Escobar definitely deserved a high five tonight. (Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE, US PRESSWIRE / July 14, 2012)

The Royals have had a nice number of White Sox killers over the years, from Joe Randa to Melky Cabrera.  Alcides Escobar seems to be creeping ever so closer to making this hallowed, completely subjective list after his two-homer performance in a 6-3 Royals victory over the White Sox.

Escobar’s two round-trippers were both of the go-ahead variety off of Sox starter Jake Peavy, with one in the third inning, and the decisive blow in the seventh inning.  The two homers equaled the amount Escobar had coming into the game.

Peavy clearly did not have his good stuff, surrendering a season-high ten hits and six runs in seven innings.  Manager Robin Ventura didn’t help the cause much, curiously leaving Peavy in the game to start the eighth inning even though Peavy was over 100 pitches and was struggling.

Adam Dunn did provide a 451-foot silver lining, his second home run in as many days and his 27th of the year.

Key Performers

Alcides Escobar – 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR – The star of the game, his three RBIs were the difference in the game

Adam Dunn – 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB – His hit this monstrous home run, his second in as many days

Jake Peavy – 7 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 5 K – Peavy’s 120 pitches were the third-highest total for him this season, marking the fifth straight game he’s topped 100 pitches

Turning Point

Alcides Escobar’s second homer of the game in the seventh inning broke a three-all tie and put the Royals on top for good.  Escobar hit his best version of a no doubter over the left field wall to give the Royals a 4-3 lead an inning after the Sox tied the game at three.

The Royals tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning off of Peavy to put the game out of reach.

Things Would Be Different If…

…Robin Ventura didn’t leave Peavy in the game for so long.  Already over 100 pitches, Ventura decided to let Peavy take the bump in the eighth inning, which proved lethal, as the Royals collected three hits and their fifth run off of Peavy before he could record an out.

In the best-case scenario, the Sox would have still been behind by one run going into the ninth inning, but as the Sox showed in the first game of the series, they could handle that.

Takeaway

While Jake Peavy’s start is a little worrisome because of the season-high 12 hits given up, it’s important to not try to generalize this outing either.  This is the first time since May that Peavy has given up five or more runs in a game.  This just happens sometimes; it’s why they play the game.

Plus, Kansas City has been a house of horrors for the White Sox in years past, but after last night’s victory over Bruce “no longer Cy” Chen, maybe things could be turning around.  It’s also worth noting that tonight’s game didn’t go into extra innings, which is significant, since seven of the previous 13 games in Kansas City did.

Chris Sale takes the mound tomorrow in his first start of the second half in an effort to take the series from Kansas City.

Overall record: 48-39, 3 games up on Cleveland

Filed under: Game Wraps

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