It was good to see Colon look much better than he did in Baltimore, with Bobby Jenks able to close out the Mariners in spite of some tense moments in the ninth. Danks did not have as good of an evening in game 2, giving up 5 earned over just 4 innings of work, with Carrasco and Broadway not faring much better. This is a blip on the screen for Danks, who had an ERA under 1 coming into tonight’s ballgame. He didn’t have a good night, but he has done his share so far, and I expect he will continue to do so as the season goes on because he is a bulldog, a fighter, a winner. Let’s go for the series win tomorrow…
In spite of this loss, I feel good about a few things coming away from this game. Contreras, who has struggled this season, only gave up three earned over seven innings, which is quite an accomplishment for any pitcher against an offense like this, but especially for a struggling pitcher. It will not get any easier with the red hot Mariners coming to town tomorrow, but I was glad to see Brian Anderson go 3-for-4 and swinging with authority and confidence, against one of the best pitchers in the league. This is Brian’s last chance from what I can see. This is his final shot to make it as the starting center fielder for the White Sox, and so far he has made the most of his opportunity. Still, there are no moral victories in baseball, but I would rather have something positive to take away from a loss then nothing at all, like the Friday night disaster. The Sox were competitive all day. They did not hit enough, but it was a Cy Young winner on the hill. They could have lost to a worse pitcher. They will have to try to begin a new winning streak tomorrow.
Mark Buehrle was Mark Buehrle – solid, and a true stopper. The defense looked like nothing the Sox did last night, which was disasterous. Tonight it was anything but. Jerry Owens’ catch in the gap was ridiculous. I could hardly believe what I was seeing. I thought this guy way done, gone, off the team forever, but he is back and contributing. Incredible. The Sox also hit the ball, with Dye going deep for a 2-run shot, and Ramirez breaking out of his funk with a grand slam. I was so glad to see that, not just for the team and the game, but for his mental state as well. I’m glad to see the fight and the victory. The lopsidedness of the victories gives me pause…the way the Sox either kill or get killed is reminiscent of teams past I would rather forget, but this is the team we have. Beating Halliday will be a tall order tomorrow. I’m not even sure I can see how the Sox can win tomorrow. Stranger things have happened though. Let’s get em’ tomorrow.
The minute I finished at work, I got a call from my season ticket holder friend, who invited me to the game this evening. Having some things to do with my daughter and other errands I had to run, I politely declined. I’m sad to say I’m glad I did. This had to be the worst game of the season, with nothing going right for the Sox. Bad defense, bad pitching, no hitting. That pretty much summed up the Sox’ evening. The Jays hit mercilessly and at will. It didn’t matter who the Sox threw out there. The Jays were swinging at beach balls up there. I almost don’t even get mad at games like this because from jump the Sox simply had no chance. It’s the hearbreakers they lose, like that game in Tampa with the slam to lose the game that make me mad. This is just a game the Sox need to put behind them and back Buehrle tomorrow with the bat.
With the way the Orioles scored seemingly at will against Bartolo Colon, I’m actually impressed the Orioles were kept to just 6 runs. The two runs which finally crossed the plate for the White Sox at the top of the 8th after a Jim Thome two-RBI single would not be nearly enough, even if it put the Sox within slam territory. It was ultimately too little too late. I noticed Bartolo getting squeezed, and the umpire would not give him the corners when the ball would tail back over the plate. Bartolo then seemed to aim his pitches, going straight down the middle, and the Orioles hit like they knew what was coming, swinging with authority at his pitches. The Sox hitters in contrast were tentative and did not look aggressive against Eaton, who has become Cy Young overnight even with a 7.04 ERA. He was moving his pitches around and the Sox looked like they were guessing. When hitters guess, they do not look aggressive, and if they do make contact, it does nothing but produce an out.
Still, it was a winning road trip, with the best part being the 3-out-of-4 series against the Rays in Tampa. The 5-and-4 trip will end with the Sox returning home to face the best team in the East so far – the Blue Jays. I’m not sure it will stay that way the entire season, and the Jays have had some injuries already. Still, the Sox will hopefully find some comfort at home before their fans…
I was much more pleased with both the effort and outcome of tonight’s game compared to last night, with Danks proving he truly is a domiant starting pitcher, and an outstanding lefty at that, and some 2-out RBI hitting from Getz and Fields.
I am overall pleased with not just the potential of this Sox team on the Major League roster, but what they have in the minors as well. It is clearly a more intelligent and fiscally responsible way to cultivate a winning franchise than big-name franchises who are always so focused to “win now” they lose the bigger picture, throwing bad money after bad and still getting nowhere. A team on the north side comes to mind, as does one in the Bronx. The White Sox are doing it right – with intelligent trades and draft picks and becoming deep in pitching. Let’s go for the series win tomorrow.
After watching the Sox for so many years, I have become accustomed to watching this team struggle mightily against rookie pitchers. I joke to myself perhaps every rookie should wish their debut be made against the White Sox, since they seem to never fare well against rookie pitchers. Bergesen was good, but it’s aggrevating the Sox make these rookies look like Cy Young. He wasn’t that good.
The problem is, Contreras was also not good, with 6 earned over 5 1/3 innings, and 6 walks. His weight loss not withstanding, Contreras simply has not yet been good all year – with tonight being his worst outing on the year. I have always been aggrevated with this guy’s lack of confidence in his fastball. With his size and strength, I cannot figure out why he cannot reach back and fire his fastball with authority. Instead he throws his forkball in the dirt to the point where he walks 6 hitters on the evening. Jose will need to realize it starts with his fastball – not his forkball. Sox will will have to try to get ’em tomorrow.