I feel like a real life, grizzled newspaperman writing headlines like that.
Anyway, it's true enough that Javy sucked last night. Cheat spelled it out plainly; this one could get ugly and the spectre of '07 is not one that is easily washed from the memory. That sucker is burned in there like that time you walked in on your parents. Yeah, that time.
But let's take some deep breaths and at least affirm that we got beat by a guy that's going to beat a lot of teams. Carmona finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting and probably should have gone higher; his 64.0 VORP was the second highest in the AL, behind his teammate Sabathia. CC won the thing, but at least we hit him hard on Monday. 5 runs per game against Cleveland's 1-2 is a pretty solid outcome. The problem right now is clearly our pitching.
Buehrle got chased right quick and it looks like we should expect that to some degree against the best hitting teams. Javy, though, is the guy I kept calling our ace and a legit #1 and he burned me good last night. So what went wrong?
Control, mostly. According to Pinto's Day by Day Database, that was Javy's 3rd worst start in a White Sox uniform based on BB/IP (Check out those peripherals. Pretty nice, eh?). His .8 was well outside his average of .27 in the now 66 times he's toed the rubber for the Good Guys.
While I can't confirm that it was the case through the first four innings, the cause to me seemed distinct when I picked up the game in the fifth. Highlighted by a bases loaded walk on a 3-2 count which dictated Javy throw a fastball and throw it for a strike, he let one rip and it tailed up and in for ball four. As it appeared on many of the other pitches he threw that inning, his arm action differed significantly from its normal path. Instead of clearing the arm normally, his elbow sagged and release point dropped and he lost his ability to throw on the appropriate downward plane. Instead of the pinpoint command that he showed off time and again last year, he was leaving the ball up and while his natural stuff bailed him out a few times, the walks caught up to him and the Sox were dead in the water.
This is a pretty easy fix and I'm sure Coop will see it. I'd even bet Javy could pinpoint where he was going wrong and I don't think this will be an ongoing issue. This performance was well outside of his norm. He's still going to be our ace and we can hopefully let ourselves breathe a slight sigh of relief as we prepare to watch a slightly below .500 club march in that direction over the course of 162 games. But for the love of God can we win tomorrow? Every loss with that kind of ineptitude makes the startling moans of '07 all too easy to remember.
Link: Cheat's recap