I was listening to the game/watching on Gameday, so I got nothing particularly acute observation-wise. The big story writes itself, but elsewhere...
- Mark Kotsay ended the DH hit drought, but I'm pretty sure the ire is still there. I know it's kinda meaningless, but is there any chance Ozzie can move The Versatility Show down in the order? It's depressing to watch three major league hitters in a row followed by a cripplefest.
- I thought Gordon Beckham was in the middle of one of his worst ever days at the plate, but you really don't have to go that far back for an 0-fer with 2 K's. Freddy Garcia's last start prior to today saw The Savior go 0-5 with 2 K's. I think I may have started taking his nickname too seriously.
- Speaking of Freddy, you have to like that start. Watching his command on Gameday, it seemed like he was determined to miss off the plate. But he managed to throw enough good strikes to avoid being hurt too badly. Against Mauer, this still meant 1-3 with a walk, but he was still able to challenge the rest of the lefties and induce weak contact. Additionally important to this effort: he was 90+ mph with his fastball. I'm still not close to convinced, but that's a number of really good starts against tough competition dating back to last year. In 10 starts since making his '09 debut, he's managed 8 quality starts. He's given up fewer than 4.3 runs per nine during that run.
- Um, Scott Linebrink came into the game with the bases loaded, no outs and gave up zero runs. As I mentioned in the game thread, the expectation was 2.4 runs scoring over the course of the inning after the bases juiced. Which means Scott was responsible for a quarter win added above average all on his lonesome. It also means his pitching in that game was worth more wins than the entirety of his effort in '09. It could also mean his appearance in high leverage situations until he stops forgetting his gas can.
- The Sox starters have a 4.2 FIP through 5 starts.* The Sox as a team have a 3.67 FIP and have actually ceded 2.93 runs per nine.** The AL has averaged 4.3 per. If the Sox had an average offense, they'd be 3-2. Instead, they're 1-4. Every bit of worry that this team might end up wasting its great pitching has officially and already spilled over into irrational hatred of anyone even proximally involved. Like I said, the big story writes itself.
*Using 5.4 - 13*(SO-UIBB-HBP)/PA for FIP
**If you took out Linebrink's performance today and subbed in an average performance for those three outs, it would almost totally make up the difference between the team's FIP and their actual runs ceded. Maybe it would be easier to think of this game as lost 4-1? It kind of hurts less. There's been way too much Bizarro 2005 to these close games so far. Even the human part of larry experiences dread over the idea that 2007 wasn't penance enough.