No brakes! No brakes!
Was it as good for you as it was for me?
Then watch it again.
*Call off the hounds chasing Adam Dunn, since he put his stamp on the season with a something-for-everybody performance on Wednesday night. He went 4-for-5 with a homer and a double for the "I want contact!" crowd. For the OBP-lovers, he started the game-tying rally in the ninth with a leadoff walk.
In the process, he raised his average from .184 to .213. He has doubled in five straight games, over which he's hitting .476/.520/.857 in 26 plate appearances.
Perhaps inspired by the first-inning blast, Hawk Harrelson gave him the nickname "The Grand Canyon." It's better than "Adameister," but it's not better than the improvement J.J. and I suggested simutaneously: Canyonero.
Brett Ballantini jumped on the Canyonero bandwagon with one of the great tweets of the year, following Dunn scoring on a sac fly standing just before the throw came in:
Canyoneros don't brake. They sure as hell don't slide.
So I think it works, and I'm going to roll with it for a while.
*Ozzie Guillen had his best game of the year as manager. From start to finish, he didn't make one false step, calling this game to win even with the Sox trailing by three.
- Guillen showed newfound restraint with Jake Peavy, limiting him to 87 pitches over six innings. He used three relievers, and they gave him four shutout innings.
- When Mark Teahen injured his oblique, Guillen called for Omar Vizquel instead of Brent Morel. Vizquel delivered an RBI double and a game-tying sac fly.
- He had Sergio Santos warming in case the Sox were able to narrow the gap. When Omar Vizquel's double made it a 4-2 game, Santos came in.
- He let Santos, his best reliever, throw two innings.
- After the batter's interference call on Alexei Ramirez, he got to home plate before Ramirez could argue enough to get ejected. This had major implications when Ramirez handled a grounder at a weird angle by second and started a 6-4 double play to push the game into extras.
- And then Ramirez ended up scoring the go-ahead run in the 10th.
His counterpart, Mike Scioscia, had the opposite fortune. None of his last three pitching changes worked, but his biggest mistake was not running on A.J. Pierzynski after Sergio Santos walked Reggie Willits to start the ninth. They were 3-for-3 in stolen bases leading up to that point, but Scioscia still tried to get Peter Bourjos to bunt. He failed twice on sac bunt attempts, then popped up to leave Willits at first with one out, and the double play intact.
*Ramirez regained Gold Glove form. Along with that tricky double play, he also made a great recovery on a hit-and-run. He ran to cover second, and when the grounder was hit towards the hole, he doubled back, made a backhand pick while sliding, popped up and made a strong throw to first for the out.
Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone were on his case for catching Pierzynski's throws too far in front of the bag, but he owned that area otherwise.
*And then there's Peavy.
While watching Peavy closely, I thought, "Would I be noticing this Peavy if he were making this start in June of 2010?"
The quick answer is "probably." Comparing his pitch data on Wednesday to his last full start of 2010, Peavy lacked about 1-3 mph on his assortment of pitches. His arsenal wasn't what you'd call "dynamic."
He compensated for the lack of stuff by not dicking around. He didn't walk a batter, he threw 64 of his 87 pitches for strikes, and he got ahead of 16 of the 25 batters he faced. Peavy was actually more efficient than his numbers would suggest, considering Juan Pierre's defense cost him 12 extra pitches in the first inning.
Peavy, of course, isn't happy with his results. I'd go a little lighter on him. Considering he's making his first start with a repaired lat and he received no breaks from his defense or the umps, I'd say Peavy passed his first test.
The second test will be seeing how he bounces back. Six days of rest is a nice way to get him back on the bike.
*We'll also see how Teahen bounces back. Oblique injuries are so easy to aggravate that I'm guessing a DL stint is in his future. Which means that Dayan Viciedo will be in ours.