The game time temperature of 59 degrees should have been enough of a clue, but obviously the White Sox did not get the memo, so here it goes.
August is over! Stop playing like crap.
Once again, my keys to the game/series were shockingly prophetic.
The White Sox simply didn't execute.
- Failed bunts by Jermaine Dye, Scott Podsednik, and Aaron Rowand.
- Pods and A.J. Pierzynski (Yes, AJ Fricken' Pierzynski) caught stealing
- A.J. double clutching on what should have been a successful pitch out
Joe Crede being indecisive on a ball hit softly back at him with a runner at third base.
Tadahito Iguchi standing on second instead of gliding across it allowing Orlando Cabrera to take him out.
- Nobody working the count.
The bottom of the seventh inning was a microcosm of the game for the White Sox. Rowand did the one thing he is among the league's best at (getting hit by a pitch) to lead off the inning. The Angels pull Paul Byrd, and bring in Scot Shields. We've actually gotten to Shields this season, mostly because he was a little bit wild. With AJ, a contact and pull hitter, at the plate I thought it was the perfect spot for a hit and run. Instead, AJ swings at the first pitch he sees after a couple of pick off attempts, and nearly grounds into a double play. He was saved only because of a good take-out slide by Rowand. Two pitches later, AJ inexplicably takes off for second base, making sure he recorded two outs in the inning. Joe Crede then flew out to right field, and the Sox did no damage. Total pitches for the inning: 7, 6 thrown by Shields.
Jose Contreras was very good once again. He made only two mistakes all game, and thanks to the wind, one stayed in the park. Count fell behind Garret Anderson in the second with a change up that was close and a fastball that wasn't close at all. He then grooved a fastball middle-in to Anderson, who's suddenly hitting like the 2003 version of himself. Anderson was cheating on the pitch and punished it deep into the October sky.
In the third inning when he allowed 2 runs, not a single ball was hit in the air. Steve Finley, who had the hardest hit ball of the inning, grounded to right field. Adam Kennedy then hit then next pitch, a forkball that was almost in the dirt, in the hole on the left side on a hit-and-run. Chone Figgins bunted them over, and then the Sox defense went to crap.
Orlando Cabrera hit a weak grounder down the third base line that Crede couldn't make his mind up on. Crede looked home, then looked to first, then threw to first. Everyone was safe. -- You have to know where you are going with the ball before it's hit to you. -- Vladamir Guerrero grounded sharply back to Contreras for what should have been an inning ending double play, but Iguchi allowed himself to get taken out by The OC, Knoblauching the ball in the process. -- McCarver and Buck quibbled over whether he should have gone home on the play, but Count made the right move. Guerrero was not moving well, as evidenced in the first inning on a great play by Uribe(wmv file). A good throw by Iguchi would have had him. -- Thanks to a series of poor plays the Angels had scored two runs, lead 3-0, and had completely taken the crowd out of the game.
The White Sox are now 0-4 this season after 8-game winning streaks... The Angels have now beaten two White Sox pitchers who have had 9+ game winning streaks.