Coming into tonight's game -- It's already Wednesday as I type this, but I'm just going to say tonight to make it easier on myself -- the Sox had managed just 3 runs on 12 hits off the opponent's starter in the last three games. After tonight, they ran that to just 4 runs on 15 hits in 32 innings against the opponent's starter. We've run into a stretch of games where we're just seeing an inordinate amount of dominating pitchers. Sure the offense is partially to blame, but the amazing thing is we've found a way to win 2 of these games.
Note: I realize that I'm using the term we, when I actually had nothing to do with the wins or losses. I try to avoid doing that at all costs, but I must be a little bit excited after that victory. And hey, if you can stand Hawk, you should be able to stomach me.
Zambrano, Prior, Santana, Colon. That combination could put a lot of teams bats to sleep. The Sox had similar stretch last season, during which they went 0-5, and their bats never really recovered. It killed the month of July for them last season.
- I thought that Saturday's game was the best game I've watched all year. It was filled with drama, and a late rally to push the Sox onto victory. Even if the outcome was a different one, the 1-0 score for most of the game had me on the edge of my seat. Tonight's game might have topped that one. I guess I really like pitcher's duels.
- I've been calling for Joe Crede to take a seat for the past couple of games. While he was still far from impressive tonight, he was the only Sox hitter to collect 2 hits. His single to lead off the 11th set up the winning run. And his defense was exemplary. I have no problem admitting when I'm wrong. I would have rested him, but we probably wouldn't have won without him.
- Bartolo Colon was just as dominating as Ervin Santana a day earlier. I can't even call the pitch that Carl Everett deposited over the right field wall a mistake. It was the ninth pitch of the at-bat, and would have been called ball four had Everett not put a hurt on it. The Sox did not put a base runner past first base against him.
- Equally as dominating was Mark Buehrle. It might have been his best game to date this season. Yes, even better than the 1:39 game or the 12 K performance.
I can't say that he did anything truly special. It was just vintage Mark Buehrle. He got ahead of the hitters (if it wasn't so late I would check to see how many he had down 0-1 and 0-2), worked fast, and economically. The last point being the key. Buehrle was able to last longer than Colon, making Anaheim burn through their pen quicker than us.
- A.J. Pierzynski gets special mention for his at-bat in the 7th. With two out, and Colon hovering around 100 pitches, a quick out probably means he's coming back for the 8th. Pierzynski fouled off pitch after pitch, until putting a big swing on pitch #11 that completely fooled Steve Finley, falling in for a single. Colon would only face one more batter.
- I have to acknowledge the final out in the ninth inning, but probably not for the reason you're thinking. Sure, Paul Konerko made a nice play, but that's a play that he should make 95% of the time. Buehrle deserves more credit for covering on a ball that the first baseman usually would take all the way. -- The real reason I brought up the play is to personally thank Juan Rivera for his idiotic base running. Why would you slide feet first, doing a pop-up slide, into first base in that situation? If I was Mike Scioscia I would fine him. A major league player should know how to get to first base in the quickest way possible. That... was not it.
- Speaking of terrible base running, for as efficient as Scott Podsednik is swiping second and third base, he looks completely lost once he gets to third. I know Aaron Rowand is more to blame for not getting him home in the ninth, but Pods has been out between third and home at least 5 times this season. That's inexcusable for a guy who's supposedly a good base runner. You're on third base, better safe than sorry in that situation.
- In general, I have praised Ozzie Guillen's use of the bullpen this year. Only recently, with the early hook to Luis Vizcaino, have I been very critical at all. Well tonight, Ozzie once again proved why he is one of the best in the business handling a pen. Mark Buehrle helped by going 9 innings strong, but when Guillen saw how strong Damaso Marte looked in the 10th, he ran him right back out there in the 11th with a 1-run lead. This is the type of situation where you might see a lesser manager go to the "closer" simply because that's the way it's done nowadays. Ozzie will go with the hot hand, and play the match ups. I love that.
- I only saw them once. I hope somebody else caught it too. There was a couple in the stands last night; he was decked out in Cubs attire, she was wearing a blue "this is LA baseball" shirt. What were they doing there? Who were they rooting for? I would say they were hoping for a bomb to hit the stadium, but if that's the case you don't buy seats at said stadium.
- Usually, I like to close with White Sox related link, but today I found something that I had to share with you that I discovered on my lunch hour in Borders Books. I was looking through the baseball books when I came across this gem: Baseball for DUMMIES, by Joe Morgan. Fricken hilarious!!! This guy thinks Billy Beane wrote Moneyball, and he's got a book, where he's actually listed as the author, called Baseball for Dummies. Incredible.