I don't know if I want to spend a whole lot of time on this recap. The White Sox and Indians retake the field in about 12 hours to close out this two-game set. I really hate the two-game series, and the schedule this week is a little ridiculous. After playing 5 straight games after 9PM Central, the Sox now alternating between day and night games until Friday & Saturday. They don't have two consecutive days with the same start time until next Tuesday and Wednesday. It's hard to get into a routine, as a fan and as a blogger, with a schedule like that. I can't even imagine it as a ballplayer.
- I was extremely disappointed, though not at all surprised, by the reaction of the Cleveland fans when Jim Thome came to the plate. The better part of the 17,845 in paid attendance decided to boo Thome. As much as the reception was a disappointment, the apathy was even worse. Those 25,000 empty seats were speaking louder than the fans who bothered to show up to watch two of the best teams in baseball.
When Frank Thomas comes back to the south side on May 22nd, (also a Monday night) the stands will be packed, and I imagine the reception will be much, much different. And in the event that it falls short of a full-house standing ovation, I'll be back here ripping the Chicago fans far more than the Cleveland fans.
- Comcast's player of the game was Scott Podsednik, and he had a nice day at the plate. But I'm not going out of my way to praise him for the 4 stolen bases off of Victor Martinez. He's supposed to do that. He's absolutely worthless if he can't steal off of Martinez, who has the worst throwing arm in the American League. I would even go so far as to say his decision not to steal when he was on base in a 7-1 game, along with his boneheaded fielding, were just as detrimental to the Sox chances of winning that game as Brandon McCarthy.
- It's a shame that the bullpen had such a rough game because it takes time away from what would have been written about Javier Vazquez, who should have been the player of the game.
Cleveland did a good job of being patient against him, and made him work deep counts, but it was Podsednik and Tadahito Iguchi's back-to-back errors that stretched his pitch count just high enough for Ozzie to keep him in the dugout for the start of the 7th.
- There is such a stark contrast between the last two teams we've played. Up 7 runs to the Angels, Game Over; they'll get themselves out enough to protect your lead. Up 7 runs to the Indians, Game on; you know you still have to throw strikes, make your pitches, and take advantage of your opportunities on offense.
- About McCarthy: He's not right. He's not right just like he wasn't right last May. He's not hitting his spots with his fastball, and his changeup is nowhere to be found. The good news is he's shown that he can turn it around mid-season. The bad news is, I don't know who pitches high-leverage innings ahead of Bobby Jenks right now. I know Ozzie's going to use Neal Cotts and Cliff Politte, but they're nowhere near as sharp as last year.
- Bobby Jenks, on the other hand, was incredible in the ninth tonight. The guy who came into camp overweight and out of shape has done everything the Sox have asked of him since. And even though it's taken him a little while, he certainly appears to be as good as ever. Those 3 two-strike curveballs to strike out the side and end the game were probably the best looking curveballs I've seen from Bobby since he took over the closer's role last September.
3:44 -- Mark Buehrle could have pitched two games in that amount of time. -- Seriously though, I think that shows you how much each manager is trying to win these games. Ozzie and Wedge know how important these head-to-head match-ups are going to be.