It got that close.Bobby Jenks and the White Sox's win probability after retiring Ramon Hernandez was 94%. With two strikes and no balls on Roberts, it had to be 99%. Thanks to the magic of mlb.tv, there's going to be a recap and I've been watching the ninth so far. Bobby has the stuff and the control, so I'm figuring this is going to end well right?
Not so much. But again, Bobby got to 1-2 against Mora and made out pitches. He nearly had Mora frozen on an 88 mph slider/cutter that was high according to the umpire and he busted him in earlier with a hard fastball that Mora sliced off defensively. With the drama of the game gone since I knew the outcome, I just kept looking for what was missing this time and can't come up with anything. The one pitch we didn't see is that 82-83 mph-er that falls straight down off the table, but I liked what I did see. If by default every team wins and loses 50 games each, then we should drop this one in the Lose 50 bucket.
Gavin Floyd had another good outing, but at this point through three starts he has 10 K's to 8 BB's in 19.3 innings. He's gotten a ridiculous .865 DER (league leader according to THT) and sports a .136 BABIP with an unsustainable low line drive rate and the same fly ball rate that has plagued him since coming here. There's nothing there to suggest that he won't be reliant on the hope that all of these fly balls land in gloves and not seats. More or less, he's the '07 version of what we saw, though I do think Coop is helping mechanically. My dad leaned over last night while I was trying in vain to pick out some screen shots for Floyd's delivery and said, "He doesn't pitch the same way twice." Grains of salt, sure, but suffice it to say it's an uphill battle.
Carlos Quentin, meanwhile, is making Kenny Williams looking like a genius. He's batting .244/.370/.556 through 54 PAs. His line drive rate is low and is suppressing his BABIP correspondingly, but all of the secondary indicators are in line. He doesn't strike out much at all and while I doubt he'll keep up his .312 ISO, he's flashed power we didn't expect. It's not easy to know exactly where he'll end up at the end of the year, but it's hard to keep from expecting good things.
And Carlos is one of those reasons this isn't '07, even if superficially all the elements were in place. I know my real ball players from my Andy Gonzalezes and these guys pass the whiff test. That said, it's also clear defense is going to be a major issue throughout the season. The OC (don't call him that) made a nice throw from the hole for once, but I couldn't help wonder WWJUD on that grounder that Mora sent through the middle past Jenks and Cabrera. Buehrle, Vazquez and Contreras all sport a DER substantially below .700 while Danks has a .741. Outside of the four and five spots, the Sox defense has not been good for their starters. Without a single strikeout pitcher on the staff save Javy, the long term outlook on the Sox' chances to keep runs from scoring looks bad. That makes Cansequito all the more central to our slim but seemingly tangible post season possibility.