I think for the rest of the season we shall refer to games like this--where the opposing right-handed starter expertly changes speeds and hits his spots--as being Sonnanstined. Mike Mussina doesn't have much in the way of stuff anymore, but he made up for on Wednesday night by throwing strikes--good strikes, on the corners--and mixing in some junk. A 65 MPH curveball here, a knuckleball there, 86 MPH with movement on the black, the White Sox hitters were perplexed.
Give them an Edwin Jackson, a Dana Eveland, a Daniel Cabrera, they'll mount a credible offensive attack. But if you've got a Sonnanstine, a Lance Broadway with control, these Sox are probably in for a long night.
Joe Crede and Carlos Quentin provided all of the Sox offense against Moose, each with a solo-shot, the former on a poorly located fastball and the latter on a hanging 73 MPH breaking ball. The rest of the Sox combined to reach base just twice in 7 innings against the veteran hurler.
For the second straight night, the Sox provided some excitement by destroying the non-Joba/Mo part of the Yankees bullpen. But for the second straight night, Girardi smartly called on one of his aces in the hole to put out the fire and end the Sox hope of a comback.
The loss is the Sox' 5th straight versus the Yankees at USCF, and their 7th in their last 8 meetings on the south side. It's the Sox first losing streak since back-to-back losses on the 9th and 11th of the month.
They've played 11 games since those two losses, during which I've routinely lauded their play, going 6-5 in the interim. That's not exactly tearing it up for a team that's "playing well." Perhaps it's time to reconsider that notion.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Javier Vazquez' inconsistent outing on the night. At times, Javy was attacking hitters and having easy innings. At others, like the second inning, for instance, he seemed like he wanted nothing to do with the strike zone and paid for it. Then, just for good measure and to put the game just out of reach, he was hit hard as he threw lots of strikes to end his outing.
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My favorite part of the broadcast--when I wasn't tuning out Hawk and DJ as usual--was when Jorge Posada hit his third double of the game. Hawk made a comment, which was met with silence from DJ, about the hit "sounding weird." I can understand why DJ was silent, as it seemed like Hawk was insinuating that Posada was corking his bat. After a measured pause, DJ asked him in directly indirect fashion "did you think that bat had a weird hollow sound?" Hawk immediately laughed it off, No, that's not what he meant. He knows that sound, chuckle.
But what I really liked from the exchange was a few pitches later when DJ asked Hawk "Have you ever seen that show Mythbusters?" He would then go on to explain their baseball myths episode, and how when they tested corked bats they found no difference (or a negative effect, I don't remember now) in ball speed off the bat. DJ, expressing exactly the same concern I had with their conclusion, said it's not about ball speed off the bat, it's about the speed of a bat itself. After all, you can get a 31 ounce bat around faster than a 32 ouncer.
There's also something of a psychological effect to the corked, slightly lighter bat. It's the same reason you swing with doughnut on your bat in the on deck circle. If the bat feels lighter in the box than it does normally, you've got a better shot at getting around on some major league heat, or fighting off those tough breaking pitches.
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We had a major outage during the game, as I'm sure most of you are aware. I'm not exactly privvy to the details of the outage, other than to say it was a problem with our server structure. All I can say is that I'm positive we have a number of people working hard to make sure it doesn't happen again.