Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Believe it or not, I'm swinging at air (18-8)

Mark Buehrle versus C. C. Sabathia turned out out to be a stinker as Ozzie sent out a lineup chock full o' subs and Mark Buehrle sent out his evil twin in a 7-1 Indians win. The White Sox kept putting runners on -- 15, for a .357 on base percentage -- but they left 14 on base. Travis Hafner, a.k.a the Project Donkey, slammed a first inning three-run shot and the Indians later fattened their lead, partly courtesy of home plate umpire Jerry Meals blowing a play at the plate. Still, with their low-wattage lineup and Buehrle having an off-day, it wasn't going to happen anyway. The Cheat points out that the White Sox record strongly correlates to how many regulars are subbed for. Basically, with 3+ subs, they play .200 ball (1-4). After Jermaine Dye left to nurse his nagging calf, only five regulars were left in the game (and two of those being the slumping Juan Uribe and Brian Anderson). This one wasn't meant to be.

Now, some might argue that given that this is the Indians, the White Sox should try to win at all costs. Eric Wedge started his regular versus-lefties lineup. I don't know about that. I know Victor Martinez is a durable catcher, but his playing time so far this year has been absolutely brutal. He's caught 220 innings so far, of a possible 238. Given that the Indians pitching so far has been (5.54) pretty bad, that's a lot of pitches to catch, and a lot of wear and tear. The Indians' backup catcher is Kelly Shoppach, who isn't a bad player at all, so it makes very little sense at this point to just ride the regulars into the dirt.

I wish I hadn't ripped Jhonny boy a bit back; he must have read my gibes because he hit the heck out of the ball the last two days. He's still not a #3 hitter.

As for the title line, it refers of course to Brian Anderson. Patience is a good thing, but he's now 10-for-71 with 4 extra base hits, 9 walks, and 25 strikeouts. That's pretty horrible. Mackowiak isn't a solution even part time, which leaves the White Sox either nibbling at some washed up geriatric or bringing up Jerry Owens if Anderson doesn't break out of this funk soon. I've just about had it. [[Question: How many of the White Sox starting pitchers have higher lifetime major league batting averages than center fielder Brian Anderson? Answer: Three. Javier Vazquez (.214), Freddy Garcia (.194), and Jon Garland (.167). ]]

Speaking of washed up geriatrics, the White Sox signed Jeff Nelson to a minor-league contract today. This probably means that the Sox have officially given up on Dustin Hermanson. I'm not wild at all about this, as Nelson's struggled for several years. A slider pitcher, Nelson's developed into a nibbler as his fastball vanished. They didn't sign this guy to shore up the Charlotte pen. The best likely outcome is probably the Yankees desperately trying to trade for Nelson in July and Williams picking up a prospect on the cheap.

1 comment:

Jeeves said...

I like Ozzie's desire to get the bench guys on the field. It will for sure help in the long run. It'll keep the starters fresh during the dog days, and it ensures that the bench doesn't get overly rusty. I do wish, though, he'd go about it in a different manner. He really should space things out more. Put in one or two bench guys over a span of 2 games. That's the same effect of cramming the whole bench into one game, while not completely throwing out a white flag.
I really dislike that he put another "Sunday lineup" against the Indians. I somehow think the starters would have been okay if their offday had been movied forward to tomorrow against the hapless Mariners.