Sunday, May 07, 2006

Game 31: The doorway before them is barred (22-9)

The White Sox bullpen was almost perfect for three innings against the Royals to back up an uncharacteristic Mark Buehrle start, and Pablo Ozuna and Joe Crede provided the offense in a 3-2 White Sox win against the lowly Royals.
  • Buehrle just wasn't sharp at all, but until back-to-back home runs of a tiring Buehle in the sixth, the Royals couldn't take advantage. It took Buehrle 114 pitches to get through 6 innings. The White Sox couldn't do much with Mark Redman.
  • The only excitement in the first five innings was supplied when Mark Grudzielanek was called out on strikes in the fifth. (The plate umpire today was lenient with high and low pitches but wouldn't give either side the corners.) Grudz clearly said "bullshit" to the umpire as he stalked back to the dugout. Buddy Bell obviously said something worse, because Eric Cooper ejected him.
  • Pablo Ozuna hit a shocking one-out triple to deep left center field to drive in Widger and Anderson (who had singled) to tie the game. Ozuna was promptly erased on a blown suicide squeeze when Iguchi popped up to the pitcher. I am sure this decision will be second-guessed, given that Iguchi is hitting .331. The White Sox had three straight hits off Redman, and he seemed to be weakening, but ill-fated small ball gave him new life.
  • Cliff Politte sailed through the seventh and got one out in the eighth, but then what Ozuna giveth, he almost taketh back. Angel Berroa drove a fly ball to the warning track, but Ozuna got turned around and misplayed the ball into a double. Matt Thornton came on, popped up Aaron Guiel, and then Brandon McCarthy struck out Buck with a nasty curve over the inside corner. Who says the White Sox don't have a bullpen?
  • With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Thome doubled to left center. It was a fairly ordinary fly ball, but the Royals were playing that silly Ted Williams shift, and Thome poked two hits to that region. (This could be important if enough advance scouts saw it to reduce the shifting a bit.) The Royals mysteriously decided to walk Konerko to get to Crede. Now, with one out, this would be a defensible move. With two out, and Crede hitting .335 over the last 49 games, it's bizarre. Crede battled Elmet Dessens for what seemed like forever, fouling off multiple low-and-away offerings, then savagely ripped an inside fastball into left field to drive in the go-ahead run.
  • That set the stage for Bobby Jenks, on the hill for the first time since being charged with a blown save on Friday. Jenks struck out Matt Stairs with a knee-high fastball for the first out. He caught what appeared to be a break on a chopper to Uribe, whose throw the umpires said nipped Robinson at first. He blew Esteban German away for the last strike and the game was over.
Notes from the division race:
  • The Tigers were unlucky enough to draw Johan Santana today and he beat them 4-2. Ordonez hit a two-run shot to make the game semi-interesting. The White Sox now lead by 2 1/2 games.
  • Travis Hafner is playing for the Indians today. The Cleveland announcers say he has the flu. Eric Wedge drives his players like oarmen in a Roman galley. This will come back to haunt him.
  • The 2005 White Sox were even better, 24-7 after 31 games.
One other note: Vince Galloro wants Boone Logan gone. He joins the huge chorus of naysayers. I almost bought his reasoning until he went off on McCarthy a little. McCarthy had some rotten luck in a couple of games -- allowing opposite field singles is not a character defect. The reason McCarthy doesn't go back down is he has nothing left to learn in AAA. His last stint there ended in utter domination.

1 comment:

Jeeves said...

I think everyone watching the game expected Joe Clutch to get a hit there. I guess that's what happens when your manager gets thrown out; no one knew how to handle the situation.