Thursday, May 11, 2006

Game 33: Always look on the bright side (23-10)

Game 33 was a train wreck, with cup-of-java rookie knuckleballer Charles Haeger walking everybody (including the Angel batboy) in a short 4 1/3 inning, 6-run (5 earned) stint that led to his relief and his demotion. Brian Anderson hit a three-run bomb as the White Sox clawed and scratched back to 6-5, only to lose 12-5 after a six-run Angel ninth. The Angels put a major league lineup on the field for Haeger, their first in at least a week.

Vince Galloro jumps all over my pet peeve of bullpen thrashing this morning. I agree. McCarthy is pulled for Cotts after a double in the ninth and the White Sox having indulged in the current intentional walk fetish to put Guerrero on. Cotts smokes Garret Anderson. Now Ozzie goes and gets Jenks, who doesn't have it. The main reason he went to get Jenks was Salmon is righthanded, and he's playing match-up. When Jenks gives up a couple of runs, Ozzie goes and gets lefthander Matt Thornton to pitch to Robb Quinlan and Jose Molina, righthanders. This leads (predictably) to four extra runs, because Thornton is a true LOOGY, and shouldn't be allowed to pitch to righthanders with large platoon splits like Quinlan. Cotts, on the other hand, is not a LOOGY, and should be allowed to face righthanders as needed. ("Where have you gone, Jeff Nelson? Bridgeport turns its lonely eyes to you." Nah, doesn't work.)

There are some good things about this little fiasco. First, the White Sox made the Angels work to win a game where they were fortunate enough to face a jittery rookie with a wild knuckleball. Second, BA got two hits and generally has looked competent at the plate lately. Third, Haeger was apparently an emergency option while McCarthy was being "stretched". Maybe -- just maybe -- Ozzie will figure out that Jenks is best used to start innings, too! Getting back to 6-5 against Ervin Santana and Brendan Donnelly is an accomplishment, and the game situation forced Scioscia to use Shields and Rodriguez, which may (or may not) pay dividends in the future.

Tonight, Kelvim The Vengeful goes against Jon Garland. One presumes that if Kelvim hits AJ again, he'll get tossed, but MLB has been remarkably lax with appropriate warnings in the past. If they do give a warning, naturally they'll play kindergarten teacher and warn everybody, regardless of history.

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