Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sweep Nightmares: Game 133 Thoughts

Sox Lose 3-5 in 10 Innings.

The roller coaster ride continues for the White Sox and their fans. And considering the way the team won games 1 & 2 of this series, the descent should be much steeper than it is. Unfortunately Jeeves can't break out the broom pic cuz the 2006 White Sox have a fetish for The American Eagle, Iron Wolf, and Superman - Ultimate Flight. And I think I'm losing my lunch in the process.

Describing the team in another fashion, they're playing to the level of their competition. To wit, today they lost to a team that hadn't won a game on the road since July 18. You read that right: The Satanic Flat-Fish won their first road game in 44 days...against the White Sox...who're in a penant chase...with the Tiggers losing again and the Twinkies winning again. Errors and non-made plays ruled the day for both teams, GIDPs killed rallies, and general ineptitude on the offensive side of the ball killed the Sox today.

Ugh. (Sighs of exasperation abound.)

And now we get to visit Kansas City. You remember Kansas City, the 49-86 team that split a recent 4 game series with the White Sox at the Cell, the team that just took 2 out of 3 from the WC chasing Twinkies, the team that is 6-5 in it's last 11 games against the Sox, Twinkies and Oakland A's. For a team that's lost almosst twice as many games as it's won, they sure are playing pretty well against the big boys.

This game's surprise lay in the starting pitching. Anyone who thought Vazquez and Hammel would give up 2 & 3 runs respectively should purchase a lotto tricket. As for Javy's performance, he worked out of a 4th inning, bases-loaded jam nicely, allowing one run to score on a Greg Norton single. I wanna temper that mini-praise somewhat, however, by mentioning that on the next at-bat the Flat-Fish at 3rd failed to tag on what looked like a deep-enough fly ball to speghetti arm Nudnik. Javy also gave up the lead in the 6th inning, but it wasn't the usual Chernyobl-like meltdown we're accustomed to from Javy. He only gave up 1 run this time. But it did give up the lead so don't call the Cy Young engravers just yet. Watching his pitching a little closer today, I noticed him jamming the lefties pretty well, but he seemed to be pitching from behind all the time, a recipe for disaster for any pitcher even if it's the Satanic Flat-Fish. One more stat for Javy that we blogged during the game: ERA for RISP w/2 outs: 26.48!! That's some Jose Canseco-like pitching number.

This game's demise lay in the bad relief pitching for the White Sox. Previously reliable Matt Thornton gave up a HR to D. Navarro (no, not Carmen Electra's soon-to-be ex -- Hi, Carmen, call me!), but some bozo catcher with 7 career homers. What is it with the White Sox giving up homers to the Eddie Gaedel Allstars? And the supposed Sox wunderkind, Brandon McCarthy, got shellacked for 2 runs in the tenth. What was recently a strength for the Sox is steadily regressing to mean, and they can't rely on just Jenks and MacDougal. I can't believe that I'm thankful that Boone Logan is gonna be in the bullpen tomorrow, but that's what it's come to.

A quick note on the today's defense. It was, in a word: shoddy. A failed DP by Gooch and Gload led to the run in the 6th. AJ stumbled after a crucial popped-up bunt attempt in the 10th and failed to get to it. He also failed throw out Delmon Young on a trickling wild pitch in the 10th that by all rights shoulda been ruled a passed ball. The Flat-Fish were the catylists for the bad defense this whole series, and the Sox just had to prove they were better at poor picks, throws and catches.

Oh, and the White Sox had another runner gunned down at the plate. Joey Cora, you're the greatest!

Awards Time-------------------

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: Sticking to his lefty/righty matchup guns, Ozzie PH Mack in the 10th for BA instead of the slumping Pods. (Pods had another CS today. He needs to take lessons from JD.)

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: Pulling Javy after the 6th. Ozzie realized, maybe a game or 4 too late, when Javy is done, he's done.

Play of the Game: If Navarro's homerun didn't crush the team's spirit, it did mine.

Big Ups of the Game: MacDougal (he'll get a PotG one of these days) and AJ (for his clutch 2-out, 2-run HR after Paulie GIDP -- you don't pick up your teammates much better than that )

And my White Sox Player of the Game is ...........

Javy Vazquez (3)

6.0 innings and 2 runs is more than you can ask for even if it is the Satanic Flat-Fish

SOX RECORD: 78-55.......0.5 games up in the WC


Blogger Jeeves said...

I have a bad, bad feeling about our upcoming series against the Royales with Cheese. What, with our penchant for playing down to the competition and the Royales ability to dominate playoff contenders, this could be the series that buries our playoff chances...I know, I know, that's the worst case scenario, but I can't help but worry. The Sox did nothing to alleviate my fears by struggling against the D-Rays.

Some thoughts about the game...and thanks again, James, for covering.

I really can't fault Joey for getting Gload gunned down. I'm tired of having people pegged at the plate, but it wasn't a terrible call. There were two outs, and Gload was victimized by a perfect relay throw, and it still was close.

Gload did make a nice snag in the field, and we had two unconventional DP's. Uribe and Crede made grabs and doubled off runners at first.

Paulie is really struggling, and is showing off his prodigious ability to hit into DP's.

I was appalled to see Mack PH for BA. That made me angry.

8/31/2006 8:32 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

So Jeeves, you didn't think the defense was shoddy?

The pop up that Crede and Uribe didn't get to coulda been caught. The double that split BA and Nudnik was a play that BA got scared off from cuz of Pods, and I offer two proofs of that. (1) Who slides on a play like that in the OF? (2)On the next play between the 2 of them, BA wildly tried to wave off Nudnik to no avail.

Gload had the error, and a ball bounced thru Gooch's glove.

I just thought the defense was playing down to the competition.

8/31/2006 8:45 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

No, the defense was definitely shoddy. Just wanted to point out a few good things we did on defense and our knack for turning unconventional DP's

8/31/2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

My bad, I hope that didn't come off as confrontational and defensive.

8/31/2006 8:56 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

haha, no worries dude

8/31/2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Little update: The Twinkies acquired Phil Nevin from the Cubs today for cash and and a player to be named later.

So by my count, that's two players the Cubs organization has traded away to the 2 biggest rivals of the White Sox.

Think the Cubs wanna keep the Sox outta the playoffs just as much as the Tiggers and Twinkies do? (Although I'm not sure the Neifi trade was that good an idea. I read somewhere today that the Tiggers are 4-7 since acquiring Neifi. I hope Nevin gives the Twinkies the same kinda lift.)

8/31/2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

On more thing...DickdaStick: you're not allowed to attend potential sweep games anymore! Darn jinx!

8/31/2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger Jeeves said...

I wonder who is going to finish the year with the worst batting average among the starters. I don't think Brian Anderson is nearly the cinch he was at the beginning of the year. He's currently at .233 only 10 points behing Uribe who's at .243. In the distance is the free falling Pods who's at .259.

My money is on Uribe to finish with the worst AVG, unless he duplicates his performance from last year and gets scorching hot.

8/31/2006 10:18 PM  
Blogger DickdaStick said... lose to a team that has such a bad road record.

Pods looks TERRIBLE and as far as I am concerned, Paulie is definitely pressing and I think this " Captain" status is a burden he is carrying the wrong way.

Javy, for once, fought off his demons and conversely, Thornton found a demon.

and Delmon Young was the coolest tool in the place - looking like Ichiro with his "educated stick work " garnering 4 hits on the day and working them to all fields.

It ain't easy being a high-intensity fan ! You live and day each day...multiple times per day....mutiple times per inning !!!

That being said - it beats not having a team in the mix.

Contreras.....what will he do tonight ??.......could be anywhere from a 3 hit CG shutout, to being yanked in the 1st after allowing 4 quick runs and holding his arm in a bad way.....stay tuned to the next episode of" AS The Sox Turn "

9/01/2006 8:48 AM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

By the way...checking stats for the last 30 days we see Dye hitting .371, Gload hitting .353,
and Paulie, Crede, Thome and, YES, Anderson all above .300

Then there's mu buddy Pods hitting all of .209 with an OBA of an astronomical .270 and a slugging % of a Ruthian .242.

Love to see Mack, Gload or even a call-up take his place.

Pods was a detriment in the field - not covering his ground and even getting in Anderson's way when it wasn't Pods ball to call.

Pods is the biggest reason in my mind ( yes- bigger than the pitching ) for our lapses this year.

Our pitchers would feed off our better offense - if it was there.


9/01/2006 12:06 PM  

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