Saturday, September 16, 2006

Firing on One Cylinder: Game 148 Thoughts

Sox crash and burn 4-7

-So the Sox starting pitching is going well. We had another quality start. Javy Vazquez went 6 innings and gave up 3 runs. 5 bucks if you can guess what inning Javy gave up a 2 run homer. Actually, I take that back; that would be an awful bet, because he obviously gave them up in the sixth. 5 bucks if you can guess who hit that two out, two run homer. Actually, that's another silly bet. Who else besides Frank Thomas would pull that? Trend-wise that was a really predictable dinger. Two outs in the sixth against Frank; that's a recipe for disaster.

-The pitching is the only thing the Sox have going for them consistently. The offense has been sputtering for awhile, occasionally breaking out for a big score, but usally not putting up anything more than 4 runs. The bullpen has completely blown up. I'll get to them last, because it's just dreadful.

-Credit is due to the offense for giving the Sox the lead and putting the team in a position to win, but Sox left a ton of runners on base (21). The Sox managed 8 walks along with 9 hits, but scored a paltry 4 runs. JD supplied half of those when he hit a two run jack, and Sandy supplied the rest with a surprising single. It wasn't surprising because he got a single, but because he singled after Uribe and BA both got hits; the odds of those three getting back-to-back-to-back hits are really small.

-A very telling stat that DickDaStick pointed out...
Big Frank - 4 RBI's
Thome & Paulie - 0 RBI's

Thome right now seems to content to take the walk. I know that he has a good eye, but I would like to see him take a more aggressive approach to the plate.

-So Vazquez was pretty good. He started off perfect through the first 3 innings, and was pretty steady, but the bullpen let him down. Thornton came on to pitch the seventh. After giving up a two out walk to Kendall, Oz made the call to MacDougal to get the Sox out of the 1st and 2nd jam. Mac proceeded to allow a single, two walks, and 2 runners to cross the plate. Logan came on and walked a batter. Then Hermy came on and allowed run scoring single, before FINALLY closing out the inning. So we went from plus 1 to minus 3, a complete fiasco by the bullpen.

-Mac's performance raised his ERA around .60. Hopefully today was just the bad day he was long overdue for, and not something related to his ailing shoulder.
The rest of the bullpen's performance isn't as excusable. This isn't any where near the first time that they have cost us a game.

-The thing that drives me insane about the Sox is that they can never pull all aspects of the game together. We'll have a week where we're mashing the ball, but our opponents are matching us swing for swing. We'll have a week where the starters look like the '05 bunch, but the hitting can't muster enough runs and the 'pen can't hold onto a lead. We'll have a week where the bullpen is solid, but they get overworked because the starters can't do diddly. If we could get the whole team rolling we would be unstoppable. If each group got relatively hot, I'm confident we would roll into the playoff, but as things stand now, my confidence is failing fast. I've long been an optimist, and remain one, but we're slowing running out of time to find that next gear. I won't say "stick a fork in them yet" but they're getting dangerously close.

Onto the awards.......................................

Good Ozzie Move of the Game: I actually like going to MacDougal. It may not have worked out, but 9/10 he'll come in and close the door. If I were to call anyone from the 'pen, it would have been him.

Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: There were some moves I disagreed with, but I want to put this loss squarely on the players, especially the 'pen.

Play of the Game: Bases loaded, tie ball game, two outs, Big Frank at the plate. MacDougal doesn't attack him; instead he tries to nibble the corners with sliders and ends up walking Frank. The Big Hurt has potentially the best eye in baseball; there's no way he's going to go fishing in a spot like that.

Big Ups of the Game to JD and Sandy for brining some offense and to BA for the only multi hit game. Credit to Javy for pitching well and leaving the game with a lead.

Sox Player of the Game: I abstain.

Sox Record: 84-64

3 Comments:

Blogger jamesmnordbergjr said...

Give me JD for Sunday

9/17/2006 7:52 AM  
Anonymous D.T. Kelly said...

I'll take Konerko

9/17/2006 8:39 AM  
Blogger DickdaStick said...

I'll take Thome

9/17/2006 11:04 AM  

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