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!
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