Results tagged ‘ Jake Peavy ’

Tough, Tough Loss

The game last night was very winnable. Adam Dunn even homered to give the Sox a 2-0 lead, A.J. Pierzynski even threw out a runner at second base and Paul Konerko smashed a two-run homer to tie the game at 4-4.

But a name from our past, Wilson Betemit, reared his ugly head (nothing personal, Wilson) and singled in the eventual winning run and the hope of defeating Justin Verlander for the second time in a row went by the boards. For the record, Betemit is a guy who was horrible in his short stint, both at bat and on defense, on the South Side but as an opponent has owned Sox pitching.

I guess it just wasn’t to be as Jake Peavy weakened as the game went on and Matt Thornton couldn’t retire Betemit when he need to in the eighth. But even if Thornton had retired him, who knows if the Sox could scored the deciding run. We’ll never know.

So, no sweeping the Tigers, but a series victory is a must if the Sox are to keep pace with the division leaders. Especially with the Red Sox, Yankees and Twins looming.

Sox Note of Note:  Charlotte outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who is hitting .322, was pulled from his game last night. It has led to speculation that some kind of deal is in the works as we’re days away from the trading deadline. No official word yet.

It’s the Offense, Stupid!

Some may point to the fact that Jake Peavy was off of his game last night, giving up five runs, six hits, a pair of walks and a crucial two-out, two-RBI single to journeyman catcher Matt Treanor in six innings of work.

But the truth is that it was the offense that has to bear the bulk of responsibility for last night’s 5-3 loss to the Royals. It wasn’t about getting on base, but rather the season-long problem of clutch hitting. The Sox collected 13 hits and a pair of walks, but stranded 13 runners. The math is simple: if just three of those runners had crossed home plate, the loss would have been a victory.

As Ozzie said after the game, “We’re so unpredictable…We struggle with people on base, and like I preach, we have to get better than that. We need big hits…”

Paul Konerko again was the center of the offense, going 3 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs. And A.J. Pierzynski (3), Omar Vizquel (2), Juan Pierre (2) and Carlos Quentin (2) had multiple hit games, but only Quentin drove in a run. With Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez out of the lineup, Adam Dunn, Brent Lillibridge and Gordon Beckham went 0 for 13 with seven strikeouts.

Remember what Ozzie said: “We have to get better than that.”

White Sox Win Juan

For a while it looked like…well, it looked like the same movie we’ve seen a million times. Pitching that keeps us in the game and wasted opportunities by an underachieving offense.

But today, in the rubber game of the series vs. the Rockies, it was a different theme. It was, in short, a satisfying come-from-behind extra inning 6-4 victory. A far cry from the tough and controversial loss in the opener.

Down 4-1 heading into the seventh inning, the Sox scored one in the seventh, two in the eighth to tie the game and two in the 10th to take the lead. Sergio Santos pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save. He was preceded by starter Jake Peavy, who settled down after allowing a three-run, first inning homer to Troy Tulowitzki, and Will Ohman, Chris Sale and Jesse Crain, who each pitched a scoreless inning.

Two of the most maligned White Sox were today’s heroes. Juan Pierre went 3 for 5 with three RBI, including the single that bounced off the right field wall to score the fifth and sixth runs in the 10th. Gordon Beckham went 3 for 3 with a walk, homered and drove in a pair.

Sox are now 40-42 and remain four games in back of the division lead as they head into Wrigley tomorrow for a three-game series with you know who.

Good News: Sox Win…Bad News: Danks Hurt

You have to give the Sox credit.

They found themselves facing the most unenviable of positions tonight after losing John Danks to an oblique strain after 1 2/3 innings. There they were needing to fill  the remaining 7 1/3 innings  a day after the entire bullpen was used in the 14-inning marathon defeat.

But survive they did as the combination of Brian Bruney (2 1/3), Jake Peavy (4) and Sergio Santos (1) had Danks’ back and shut out the red-hot Nationals, 3-0. Peavy improved his record to 4-1, allowing just one hit and striking out seven  For the record, it was his first major league relief appearance.

The run the Sox scored in the first on a Carlos Quentin sac fly was all the South Siders needed. But they tallied two insurance runs in the eighth on a Ramon Castro single to breathe a little easier.

The Sox were unsure of Danks’ status following the game. He will very likely have to go on the DL, in which case a reliever will be added with the club going with the conventional five-man rotation.

The White Sox go for their 18th consecutive interleague series win tomorrow with Phil Humber on the mound.

Sox Rainy Day Notes and Quotes…

 

Peavy will do what it takes

There is no “i” in team and apparently no “i” in Jake Peavy.  Before last night’s postponement, the Sox injury-plagued righthander said the following about his pending return from the DL:

“We’re sitting here talking about me coming back, and I’m telling Don Cooper and these guys, ‘I’ll do whatever needs to be done.’”  If I need to go to the bullpen and help out there, we have five starters doing their thing. I certainly think I can be a leader in the rotation as well and be as good as these guys have been. But I’ll do whatever it takes because there is no weak link right now on this team. We’re swinging the bat offensively. We’re starting to catch the ball and play fundamentally a lot better than we did early in the year.”

What do KW and Ozzie think? Word is that they think it’s too early to make the call.

 

You knew someone would bring it up and who better than Ozzie?

After all those years playing in what was a house of horrors for the White Sox, the skipper put it all in perspective:

“Where’s the Metrodome when you need it?” Ozzie, of course was referring to the fact that last night’s game wouldn’t have been called if the Twins still played indoors.

Finally, something positive for the Sox to say about the Twinkiedome.

 

Here and there…

No makeup date has been determined for the rainout…Gavin Floyd and Carl Pavano will still be the starters…Jesse Crain, an important Twins contributor for several years, is making his first trip back to his former baseball home since joining the Sox…Ozzie on Brent Lillibridge: “Can he show us he can play every day? Well, that would be nice. If you can produce very day, I’ll get you the shot. But, right now, we have to wait and see”…KW on Dayan Viciedo: “It would be awfully interesting to have him in this lineup. He’s ready. He’s obviously got some things he still needs to work on, but I would have no qualms about bringing him here.”

Go Figure…

    After dropping two of three in Texas, three of four in Toronto and looking like a team playing itself out of the divisional race, facing a sizzling Red Sox team at Fenway Park seemed to be the last thing the White Sox needed.
    But baseball is baseball and there’s no explaining some things–like the South Siders’ 7-3 victory over Boston last night where they clocked Red Sox ace Jon Lester for all seven runs. Even more puzzling might be that the Chicagoans have now defeated the Red Sox for the fifth straight time on the road and have won 11 of the last 13 overall against them.
    “It was a big win for the boys,” said the rejuvenated Jake Peavy, who headlined the list of heroes, getting his second victory of the season by going seven innings, allowing three runs, six hits without allowing a walk. A big win indeed after the Toronto debacle as the Sox inched to 8 1/2 games behind the first place Indians.
    Joining Peavy on the highlight reel were Alexei Ramirez (a single, double and two RBIs), A.J. Pierzynski (two singles and two RBIs), Paul Konerko (a homer, his 11th, and a single) and Carlos Quentin (a single and two RBIs).
    What it proved, at least for one night, that the Pale Hose can still get a clutch hit or two or three.
Sox Note of Note: For those of you who missed it, the Sox reached down to Charlotte for some bullpen help, recalling major league vet Brian Bruney and Jeff Marquez, the former Yankee farmhand who is still trying to somewhat justify the Nick Swisher trade. In corresponding moves, Dallas McPherson was designated for assignment and Lucas Harrell, brought up over the weekend to replace the DL’d Tony Pena, was returned to the Knights.

Peavy’s Gem: I Never Saw it Coming

I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming. I was just hoping Jake Peavy, in only his second start of the season, could pitch well enough for the Sox to stay in the game against Indians ace Justin Masterton.

Stay in the game? He was the game.

Peavy was dominating last night. He pitched a complete game, three-hit shutout against a potent Tribe offense and made a first-inning Adam Dunn sacrifice fly hold up in the 1-0 victory.

It’s hard to say how much impact this will have on the Sox, now six games under .500 and nine games behind Cleveland. It’s one thing for Peavy to hurl this gem, it’s another for him to stay healthy and become the club stopper. And then there are the myriad other issues.

There’s the inconsistency from the rest of the staff–for example, the winless John Danks, the maddening inconsistency of Edwin Jackson and the up and down mound personality of Gavin Floyd.  Will Alex Rios, Gordon Beckham and Juan Pierre turn things around and will Dunn match his power numbers from recent years? And though the bullpen seems to be shaping up with Sergio Santos as the closer, I’m still nervous when I see Matt Thornton warming up in the bullpen.

I don’t want to diminish Peavy’s spectacular effort, it was a sight to behold. But the truth is that there are still many questions that need to be answered.

We Need More Nights Like This

uYNIgGIU.jpgDuring the course of the long baseball season, certain games stand out as being more memorable, more significant or both. For a variety of reasons, we know last night’s 10-inning, come-from-behind White Sox victory over the Angels was memorable. Our hope is that as the season moves on, it will hold a great deal of significance as one of the key moments in the Sox turnaround.
Why was last night so memorable?
–It was Jake Peavy‘s 2011 debut as he pitched six innings, allowing four runs and seven hits along with zero walks and four strikeouts. No one could mistake him for Roy Halladay or even the Peavy of old, but considering the circumstances the effort should certainly be considered a success.
–The Pale Hose completed their second consecutive West Coast series victory.
–The Sox were able to rally for two in the ninth and two in the 10th to chalk up the “W” when all seemed lost–something that hasn’t been done much in this young season.
–We witnessed a rarity in the 10th inning as the winning run scored from third on a wild pitch as Angel pitcher Kevin Jepsen was intentionally walking Paul Konerko with runners on second and third.
–Being at the plate during the intentional walk/wild pitch in the 10th was only the beginning of an inning for the ages for Konerko.  It started with the walk and continued as he proceeded to steal second base (who, Paulie?). In the bottom of the frame, he made a spectacular leaping catch off the bat of Maicer Izturis for out No. 2 (who, Paulie?) and ended the game with a behind-the-back toss to Matt Thornton on a bunt by Torii Hunter (See photo above of Konerko and Thornton having a laugh over it). It undoubtedly brought to mind Mark Buehrle‘s award-winning between-the-legs play last season and prompted A.J. Pierzynski to joke, “Konerko had the best five minutes of his life.”
–In that Thornton recorded the last out in a 6-4 game, it’s obvious that he got credit for the save. But let me underscore that: the 2010 All-Star actually recorded a save after three losses and four blown attempts.
Adam Dunn continued to climb out of his early season hole by smashing a homer and a double and reaching base five times.
Sergio Santos continued his year-long Mariano Rivera imitation as he pitched two scoreless innings. His ERA remains at 0.00.
The South Siders are still eight games under .500, 9 1/2 games behind the first place Tribe and their winning percentage is better than only the Twins and Astros. But I’m enjoying this victory as much as any other this season and hoping it’s a sign of good things to come.

Danks Down, Peavy Up

59912119.jpgEntering this season, one of the questions I had was, “Can John Danks take another step forward to become a dominating, All-Star caliber pitcher?”
Although Danks has looked good at times (inconsistency has always been his Achilles Heel), he has now fallen to 0-6 as a result of his subpar performance last night in the 6-2 loss to the Halos. It’s especially disheartening in that the loss ended the Sox momentum at three straight wins.
Danks’ disappointing effort came on the heels of Ozzie‘s official announcement that for the next 20 games the Sox will go with a six-man rotation. It accomplishes at least three things: 
1. It makes room for Jake Peavy
2. It keeps the surprising Phil Humber in the rotation
3. It will give some extra rest to the other pitchers, especially Mark Buehrle
The “new look” pitching staff debuts tonight with Peavy making his first start of the year. It’s a key game, providing an early indication if the former Cy Young Award winner can have an impact as well as giving the opportunity for the Sox to win their second straight series on the West Coast.

Sox Math: Three is Better than Two

61489438.jpgWith a season high three straight victories, Sox fans can begin to take the bags off their heads and start to believe there might be a season after all.
While we’re hardly out of the woods, Carlos Quentin‘s 3 for 4, 5 RBI night that included a three-run homer, Gordon Beckham‘s 2 for 4 with a two-run blast, two-hit nights from Alexei Ramirez and Adam Dunn and seven shutout innings from Edwin Jackson in an 8-0 victory over the Angels will do that to the faithful.
Apart from the recent winning streak, the big news is that Jake Peavy will make his debut on Wednesday. What he can contribute and what it does to the surprising Phil Humber is anybody’s guess. Could some semblance of a six-man rotation be forthcoming?
BASEBALL IS A FUNNY GAME:  Last year during spring training converted infielder Sergio Santos‘s future was uncertain. However, after an impressive spring on the mound he made the ballclub–a moment emotionally captured by MLB Network cameras for the series, “The Club.”  Now, a year later, he is the club’s unofficial closer and has yet to give up a run in 2011. He gave up nada during the spring and has yet to be scored upon in 15 1/3 innings of the regular season. it’s a bit early to think about All-Star Game selections but Santos, along with Paul Konerko, have to be the favorites to represent the White Sox. Just think, an All-Star candidate for the A.L. pitching staff who was a shortstop and third baseman just two short years ago.
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