Daily Archives: June 11, 2011

The White Sox have good utility players, too. Or: Fine, Brent Lillibridge, I will write a post about you, too.

First things first. We won today. It was a messy, messy game with a billion White Sox stranded on base and weird strike-outs and questionable calls (for both teams, from pretty much everyone but the guy at third), but we somehow pulled it out.

Brett Ballantini sums it up way better than I can:

We *still* can’t buy John Danks any run support, but between his quality outing, Jesse Crain forcefully closing the door (he didn’t get to slam it tonight, the strike zone that was randomly re-drawn for every pitch gave him some trouble), Ramon Castro continuing to be one of the best back-up catchers anywhere in the game, and Brent Lillibridge being, well, Brent Lillibridge, we didn’t get sucked back into the losing vaccuum. He legitimately robbed a go-ahead 2-run homer from Coco Crisp in the 8th.

Clearly, after my earlier post about the Blue Jays “super utility man”, Brent wanted to make sure that he wasn’t lost in the shuffle.

Another one for the highlight reel. As usual, click on the photo to watch the video.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but if he keeps this up (along with his speed on base and if he can cut down on the strikeouts a little), he’s going to be one of those guys that earns regular playing time by his ability to prevent runs, rather than score them.

But, again, a messy win is still a win. And, since Cleveland lost, but Minnesota and Detroit won, I’ll take it.

0.500, here we come! (Eventually!)

Go Sox!

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A Blue Jays interlude. Or: Some people really can (and will) do everything.

So, I have nothing to say about last night’s epic White Sox disappointment other than I am very glad that Detroit, Minnesota, and Cleveland all lost, too (only KC failed to lose, preventing the entire AL-Central from getting smoked yesterday).

And, in an effort to move on, I’m going to talk about something fun from the AL-East.

So, imagine that you are John Farrell – former pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox – and you are now the manager of the Blue Jays. And, it’s the top of the 9th and the Boston Red Sox are in Toronto and are leading your Jays 16 – 4 and they are beating the snot out of your pitchers: your starter only lasted 4 innings (giving up 9 runs), and you’ve breezed through pretty much the rest of your bullpen (giving up 7 more).

So, what do you do now? Obviously, you move your recently called up from triple-A utility infielder from second base to the mound.

(Clicking on the photo will take you to the clip @ MLB.com)

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love the utility players. I love watching someone busting their butt every time they get a chance to play, I love watching people show off what they can do when they’re put out in the action, I love watching people who are up for doing whatever they are asked to do, and, I have to admit, I also love when the entire game gets turned on its head like this – giving the devoted fans who stuck around to the bitter end, something to smile about today.

Way to go, Mike McCoy (who apparently only has to play 1B and catcher to hit every position on the field). Grabbing a double on a day where your team only managed 6 hits and you and your 60 mpH curveball & knuckleball threw the hot Red Sox lineup for a bit of a loop. 1.0 IP, 12 pitches with 9 for strikes, and a 0.0 ERA. You totally deserved that standing ovation.

This is one of the things I love about this game.

(Also: In other random highlights from today’s game:
My 2nd-fave Blue Jay (behind utilityman John MacDonald) Jose Molina showed off some awesome base-running as he slid into home with one of the smartest slides I’ve seen lately. You can tell that he’s always thinking like a catcher.

And, in other oddities from the game, if things weren’t going badly enough for the Jays, the home plate umpire started calling out people after 2 strikes. When things aren’t going your way, it’s hard to catch a break.)

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