For all intents and purposes, the Chicago White Sox played themselves this week.
There were runners stranded everywhere, sporadic (at best) offense, and failure to execute in the clutch. The fact that the White Sox squeaked out 2 wins in the last 3 games is, again, a testament to our pitching – and possibly the random nature of the universe.
However, kudos to the bullpen. I’m pretty sure that when we went into this series, no one was going to expect Ohman to grab a loss, followed by wins for Bruney and Crain. The deciding run came in the 13th inning, the 9th inning, and the 10th inning in each of these games.
I had the Colorado feed for the first 2 games of this series. I’d bet good money that the people who work for Roots Sports in Colorado haven’t been watching the White Sox this year. Firstly, they seemed surprised when we didn’t score with runners in scoring position, they were impressed with the number of double plays that the Rockies were able to turn, and seemed to not realize that Juan Pierre has been struggling of late.
However, it turns out that Juan Pierre really likes playing in Colorado, going .500 for the series and missing a grand slam by about a foot below the top of the RF wall (seriously. Juan Pierre. there aren’t even words for the surrealness of this.) – but still managing to drive in three clutch RBIs today.
Also of note, we started the game with a Sunday afternoon lineup on a Thursday. Aside from Omar, who has historically hit very well against Aaron Cook, it seemed as though the rest of the lineup was pulled out of a hat – with Quentin, Konerko and AJ (who combined for all of our RBIs and 3/4 runs from the win yesterday) on the bench.
Jake Peavy had a relatively good outing, aside from the first inning, but certainly not as good as his relief appearance the other day. Juan Pierre likes playing in Colorado, but Adam Dunn went from striking out to grounding into 2 double plays. And, when we were down by 4-1 in the 7th, it seemed like the lack of offense had the writing on the wall. However, when we squeaked up to 4-2 (Gordon Beckham finally had a good offensive day), the regulars started sneaking into the lineup and the day started looking up.
- Original Line-Up –> Final Line-up
- 1. Juan Pierre LF
- 2. Omar Vizquel 3B –> Mark Teahen 3B
- 3. Adam Dunn 1B –> Mark Teahen 1B –> Paul Konerko 1B
- 4. Alex Rios CF
- 5. Mark Teahen RF –> Brent Lillibridge RF
- 6. Alexei Ramirez SS
- 7. Ramon Castro C –> AJ Pierzynski C
- 8. Gordon Beckham 2B
- 9. Jake Peavy P –> (Carlos Quentin) –> Will Ohman –> (Brent Morel) –> Chris Sale –> Jesse Crain –> Sergio Santos
What it boiled down to in a nutshell was: We used everyone on our bench and by the end of the day, our lineup looked more like a Friday night line-up. This series started out with the bullpen olympics followed by the utility-player hoedown and somehow, we ended up scraping wins 2 out of 3 days.
It was weird and it was messy, but we’re scuffling right now, so I’ll take it.
Now, back to the North Side and, well, at least the Cubs went extra-innings today, too. But, someone should probably send bottle of Aleve, a case of Red Bull and a massage therapist over to the White Sox bullpen, just in case.
One response to “Squeaking out a series win. Or: The Bullpen Olympics and the Utility-Player Hoedown.”
That bit about the Rockies folks not seeing much baseball, that’s pretty funny… because it’s so true. Watching the Sox this season has been a struggle for me because they’re SO FRUSTRATING. Great pic of JP by the way… he definitely looks lost in that pic.