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April 26: White Sox 5, Rays 4

The White Sox pulled out another close victory on Friday night, bouncing Tampa Bay 5-4. Our Palehose have now won three straight, the longest win streak of the year. Let’s take a look at some of the game’s key elements.

 

UNLIKELY HEROES

Hector Gimenez, Tyler Greene (pictured above, H/T WhiteSox.com), and Conor Gillaspie. If I asked you who those three guys were back in January, you may not have known any one of them.  If I told you all three of those guys would homer in the same game this season, you probably would have laughed.

However, that was the case tonight, as all three players made a huge difference with their offense tonight. We’ve seen that Gillaspie has been a huge pickup thus far, and it looks like Gimenez is starting to swing the bat a bit in his limited playing time.

Greene will probably head back to the bench for tomorrow’s game, but it’s good to see him produce and hustle because it means Robin won’t hesitate to give guys like Keppinger, Alexei, and Gillaspie a rest more often.

TIRED ADDISON GETS IT DONE

It was very obvious that Addison Reed was a bit tired in the ninth inning tonight. Already having thrown the two previous nights, Reed ended up throwing 31 pitches tonight with a video review delay in there as well.

His command was nowhere near where it’s been.

However, he did what top-line closers to: he found a way. Is he a top closer already? Well, he’s perfect to start the season, and tonight’s really the first time he’s had any sort of trouble out there (and he even has a good excuse for that trouble).

He certainly has raised his game this season, and right now, should be mentioned in at least the top half of the league when it comes to closers.  With that said, I wouldn’t expect to see Reed tomorrow even in a save situation.

Closers very rarely go four straight games, and he was looking tired as it is.

PEAVY’S OUTING

Addison Reed was not the only Sox pitcher who didn’t exactly have his best stuff tonight, as Jake Peavy did not either. However, as we saw him do a ton last season, he found a way to pitch well without his best stuff.

We hear Hawk talk a lot about how Peavy’s “learned how to pitch” since coming over from San Diego. What he means by that is he’s had to really learn how to get by without the electric stuff he had with the Padres, as while he’s still running up some low-90s fastballs with sick movement, his stuff would not suggest that he’s overpowering.

Tonight’s outing is a perfect example of that, as while Peavy did not have his best stuff, he still managed to strikeout six in 6.2 innings and hold the Rays to three runs.

DUNN’S NEW OLD APPROACH

During Spring Training, we heard about how Adam Dunn was going to be more aggressive early in the count this season. Dunn and Jeff Manto’s thought process was that the big man was letting too many good pitches go by, and more aggressiveness could mean a jump in his average.

However, this backfired mightily on Dunn to start the season, and over the past three games, he’s noticeably gone back to being patient the past three games. The results: three walks on Wednesday, a home run last night, and two doubles to right today. Oh, and three wins for the team as well.


It will be Gavin Floyd on the bump tomorrow taking on the highly touted Matt Moore, who is off to a 4-0 start this season with an ERA below two.

Tomorrow is also Harold Baines bobblehead night at the ballpark, which means my Dad will be going to add to the family’s bobblehead collection (which exceeds 100, not kidding). Let’s hope the Sox do it for their bench coach on his night and extend this streak to four, as the games are much more fun to watch this way. 

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