The White Sox were able to come away with a well-earned win on Tuesday night, preventing the start of another losing streak and getting the series with the Twins even at one game apiece.
It was a game where we saw the Sox respond, as our Southsiders tallied two in the eighth after the Twins tied the game at 2-2 an inning earlier. Let’s take a look at what happened …
It feels good to actually be able to put that heading, as we all know instances of clutch offense have been few and far between this season. However, the Sox were able to string hits together tonight at the most opportune time.
A “hustle double” by Dewayne Wise started things off in the top of the eighth with the score tied, and Tyler Flowers followed that with a double of his own down the left field line. After that, Robin Ventura elected to sacrifice bunt (GASP!) with Alejandro De Aza, which he executed perfectly. Alexei Ramirez then promptly singled in Flowers from third.
The eighth inning tonight was exactly the kind of baseball good teams play consistently. While the Sox struggled to move guys along in the early part of the game, they came through in the clutch tonight. Let’s hope they can just get that key component of consistency down pat now…
It was just another typical start for the Jakemeister: seven innings, five hits, two runs, six walks, no strikeouts. All that adds up to his fifth win on the season, as unlike last year, he’s getting the run support and NOT giving up the untimely runs that our very own Zach Gropper pointed out about 10,000 times to us last year.
What amazes me more than anything with Jake, though, is his pinpoint control. Peavy’s K/BB ratio after tonight is now an astounding 6.38, good for fifth in the American League (tied with Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma) and the best in Peavy’s career by a wide margin. If he keeps throwing strikes at this rate, he’s not going to slow down.
Also, Peavy had to pitch over a couple instances of bad luck tonight. The first was in the fifth, when home plate umpire Jordan Baker missed Flowers’ tag on Justin Morneau. Although Flowers made matters worse by looking at the umpire instead of finishing the play, apparently, Morneau was tagged (I didn’t see the same angles the Sox beat writers saw on the Twins telecast, but I will take their word for it haha).
Also, Adam Dunn had an Alexei Ramirez throw literally go through his glove! Peavy pitched through it all, though, and gave the team a big performance.
Bullpen Continues to Dominate
Man, if the White Sox can just get late game leads more often, it looks like they have nothing to worry about with Jesse Crain and Addison Reed back there.
Both of these guys have been automatic this season, and they once again sealed the deal tonight. Crain and Reed are doing a fantastic job of getting the most important pitch in baseball to happen for them on the first pitch: strike one. They’re getting ahead of almost every hitter, and when you do that, you are in pretty good shape!
Small Steps for the Defense
In case you have not heard, Robin Ventura held a full-fledged team defense session three hours before first pitch today. The players were in full uniform for it as well, and Hawk Harrelson said during the telecast that he hasn’t seen a Sox skipper do that since Tony LaRussa.
How did the team take it? Well, Adam Dunn told reporters they were “100 percent on board” with the idea, and the team was a bit better on defense out there tonight. Dunn himself did commit and error, albeit a flukish one that really could have happened to anybody.
Also, Wise overthrew a cut-off man in the seventh, which luckily didn’t hurt the Sox as Trevor Plouffe stayed on first base. However, the team had a shot to get Plouffe out on the same play in a rundown, but nobody covered first base.
Were there a few miscues tonight on defense? Yes, but hey, two is a heck of a lot less than we’ve seen recently, right?
Baby steps …
The Rubber Match
Dylan Axelrod, still looking for his first win, will oppose Mike Pelfrey in tomorrow afternoon’s series finale. It’s a 12:10 first pitch, as Minnesota seemingly always elects to have those noon start times for weekday afternoon games instead of the traditional 1:00 p.m. ones.
With it being a day game after a night game, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Hector Gimenez behind the dish despite Flowers having a nice game at the plate tonight. Also, it will be interesting to see if Paul Konerko is in the lineup, as the Capitan has been given a “mental break” these past two contests.