Saturday, 31 May 2008

Notta lotta hits

Chicago White Sox 5 - Tampa Bay Rays 1
Chicago White Sox 1 - Tampa Bay Rays 2

7 hits on Thursday and 6 hits yesterday isn't much to show from the first two games against the White Sox, but fortunately, thanks to some battling performances, and the first run scored against the Chicago bullpen in 30 or so innings we did at least manage to win one of the two games.

The White Sox, like they were when we faced them earlier in the season, are a tough opponent. Possibly the toughest we've come up against so far. John Danks pitched a great game on Thursday, with only an RBI-single from Carl Crawford blotting his copybook. Even four stolen bases (three by Jason Bartlett couldn't get the offense going). Edwin Jackson pitched ok - he kept the team in the game for six innings, but certainly wasn't at his best.

It was a similar story last night as well, with James Shields on the hill. Definitely not at his best, Shields did what he has done all year - battled hard, and refused to get bullied. It says volumes that despite needing double plays to get out of big jams in the second and third, he kept fighting, and only gave up a solitary run, a long ball to Alexei Ramirez in the fifth. The double plays were just another demonstration of our great defense, and it when you play great defense, you start getting the breaks in the field as well. Take an AJ Pierzynski pop-up in the fifth. Aki, Bartlett and BJ Upton all drifted towards it, but all of them just stood and watched as it dropped between them. Fortunately, Evan Longoria was awake enough to move across the cover second, so when BJ saw Pierzynski heading that way, he could just pick the ball up and toss it to Evan to get the out.

After Shields left the game, Al Reyes, JP Howell and Dan Wheeler followed with a scoreless inning each, sending the game into the bottom of the ninth tied at 1. Scott Linebrink came in to pitch for the Sox, facing Cliff Floyd leading off for the Rays. He never got to face another hitter, as Floyd deposited the second pitch over the fence in left-centre, for a walk-off homerun, the Rays fifth walk-off win of the year.

It moves us back to 11 games over .500, at 33-22, and keeps the gap over the Red Sox in the East at 1 game. Tonight, looking to keep up the pressure is Scott Kazmir, who faces Javier Vazquez in what I think should be a pretty exciting matchup.

No comments: