Once again, I'd like to thank my friends at Rock M Nation for this idea.
AJ Pierzynski—I'm going to separate him from the rest of the offense because he's been so good this year. He already has nine hits this year and picked up three hits and five RBI in today's game, including a two-run double in the third and a go-ahead, three-run home run in the seventh.
Basically, Pierzynski is locked in right now. This is the best stretch of hitting I've seen him have since the middle of 2006.
Boone Logan—I've been really impressed with what Logan has done in his two outings this year. It just looks like he's throwing with a lot more confidence than he had in 2006 and 2007–and if he can keep that up, don't be surprised if Logan develops into one of the better middle relievers in the league.
The offseason bullpen pickups—Both Octavio Dotel and Scott Linebrink looked great in their innings of work.
After giving up a leadoff bloop single Magglio Ordonez, Dotel retired the Tigers in order in the seventh, doing his best Jose Lima impression after striking out Ivan Rodriguez to end the inning.
Linebrink set down the Tigers in order in the eighth, with his fastball, curveball, and splitter looking especially good.
Outside of Dotel's poor performance against Cleveland on Opening Day, these two relievers have looked to be worth every penny.
Jose Contreras—When he finally was pulled from the game, my initial thought was "well, that was absolutely awful." Contreras went five-plus innings, gave up four earned runs on ten hits, four walks, and two wild pitches.
Every time Contreras dropped down and threw his fastball, it would tail back over the middle of the plate or just miss completely. His forkball was either missing four feet in front of the plate or hanging right down the middle, so hitters were able to sit on his fastball that usually ended up right down the middle.
If John Danks exorcised his demons from 2007 on Thursday, Contreras showed that those same demons were still with him on Friday.
The offense—Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that the team scored eight runs today.
However, they could have scored a whole lot more. The Sox left nine men on base, six of whom were in scoring position. There was a horrendous piece of baserunning by Joe Crede that kept the Sox from breaking the game wide open in the seventh, too.
So, while guys like Pierzynski, Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, Carlos Quentin, and Nick Swisher all had very good days at the plate, on the whole, this lineup could have scored more.
But, I guess beggars can't be choosers. I'll take eight runs any day.
Bobby Jenks—Jenks wasn't on his game today, but still managed to get his second save of the year without allowing a run.
With the tying run at the plate and two outs, Edgar Renteria hit a line drive to right that looked to be an RBI single, but Jermaine Dye made a spectacular catch that ended the ballgame.
I'd like to see Jenks throw more strikes, but he did pitch yesterday and it's never easy to throw back-to-back games with good control.
Next up: Gavin Floyd (NA) vs. Dontrelle Willis (NA), 2:55pm.
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