White Sox 6, Indians 5: The Good, Bad, and Indifferent
After a leadoff walk to Grady Sizemore, Dotel retired Jamey Carroll, Ben Francisco, and Victor Martinez in order to shut down the Indians in the seventh and keep the Sox ahead by a run.
Dotel hasn't allowed a run in his last four appearances and now has an ERA of 3.32.
The 2-3-4 hitters
All the White Sox's six RBI came from AJ Pierzynski, Carlos Quentin, and Jermaine Dye in today's ballgame. Pierzynski was just 1/5, but he delivered a huge RBI double in the seventh that set up Quentin's go-ahead, two-run double off Rafael Betancourt.
Pierzynski and Quentin also added an RBI apiece on a groundout and sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Dye's solo home run in the fourth put the Sox on the board off Jake Westbrook. Dye also added another hit off the Indians' starter to go 2/4 on the game.
The 8-9 hitters
Joe Crede and Alexei Ramirez both picked up two hits apiece and started both the White Sox scoring rallies in the fifth and seventh innings by getting on base.
It was a hustle play by Ramirez that may have been one of the biggest plays of the game. With one out in the fifth, Quentin hit a shallow fly ball to rightfielder Ben Francisco. Ramirez, who has great speed, tagged up and got around Victor Martinez at home plate, just barely getting his hand on the base to bring home the White Sox's third run of the game.
I really like what Ramirez has done since taking over for the injured Juan Uribe. He's raised his batting average around 100 points since becoming the starter and brings a lot of speed to the bottom of the order.
When he starts to really hit consistently and fulfills his vast potential, the Sox are going to have a great player on their hands. Remember, he's only been a Major Leaguer for just under two months, and he's never played in the minors.
It would have been easy to put Jenks in the "indifferent" category for walking the first two batters of the ninth, but the fact that he was able to hold the Indians scoreless—when all they needed was one run to tie—really speaks to how good of a closer Jenks is.
Ryan Garko reached on a error by Crede and Grady Sizemore drew a walk to begin the ninth before Jamey Carroll bunted to put the winning run on second with one out. A single would have won the game, as Sizemore has good speed. And, to top it all off, the Indians had two of their hottest hitters coming up to the plate in Francisco and Martinez.
Francisco popped out to Paul Konerko on the first offering from Jenks and Ozzie Guillen went out to talk to Jenks, likely to ask him if he wanted to walk Martinez with first base open.
Jenks likely told Guillen that he could get Martinez—and he did just that, getting Martinez to pop out to Orlando Cabrera to end the game.
A lot of closers would have folded under that kind of pressure, but not Jenks. He made his pitches when he had to, and got the job done in huge fashion.
Nothing here. I could harp on Thome and Konerko only getting one combined hit, but the fact of this game is that the Sox didn't play their best game yet battled back to get the victory and take two out of three in Cleveland.
If the Sox can start winning series when they're playing bad baseball—like they did this series—it really speaks to the "fight" this team has. We've seen what happens when they play good baseball (see: last week's eight-game winning streak)...
Eat your heart out, statisticians. Floyd's BB/K ratio has been deemed an issue this year by many, so what does Floyd do today? He strikes out seven and walks none.
However, he allowed four earned runs in six innings of work.
Granted, Floyd was very good from innings two through five after allowing two runs in the first inning, in large part because of a throwing error that he made.
The sixth inning is what landed Floyd in the "indifferent" category, though. Floyd allowed back-to-back doubles to Victor Martinez and David Dellucci—granted, both were on balls that a mobile rightfielder would have cut off—but nonetheless, both balls were hit hard.
What really got me was the at-bat to Jhonny Peralta. Floyd quickly got ahead of Peralta 0-2 before leaving what looked like either a cutter or just a horrendous attempt at a breaking ball right down the middle for Peralta to nail for a two-run homer.
Either way, why Floyd didn't try to get Peralta to swing at a pitch out of the zone is beyond me. Peralta is hitting .225 with 42 strikeouts this year. It wouldn't have been that difficult to get him to reach for a curve or a fastball up or outside and get him to swing and miss or hit a ball weakly somewhere.
Floyd's final line was six innings, eight hits, no walks, seven strikeouts, and five runs (four earned). I don't think I'm alone when I say that I'd rather see Floyd walk four and strike out three but only give up two runs.
It certainly could have been worse for Floyd, but he also could have had a much better outing.
Although he kept his scoreless May intact, Linebrink needed a little help to do it.
Dellucci led the inning off with a high, deep fly ball to right that was caught by Dye on the warning track. The wind was blowing in, so the ball was certainly knocked down by that. Perhaps on a warmer, less windy day, that ball would have been gone for a home run.
Peralta was the next hitter, and he hit a rocket to the right of Joe Crede at third that looked to be destined for extra bases. However, Crede made a spectacular, full-extension diving catch to rob Peralta of a double—a play that, if it doesn't make "Web Gems" tonight, I will be firmly convinced that nobody at ESPN pays attention to the White Sox.
Linebrink then gave up a single to Michael Aubrey before getting Casey Blake to ground out to end the inning.
Maybe I'm just so used to Linebrink having dominant outings that I put him here. But if this is Linebrink's idea of a sub-par outing, then I think the Sox have a hell of an eighth-inning setup man.
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