Sunday, April 25, 2004

Sox walk to victory

There's no way the White Sox should have won today's game. They were pretty much outplayed all game, with Tampa Bay showing some excellent defense. The White Sox also showed little with the bats all game, except for Willie Harris' baltimore chops - the second of which he turned into an out by getting thrown out stretching.

There were some weird moves by Guillen in the 9th inning. Thomas leads with a single, Carlos walks him to second. Now, Frank's run means nothing (he's the 4th run), so I can understand him not being pinch run for. Carlos gets picked off on the old block-the-base play (which is frustrating if you're the runner, believe me, I know, but a legit play) and Paulie singles Frank to third. Ok, now you've got Joe Crede up with one out and runners on the corners. Since Paulie is the tying run, it make a lot of sense running for him. But Ross Gload? Simply because he'll go out to first base? That doesn't make sense, with relatively speedy Timo Perez on the bench. So the Sox lose Gload's bat off the bench. Crede chokes a bit, but Tampa Bay's SS bails him out by throwing to first, not second, meaning that Frank scores and Gload goes to second.

Then Guillen brings in Timo to pinch hit for Rowand. If I'm Lou Piniella, I'm happy with this matchup, because Timo is a terrible hitter, and has been hitting terribly thus far this year. Sweet Lou bails Guillen out halfway, because he brings in a lefty to face Timo. Guillen counters by sending heavy-hitting Kelly Dransfeldt to the plate. Now, that's not a bad matchup for Piniella, either.

But the Sox were dealt with a bit of divine revenge for Mendy Lopez's gratuitous three run homer on Opening Day, as Dransfeldt gets a hit to right. The play at the plate is excruciatingly close- Gload gets under the tag, and the call could have gone the other way. If it had, the decision to run Gload instead of Perez would have loomed large. Thankfully, it didn't cost Guillen this time. But he put the Sox in a couple of different positions that gave Tampa Bay an advantage (running Gload, pinch hitting Timo for Rowand) where he got bailed out. He won't always get bailed out.

By the way, what a way to win - Miguel Olivo, Willie Harris and Juan Uribe all walk consecutively. Mark that down - it won't happen again this year.

Carlos Lee now has 9 walks - he's still getting on base despite his slump. Good for you, Carlos! (his pace is now for 81 walks this year).

I thought Joe Crede would come out of his slump with his 2-hit, homer performance against Mussina on Thursday. No such luck. Here's hoping you come out of it, Joe, whatever it takes.

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