Alex Rios gets off the schneid and leads the Sox to their first victory of 2012. (Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE)

Alex Rios Comes Through in Sox Victory


Now that’s how you win a baseball game!

White Sox: 4
Rangers: 3

Alex Rios, you’re my hero. After a couple of weeks of trying to decide if I would spit on his carcass or simply kick it once he was booted from the lineup, Alex Rios has redeemed himself and purchased at least 10 games of me being nice to him. In a game in which the Sox seemed to be developing a hot potato lead personality (don’t you get caught holding that lead!) Rios came through in the 8th with a home run to lead off the inning that fought the wind just enough to elude a leaping Josh Hamilton and clear the fence, giving the Sox the lead for good.

With leads come save situations. Save situations! The White Sox world desperately needs to know who their closer is. For now, it’s Hector Santiago. There are no stone tablets in which Robin can etch who his 9th inning man’s name, so perhaps a lead tomorrow ends with Crain or another one of our closer candidates. The important thing is that Hector managed to get the job done in his first closing effort, but not without help. Leading off the inning, Mitch Moreland tossed a grenade into short center field that seemed destined to land in the middle of an Alexei, Gordo and Alejandro isosceles. Alexei, showing concentration and awareness made the sliding catch while avoiding the collision that often comes from such placement.

Depending on who you talk to, Jake Peavy looked awful or pitched pretty decently. The reality is both statements are probably right. He struggled a bit out of the gate but managed to make it through fairly unscathed and fell victim to a brief lack of defensive help. Officially, a “quality start”: 6 IP; 8 hits; 5K; 1BB and 3ER.

Plus: Alex Rios! That’s a game winning homerun, folks. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that. Adam Dunn looked good at the plate, continuing to allow me to believe he has turned it around. The Kool-Aid continues to taste good.

Minus: Alejandro De Aza made everybody sick with a diving attempt on what ended up being a triple for Ian Kinsler. Not that close to begin with, the dive caused the ball to roll to wall, allowing Kinsler 2 extra bases on what would have been a single if played on the hop. I suppose you have to lay out every now and then, sometimes it lands in the glove, but man, that didn’t even look close to me. Brent Morel put up another oh-fer, but maybe this should go on the plus side, as none of them were strikeouts.

The beginning of the season carries much more weight with the mindsets and overall attitudes of fans than it does in the actual season. 1 game is 1 game but it feels good to get that first win under the belt . I’m sure Robin Ventura will say the same thing, with much more eloquence.


Source: FanGraphs

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Tags: Adam Dunn Alejandro De Aza Alex Rios Brent Morel Featured Hector Santiago Ian Kinsler Jake Peavy Jesse Crain Josh Hamilton Mitch Moreland Popular Robin Ventura White Sox