Celebrating Alejandro De Aza's first career grand slam. (Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE)

When the Wind Blows


The night didn’t go quite as Cole De Vries had envisioned for his big league debut, I’m sure. It didn’t go the way Humber planned it either. The bats dominated this game, more specifically the long ball as the Sox and Twins combined to hit 8 homeruns on a night where the wind was gusting hard at U.S. Cellular Field.

Twins (15-29): 8
White Sox (23-22): 11

Philip Humber cruised into the 5th inning where he experienced some trouble that would render him unable to complete the frame. He would be charged with all 4 Twins runs in the inning, including a Joe Mauer HR that was only his second of the year. With Humber’s night ending so early the bullpen would step up and allow the Sox to take advantage of a live field. Exceptions being two blasts by Justin Morneau, the first of which were into the shrubs in center field.

The Sox end of the long ball party was started early by A.J. Pierzynski with a direct assist from the wind. He floated a fly ball up the right field line that never stopped floating. In the bottom of the 5th Alejandro De Aza thought he had one down the same line, but after an umpire review the HR call is reversed and Alejandro would end up striking out looking. He was not phased.

As the Sox trailed by one in the 6th, Paul Konerko lead off with dinger, bringing his batting average up to .384 by night’s end. Alex Rios made it a back-to-back to take the lead and after the bases were loaded, Alejandro De Aza exacted his revenge in the form of a grand slam to right center field. Dayan Viciedo would add a towering shot in the 8th and there you have it. A lot of wind in a live ballpark and good things can happen.

Plus: Maddux and Glavine will tell you, chicks dig the long ball. On a night like tonight Sox fans all dig it too. The power bats have been working a lot in the past week for the Sox. Let’s be that team that relies on the big blast to win games, I don’t mind.

Minus: On a night when we learned that we are going to be without the services of one of our starting pitchers for a short while, it’s not refreshing to watch Philip Humber fail to go deep into the game.

Tipping Point:
The Alex Rios HR that completed the back-to-back was worth a 17.6% shift in win expectancy, edging out his double earlier in the game which was worth 17.1%. Safe to say that Alex Rios had a good game.


Source: FanGraphs

Tags: A.J. Pierzynski Alejandro De Aza Alex Rios Cole De Vries Dayan Viciedo Featured Joe Mauer Justin Morneau Paul Konerko Philip Humber Popular Twins White Sox Will Ohman