Jake Peavy got himself an extra day of rest and some sunshine for his fourth start of the year. I’m not sure if the umpire crew shifted their rotation but a pitcher-friendly day behind the plate by C.B. Bucknor kept the game moving and Jake took advantage.
Alejandro De Aza launched a lead-off HR off of Vance Worley in the 1st, but the White Sox offense wouldn’t do anything else all game. The Twins didn’t threaten any real trouble until the 3rd beginning with a Brian Dozier single and Joe Mauer walk. Josh Willingham singled Dozier home and Peavy stood on the mound with a 3-1 count to Justin Morneau. A curveball got Morneau to pop out, and it didn’t seem too difficult for the bulldog to punch out Chris Parmalee to get out of the inning and out of trouble.
After that Peavy got back to the business of ringing up Twinkies. And without much success swinging, the Twins decided to try something different. Pedro Florimon attempted to bunt for a hit, leading off the fifth, but he popped it up and Jake corralled it. Dozier followed with a bunt of his own, this one perfectly laid down the line and a success. It wasn’t worth anything more than a handful of points on his batting average and me saying “wow, great bunt.” The White Sox pushed the issue a bit in the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Flowers reached on a well-placed pop fly, but was eventually thrown out stealing on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play, presumably a botched hit and run. There are not “hit and run situations” so much as there players in particular places at particular times in which you think that a hit and run might be a good idea. Robin Ventura has had some trouble with the difference.
After 95 pitches, 6 innings and 7 strikeouts for Peavy was showing the signs of exhaustion, but he came back out for the 7th and Robin was able to squeeze one more quality inning out of him. 7 innings of 1 run ball with 9 strikeouts to go with 6 hits and 4 walks for Peavy on the day. We even got to see a, “Robin visits the mound, Peavy yells a lot and stays in anyway.” Worley pitched through 7 himself, matching the 1 run allowed and struck out 7 of his own.
Relief was sent in the form of Matt Lindstrom for the southsiders, he issued a walk to Parmelee and the Twins moved him into scoring position in exchange for an out. Enter Donnie Veal. Another walk issued, and exit Donnie Veal. Nate Jones came on and loaded up the bases with yet another base on balls, this one to Aaron Hicks. The entire relief core was saved by a diving stab by Conor Gillaspie at third, who popped up to make the throw home to force out the go-ahead run. Brian Dozier then got Paul Konerko’s cardio in for the day flipping a foul pop up the first base line that Paulie was able to motor to before it reached the ground.
The 9th inning appeared to be on the same course when Jesse Crain walked Joe Mauer to lead off the frame. That would be the only one in the inning though, as Crain and Matt Thornton teamed up for an uncomfortable but ultimately successful inning. As the game headed to extras, Hector Santiago came in and managed not to walk the lead-off hitter. Unfortunately he served up a double to the eye-less Ryan Doumit, who would score on an error by Alexei Ramirez, and the White Sox were unable to answer in the bottom of the 10th. Ventura made another horrible mistake and pinch hit Hector Gimenez for Jordan Danks against Glen Perkins. I understand the platoon advantage, but you can’t ignore the quality of the hitters involved – although Ventura loves to ignore personnel and just looks at the situation.
Today was a game with all of my pet peeves: getting dominated by a mediocre pitcher, the White Sox offense being completely anemic, Adam Dunn chasing pitches out of the zone, and Robin Ventura continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again without ever learning from them.
White Sox (7-10)