Juan Pierre just has never stopped boosting the morale of the White Sox clubhouse.
It used to be that his bobbles in the left field corner and his weak throwing arm was something that we tried to rationalize as a shortcoming that his speed and work ethic could overcome, but after watching him take center stage in both of the White Sox runs in a 2-1 walk-off win over the Marlins, it’s not clear why we ever bothered.
Allowed to pitch the ninth to get the aesthetic satisfaction of a complete game shutout and presumably to offer some rest to Addison Reed, Jake Peavy hung a slider to Dennis Dietrich, who golfed it to the right field seats for the second time in as many night, tying the game at 1. Yet the bulldog wasn’t deprived of his equally superficial pitcher win. Robin kept him in the game despite letting another batter on a walk and balking him over to second, and the White Sox offense–dormant most of the night–sprung into action. Dewayne Wise sprayed a liner down the left field line and cruised into second without challenge, since the left fielder was Pierre.
He then scored on the very next pitch as Conor Gillaspie sprayed another liner to left field. Joe McEwing immediately waved the defensive reserve outfielder home despite the fact that Wise was only rounding third when the left fielder brought the ball to his glove, because, again, the left fielder was Juan Pierre, who threw a hang glider a couple feet up first base line.
The only other tally for the White Sox, who seemed genuinely flummoxed by Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco–the rare commendable veteran on a rebuilding roster–came on an Alexei Ramirez double ripped down the left field line. Pierre’s throw was irrelevant in Alejandro De Aza scoring from first, but only because he had already bobbled the ball out of the corner.
The gentlemanly faux-error from our depilated old friend didn’t just allow De Aza to score easily, it also removed the sting of a second inning where the White Sox singled three times but failed to score because the first guy to single was the immobilized Paul Konerko.
Not to build up Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco into some sort of beast that Gilgamesh slayed in his youth, but in callously dismissing the Miami baseball franchise as a major league entity this season, it’s a bit shocking to run into a player who could pretty easily find a home on another team.
His catcher only has only theoretical knowledge of the Soviet Union, his third basemen might be familiar with what Russia was like pre-Soviet Union, but there was Ricky Nolasco out there on a Saturday night; pounding the zone, mixing in his curve and not getting punished on it and keeping things ready for the run support he surely knew would never come. He struck out six and walked none over 7.2 innings.
On the reverse side, Peavy did—well, did he dominate? Or was he simply not challenged until the eighth inning? Working at a pace that Mark Buehrle might give a restrained nod of approval to, Peavy didn’t allowed a runner to reach third base until Dietrich’s solo blast his complete game effort. The eighth inning only became testy because of the leverage of a 1-0 game with a runner on second. After getting worked over by Adeiny Hechevarria for his first walk of the night, Peavy was quickly ushered out of a situation with runners on first and second with one out by a lightning quick pop-out from Rob Brantly and an easy fly by, yet again, Juan Pierre. What a mensch.
Team Record: 23-24