Pitching Duel Doesn’t End Well For Sox
By Matt Adams
Jake Peavy only let up one run, a solo HR to Carlos Beltran in the 3rd inning, but when he left the mound after the 7th inning he was looking at a loss. Lance Lynn lived up to his record setting the Sox down one after the other striking out 12 batters in his 7.1 innings. Some scoring threats for the Sox would prove unproductive and frustrating as the Cardinals wound up on the plus side of a pitching duel.
White Sox (34-28): 0
Cardinals (32-31): 1
Hope would rise on a couple occasions for the Sox. In the 5th Alex Rios lead off by lining triple to left-center field. When the third out was recorded he was still standing there. Orlando Hudson chased Lance Lynn from the game with a single up the middle, only the third hit of the game yielded by Lynn. When Adam Dunn, who was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to a slightly sprained ankle, was called in to bat in the pitcher’s spot, a new hope arose. This hope was stamped out a bit more quickly than the Rios threat, as Dunn grounded into an inning ending double play.
A final threat arose in the 9th, courtesy of Alejandro De Aza, the pitcher’s mound, and Rafael Furcal. De Aza lined a ball back towards the mound and it took a carom that made it difficult for Furcal to play, allowing Alejandro first base. Gordon Beckham was then called upon to lay down the sacrifice bunt. The same Gordon Beckham who has been swinging the bat quite well for a good bit now. He laid down a “successful” one, and De Aza was able to move into second. Viciedo ripped a ball up the middle to follow which was smothered by Furcal. He was unable to make a play at first but he kept the tying run at third. A double play would again bring the threat to a screeching halt, and with it, the game.
Plus: Jake Peavy was solid in his 7 innings of work. He struck out 6 and allowed only 4 hits, unfortunately one of them left the ballpark. That’s the second time Jake’s given up just a single run to earn the loss.
Minus: Sacrifice bunting a runner from first to second lowers run expectancy. If you are playing for just a single run, it still lowers run expectancy. In order for the sacrifice bunt of a runner from first to second to be a play that moves your team in the right direction that batter has to be a below .200 hitter. Gordon Beckham is not that, even if his average does show something only a couple notches above that. It frustrates me to see an out get handed over like that. In the 9th inning, there are 3 of them left in the game, and one was simply given up, without threat, without argument.