On August 5, 2006 Javier Vazquez went 8 innings in Toronto for the White Sox and struck out 13 batters. Paul Konerko went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI and the Sox defeated the Blue Jays for the second game in a row. That was the last time such a thing occurred until 6 years later when Gavin Floyd pitched 5 stellar innings in front of a single rough inning to help lead the Sox to their second consecutive victory in Toronto.
White Sox (64-52): 9
Blue Jays (55-62): 5
The first pitch of this ballgame hit Alejandro De Aza. Feeling that he was put out there too soon, he was promptly TOOTBLAN’d and removed from the equation. Tough to swallow at the time, as Youkilis would follow with a base hit, but the run scoring would just have to wait an inning. In the 2nd, the White Sox argued my statement of 3 consecutive singles generally resulting in a run as A.J., Alexei and Dayan each grabbed hits. Dewayne Wise followed with his own single, one that was very nearly caught by Edwin Encarnacion and both A.J. and Alexei were able to score as a result.
Wise had another productive at-bat in which he drove a 2-run shot to right field, making him responsible for the first 4 Chicago runs. Floyd ran into trouble in the 6th, giving up a single, a ground-rule double and then a Kelly Johnson homerun that, combined with an unearned run from the previous inning, would tie the game. Gavin would exit after the inning, but he would be in line for the win thanks to a missile of 3-run HR by Adam Dunn and an opposite field shot for Dayan Viciedo.
On a day when Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game on the same field that Philip Humber accomplished the feat on in April, Humber entered his game from the bullpen on mop up duty, giving up a homerun and striking out two in his inning of work.
Plus: Tuesday a lineup was put out by Robin Ventura that was hoped would boost the offense a bit without relying on homeruns. It worked. With the lineup shifted a bit on Wednesday, the homerun stepped back in and won the game. Ventura is pushing all the right buttons, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense at the time. It’s much harder to second guess victory.
Minus: Harder to second guess victory, but not impossible. When Alejandro De Aza was picked off in the first inning, I got the feeling it would serve as an instant deflator of the Sox offense. As it turns out, full recovery was made, but the team has got to stop being so careless on the basepaths and steal bases selectively. As in, when there is more certainty about not getting thrown out.
Player of the Game
Dewayne Wise – .203 WPA