I always thought the saying was, “Home field advantage”. It has been anything but for the Sox this season, and it has gotten worse over the past 9 days. Their record at the Cell is already an abysmal 28-36, but now they are losing players as well. AJ Pierzynski, Phil Humber, and now, maybe, Carlos Quentin have been injured on this home stand. Quentin left the field on Saturday, favoring his left shoulder, after making a spectacular diving catch in the first inning against the Rangers. I read where the x-rays came up negative, but remember, Quentin suffered a left shoulder labrum injury back in 2007. It was an injury that took him quite a while to get over. Hopefully, it’s just a bruise, and he won’t miss too much time.
Maybe it’s just me, but I still think Ozzie Guillen’s non-verbal descriptions of players are hilarious. Tonight, he raised his hands about 8 inches apart, then brought them up and down over his head to describe Alex Rios–Tall and thin–obviously. Remember the 2002 World Series, he described Bobby Jenks non-verbally by putting a his hands at head level, and them bringing them out wide around his waist. Short and fat, got it.
Even with the injuries, the Sox have earned a split so far against the Rangers. In back to back nights, a Ranger has gone yard twice. Mitch Moreland got Jake Peavy twice on Friday, and Ian Kinsler got John Danks two more times on Saturday. The 7 runs charged to Peavy were the most runs he’s allowed this season. The 3 home runs were also the most he has allowed this season, as well. It’s been tough sledding for Peavy, who was once 4-1, and is now 5-6.
One problem the Sox have had this year is clutch hitting, and that problem reared its ugly head on Friday. Twice the Sox had a chance to do some damage with runners in scoring position, and less than 2 out, and each time they came up empty. That has happened over and over this entire season.
I am sure the frustration level is running high on the Sox. Alexei Ramirez got tossed on Friday, and it looked like Bill Welke was jonesen to heave Guillen on Saturday
If Kinsler didn’t play on Saturday, John Danks could have possibly thrown a shutout–haha. Kinsler hit Danks 2nd pitch of the night for a home run, and in his next at bat he saw 9 more before hitting his second.
I think you Sox fans have had your fill of Rios and Dunn as you booed each guy at different times on Saturday. Rios after he struck out with 2 on, and 1 out, and Dunn when he couldn’t hang on to Brent Morel’s throw in the 9th. Rios more than made up for the strike out by doubling home the winning run in the 8th.
With Phil Humber out a couple weeks, the Sox recalled Josh Kinney. In the spring, Kinney and Jesse Crain shaved their heads, and moved their lockers next to one another. It was funny, but real tough to tell the two apart. If Kinney pitches as well as he did on Friday, the Sox won’t care if he grows a mohawk.
All told, in the two days, Kinney and Crain combined strike out 7 guys in 4 innings of work. Kinney did get 6 of those in 3 innings, but the Sox pen just got stronger.
Tyler Flowers is looking more comfortable behind the plate every day. He stepped around Mike Napoli and gunned out Nelly Cruz on Saturday. Most impressive was Cruz had a huge jump.
Loved the Sox auction on Saturday. My favorite was the pitching lessons with pitching coach Don Cooper. I watched him work with kids in the spring, and the advice he gives, not just on pitching, but on life, was something to see. Cooper has a commanding personality and knows how to teach.
Story time: Late in the spring, the cameraman, Jeremy brought his nephew to a game. I always worry about that because I don’t want some weird, obnoxious kid, who will make us look unprofessional. Nile was far from that. He did have one request though, if he could meet Don Cooper. I guess Cooper went to his high school, and kids at his school looked up to him. We head over to the Sox clubhouse, but Cooper is no where to be seen. Right before we are about to leave, I decide to take him out to the back fields. When we get there, we see Cooper giving instruction to a few kids. After he finishes, I introduce him to Nile, and Cooper takes over. Finding out they attended the same high school, Cooper gets real animated and talks to Nile for about 20 minutes. He gave Nile advice on everything he asked, plus he told him to send him a message on his personal e-mail. I bet Nile talks about that to this day.
The Sox still trail the Tigers by 5 games, so every game is a must win. Gavin Floyd and Derek Holland go in tomorrow’s rubber game.