My observations after 4 games between the Sox and the Baltimore Orioles.
Hector Santiago is young, and may very well make a great closer. However, the home run ball is, and will continue to, hurt him. 4 innings pitched, 3 home runs allowed. That isn’t gonna work. When he is on, he is on, but because he doesn’t throw all that hard (for MLB), his screwball has to be working perfectly.
I still will say that Addison Reed will be the Sox closer before this season is through.
The Sox bullpen is one of their strengths, so Monday’s fiasco is not going to happen much.
What has gotten into A.J. Pierzynski? The Sox catcher is hitting everything thrown at him. Against the O’s he went 7-11. including 2 home runs and 5 RBI.
I think Tyler Flowers is just gonna have to take the at bats when he can get em. I know the Sox sat AJ on Thursday, but I don’t see how he can be left out of the lineup much.
Alex Rios has found his stroke. Whatever hitting coach Jeff Manto has said to him, it appears to be working. If Rios can remain confident, and not think too much, he can be deadly. He had a chance to be a hero on Thursday, but struck out with the bases loaded in the 9th. Oh well.
Same can’t be said about Gordon Beckham. It was nice to see Beckham get that ape off his back with his clutch single on Wednesday.
Beckham had 2 hits in the series, breaking an 0-14 skid. It’s unfortunate that Beckham is having so much trouble as you won’t find a harder worker than the Sox 2nd baseman. Many times during the spring, when all the players were getting ready to leave, Beckham was in the batting cages, alone, working on his spring.
Sox starters look pretty good over the 4 games. A 3.58 ERA in the 4 games for the Sox starters. 26.1 IP, 10 earned runs, with 27 strike outs. Take away Gavin Floyd’s 5 earned runs allowed, and the Sox ERA drops to 2.35.
Nice to see Robin Ventura send Zack Stewart back out a few days after allowing 6 runs (1 earned) on Monday. Stewart is a good pitcher, probably misplaced in the pen, but he’ll get his shot.
Right now the ace of the staff is Jake Peavy. Peavy’s ball is moving so much. He has made a number of hitters look foolish in his 3 starts. His 21 strikeouts are impressive as he is not known as that type os pitcher.
I think it’s unrealistic for Ventura to think Brent Lillibridge, Eduardo Escobar and Flowers to be successful with minimal work. Thursday, that trio combined to go 0-11 with 6 strike outs. Coming out of spring training those guys were hitting the ball well. Right now, not so much. I doubt that Jason Hammel has all of a sudden morphed into Roger Clemens, although he did have 10 K’s on Thursday.
Paul Konerko continues to be a hitting machine. The Captain has a hit in 11 of the 12 Sox games.
Sox now head to Seattle. They best not look past the Mariners, who trot out a bunch of relative no names, but guys who can play.
Chris Sale gets the ball on Friday.