We learned quite a bit about the Sox in the 3 games PASB (post all-star break).
Adam Dunn brought his hitting shoes to Kansas City. That’ll show Ron Washington for not giving him an at bat in the mid-season classic. Dunn went yard 3 times in the 3 games, and now sits atop all of baseball with 28. Dunn also hit close to .400, and that doesn’t include the 4 walks he received.
Like I said my in my last post, in his big home run years, Dunn has averaged 15 home runs in the 2nd half. Not a bad way to start the second half.
Nice to see the Sox knock around Bruce Chen. The Royal left-hander owned the Sox last year, going 3-1 with an ERA less than 2. He also hit 5 guys in his 5 starts, so I was wondering how he’d fare this year. That’s taking into account that the Sox have a bunch of new coaches that have sworn to take swift action if a pitcher continually finds Sox players with the ball.
Chen looked like the guy who has bounced around for most of his career, allowing 6 earned runs in less than 5 innings. And whatdaya know, he also found his control not hitting one batter.
It’s only been one start, but Chris Sale looks primed to a possible Cy Young 2nd half. The lefty was nasty in Sunday’s game. Yes he allowed 10 hits in 8 innings, but only allowed one run which proves that even without his best stuff, he can pitch out of jams. I read where the Sox are hoping to keep Sale’s innings around the 160-170 range. He has now thrown just over 110, which means in his final 14-15 starts he can throw about 4 innings each start.
I am sure with all the aging players on the Sox, that if they get close they’ll just shut the one guy down who up to this point hasn’t lost a game since May 12th. BTW, that loss was to the Royals. Don’t see that happening so here’s welcome Sale to the 200 inning club.
The ASB didn’t cool off Alex Rios stick. Rios hit close to .400 with a home run, a couple walks and quite a few nice plays in left field.
A.J. Pierzynski was still steaming from his exclusion from the ASG, and he took it out on the Royals. It seemed to me that Pierzynski hit the ball hard each and every at bat.
What do you all think, is this A.J’s last go ’round, or is he just getting warmed up as his 36th birthday approaches? I am partial to thinking it’s the former.
Games like Friday frustrate me to no end. They led 3-0, 6-5 and 8-7 before finally putting the Royals away in the 14th. The Sox and Royals combined to use 18 pitchers, including a starter for each team.
Kevin Youkilis did drive in the winning run again.
Who knew that 2012 would be the year that Alcides Escobar would find his hitting shoes? In previous years, Escobar was more of a Punch and Judy hitter. Not this year as the guy his hitting .308, with a little power mixed in.
I would have bet the house that he would never hit 2 over the wall against Jake Peavy, but he did just that on Saturday.
Sox should be worried about their staff. Innings for Sale and Peavy, and now Gavin Floyd is out with tendonitis in his forearm and elbow. It is only one start, but it is not a good sign for a team that was gonna rely heavily on the right hander in the 2nd half.
Dylan Axelrod to the rescue, I guess. If Axelrod wants to prove that he belongs in the rotation, the time is now. He can’t afford any more of the 3 home run effort like he gave up in his last start.
The next few days should be interesting as the Sox now head to Boston. I hope he hits the hell out of the ball, especially after Bobby Valentine stirred the pot again. Valentine blamed Youkilis for the poor relationship between the two. I hope Valentine doesn’t destroy the team before he is gone in about 2 years. It used to be that managers took the high-road in disputes with players, but not Valentine, who wants to poke the bear, I guess. Who knows, maybe Youk will suck in his return to Beantown, and Valentine will be internally chuckling. Youkilis is coming in having gone 0-8 in his past 2 games.
Sox go into Boston with a 3.5 game lead over Detroit, who jumped the Indians over the weekend.