photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Timo Perez and Brandon Inge: talk about an unlikely pair of rescuers. I mean, on the one hand you’ve got a guy who spent most of the game with his tiger tail parked firmly on the bench, specifically BECAUSE his bat has been so atrocious lately. On the other hand, you have Timo Perez. Yet this is the combination of players that won us the ballgame. Oh, Baseball. I shall never fully understand you.
Heath Phillips made his big league debut in the 11th inning, and I would feel sorry for the kid, but I’m in a heartless mood. Brandon Inge, in his first at-bat of the game, smacked a double (Brandon Inge! Getting an extra-base hit in a key situation! Be still my heart!). They walked Carlos, because if you’re a wee squeaky new pitcher in the 11th inning of a tied game, Carlos Guillen is scary. Up came TIMO PEREZ, who whacked a single hard enough to score Inge and win the game.
I at that point MAY have made some noise and jumped around in a somewhat undignified manner.
Kenny Rogers’ 5 innings of 1-run ball were pretty encouraging. He threw 83 pitches in that time, which is NOT encouraging, but heck, it was his first game back. When he “recovered” from injury the first time this season, he went 6 innings and threw 75 pitches in his “yay I’m back” start. So, you see, we have some room for improvement. I’m pretty glad they pulled him after 5, though. There’s no need to stretch him out when he’s fresh off the DL, because he’s already had one immediate bounce-back so far, and we don’t want to support any more.
The only run he gave up tonight was a homer to Danny Richar, a baby White Sock. Maybe his unfamiliarity with Richar made that possible, maybe he was getting tired (it was in the 4th inning), maybe he just happened to groove a bad pitch in there. It’s probably not reason for concern.
The bullpen looked great again, although Jonesy did his usual rollercoaster thing (putting a couple of guys on and getting himself into a sticky spot and generally being more likely to induce a heart attack than a Coney dog with all the vile fixin’s). Just keeping us all in our proper place as fans, I suppose… that place being somewhere in our living rooms, curled up and cowering in sheer terror. Good work, Todd. Job well done.
Zach Miner’s bacon-saving ways seem even MORE important now, because in 11 innings tonight we managed to go through 5 relievers. I know the rosters are expanded right now, but STILL, that’s a bloody lot of pitchers, and Miner’s ability to take yesterday’s game wholly onto himself meant that the best guys for the moment were able to go out there today and keep us in the game. Truly the King of the Bacon.
This is even better because the Wrong Sox went through 7 relievers, even though their starter went longer than Kenny, and only Myers threw an insignificant number of pitches. This bodes well for tomorrow, assuming we can knock the hilariously paranoid Mark Buehrle out of the game in any kind of meaningful way.
I hate saying things like “we MUST win this game, or else DOOM DOOM DOOM!”, especially when we’re looking at a Buehrle/Durbin matchup, but, to be honest, we’ve kind of got to win the game tomorrow. The Mariners are coming to town and, since we’ve got our sights squarely aimed at the wild card nowadays, we have to FLATTEN the moose-lovers. Coming out on the fat end of the stick that is this Wrong Sox series would be really, really nice going into that.