Live Game Review – White Sox 0 at Blue Jays 1
It is so nice to be at the ballpark. My first game of this season, I now live in Western Canada and the lack of baseball is killing me.
The Rogers Centre was deserted. I knew it was going to be a sparse crowd as there was very little milling around before the game and the neighbourhood restaurants and bars were slow for a dinner rush and with few people wearing Jays gear. The announced attendance was 16,602.
This game was a bit of a yawner. The Jays and White Sox have been notorious for thier lack of run support this year. This game was no different.
The Jays found baserunning to be their achillies heel as twice promising rallies were broken up by runners getting caught in run-downs.
The Sox came close to scoring twice. They had runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs in the top of the third. The Jays defense played corners in but the SS and 2B were a regular depth. Juan Uribe was unable to score on a routine grounder to Eckstien. Then he would not challenge Alex Rios’ arm on a shallow fly to right. And McGowan finished the Sox threat by striking out Thome for the third out.
The Sox threatened agian in the top of the 9th when closer BJ Ryan lost his control and walked the bases loaded. With one out and the bags loaded Pablo Ozuna grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the game. Ozzie Guillen went on an obsenity laced tirade after the game remincent of Lee Elia about how the Chicago media and fans are fickle. He kept using the trump card of the 2005 World Series victory to try to make him look like he is good. But they are not. Perhaps his days are numbered as manager of the ChiSox.
He probably should have pinch hit for Ozuna (.172/.172/.172) in 29 AB’s. But there really isn’t much to fall back on. Joe Crede, apparently was sick and Brian Anderson and Piezynski had already been subbed into the game. It seems to me that Guillen might be carrying too many pitchers but anyone could have been better than Ozuna. Maybe Guillen didn’t have flexibility in the field if they were to score a run.
The White Sox offense numbers look terrible. Most of the regulars are flirting with the Mendoza Line. Thome, Konerko and Swisher looked terrible, combining for 5 K’s vs McGowan. Thome, in 16 PA’s vs Toronto pitching this weekend struck out 8 times and reached base only 3 times. The incredibly overrated Nick Swisher sturck out 6 times and reached base twice. He currently has an impressive .351 OBA but his batting a paltry .204, he either K’s or BB’s. Might as well be a non entity. The only bright spot is Carlos Quentin who has 8HR and has an OPS of a whopping .990. He looks really confident at the plate and added an assist from left field last night.
The Jays offensive woes continued. Shannon Stewart seems to be breaking out of his slump.
McGowan and Sox starter Javier Vasquez both looked strong. Vazquez pitched the entire game except for one out. striking out 9 and retiring another 9 on ground balls. McGowan seems to be maturing and being able to handle having runners on base. My impressions of him in 2006 and early last year was he fell apart when a team was threatening and then beat himself. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The Jays bullpen looked shaky for once but managed to keep it together for McGowan.