Friday, October 14, 2005

White Sox - 5; Angels - 2: Sox lead ALCS 2-1: Series essentially over

All of the bluster of game 2 and the off day that followed were quickly forgotten. John Lackey, from his third pitch of the night, simply didn't have it. He couldn't throw his sharp curve ball for strikes, and the White Sox weren't biting at the pitches off the plate or down in the zone. Lackey's first couple of strikeouts came on fastballs, which is fairly rare for him. The at bat that showed he was done, in my opinion, was the Crede at bat in the second. He got ahead 1-2, and simply refused to throw him a curve ball. Actually, I think he finally got him to ground out on a breaking pitch, but only after five or six consecutive fastballs, to a hitter who he should be able to strike out on a two strike curve just about every time. To me, that was a sign that Lackey knew he simply didn't have it.

On the other side of the ball, not to take anything away from Garland, but this offense really sucks, and it pretty much has all year. They have one guy who can hit for power, and he hasn't been able to hit the ball out of the infield. Not that it would matter if he could, because they don't have anyone who can get on base in front of him. Suffice to say, when you can't hit, and your pitcher can't get anybody out, it's not exactly a winning combination. Like I said, I don't mean to diminish what Garland did, but he worked against a below average offense whose table setter can't find first base, and whose only slugger doesn't have an extra base in the post-season. I think the guys the Angels sent to the Arizona Fall League could outhit the big club. Honestly, Wood, Kendrick and Morales can't get here soon enough, because these guys are pathetic wastes of at bats, with the exception of maybe Cabrera.

It's only game three, but in my opinion, this was a game the Angels really had to have. They had their best pitcher (Lackey was better than Colon for the last four months), and they were facing a guy they've handled pretty well in the past, and who was coming off about two weeks without pitching. From this point on, until a possible but increasingly unlikely game 7, the White Sox will have the better matchup on the mound for the rest of the series. They haven't had to use their pen, and at this rate, they won't have to. I honestly can't see the Angels having much of a chance to win this series, and quite honestly, I'd be mildly surprised if the series got back to Chicago.

Tomorrow night they throw the kid out there, who was terrific against the Yankees, and had what was likely the most impressive start of his young career against the Sox back in his second start of the season. He'll be going at night, and at home, both advantages for Santana, but you can only do so much when your offense refuses to hit. They face a pitcher who has handled them pretty well in the past. I can't see the Angels getting more than two runs the way they're swinging it. One mistake by Santana and, well, let's just be thankful that the UCLA game will be on at the same time.

Anyway, time to fire up the hot stove. The silver lining might be, as Rob alluded to at the Rev's site, this may force Stoneman to actually do something about the offense. And hopefully, and believe me, I pray about this at night, I don't care if he hits a home run in every single at bat the rest of the series, please, please, please do not go after Paul Konerko.

The other side: South Side Sox


matt said...

Thank GOD. The day you *don't* count them out, I'll actually be worried.

Say, should we place a wager?

JenJen said...

You're giving up too early. "Series essentially over?" This is baseball... and it ain't over until a horrific cliche is rendered. C'mon, now...

It's not like you see a Rally Monkey every day, and that's got to be good for something.

I'm keeping the faith.

Anonymous said...

Positives of losing to the White Sox for 2006:

1. No more Mickey Hatcher

2. No more Steve Finley

3. No more Bengie Molina batting 5th

4. Stoneman forced to spend some $$ or trade for a *real* offensive player or two who will put up 30 and 100 (like Finley should have).

5. A rotation of Colon, Escobar, Lackey, Santana, and Weaver (Lackey is NOT, I repeat NOT, a bonafide #1 starter. He's a very good #2 and an outstanding #3. But not one of the top guys in the league).

6. A healthy Dallas McPherson (please make us forget about Troy Glaus... LOL).

7. Casey Kotchman getting more playing time (or being traded for a real 1B).

8. Garret as full-time DH, batting 6th

9. Brandon Wood on the horizon for '07

10. Kendry Morales getting PT instead of Jeff Devanon.

Anonymous said...

attn: seitz

may i ask why you are adamantly opposed to the angels signing konerko? just a curious sox fan.

Seitz said...

Because right now, the Angels have a plethora of 1B/DH types on their 40 man roster, and I don't think throwing money at another one is a good idea. They have Anderson signed for three more years, and it's becoming obvious that he can't play the outfield on a consisten basis. Konerko is not going to play first for the Angels, because if it's not Erstad (and hopefully it won't be, because he should be in center) it will be Kotchman. If they sign Konerko for say three or four years, I can almost guarantee you that Kotchman will outperform him over the life of that contract.

And that's before ever taking Kendry Morales into account. They're gonna need somewhere to play him. And if Brandon Wood projects as a third baseman, that means in two years you have Kotchman, McPherson, Anderson, and Morales as 1B/DH types. They don't need to spend $10MM/yr on another.

Konerko doesn't fit on this team. I'd rather see them spend the money elsewhere

Seitz said...

Say, should we place a wager?

I don't know. I already have your "friends" text messaging me during games. I don't know if I need your muscle haning around, too. And I've met fat. I know he's not your muscle.

Jim Scully said...

The silver lining might be, as Rob alluded to at the Rev's site, this may force Stoneman to actually do something about the offense. - Seitz

I have been thinking this since the A's overtook the Halos late in the season. I thought that if the team didn't make the playoffs it would show Stoneman that this team needs offensive players to help carry the load with Vlad.

Unfortunately, I don't know if Stoney has a clue about how to upgrade an offense. He friggin' signed OC and Finley last offseason. Additionally, because of the weak offenseive showing I wouldn't be surprised to see him re-sign Ben Molina because he thinks of him as an offensive force. This team needs OBP like crazy in front of Vlad, Kotchman and GA next year and Figgy doesn't cut it in the leadoff spot.

Anyway, I am getting all Chicken Little about this team right now, and I hope that they prove me wrong again, but I'm not counting on it. They just can't throw away at-bat after at-bat like this and win another post-season series.

They are lucky to have outlasted the Yanks.