A poorly timed appointment left me watching the Sox/Royals via the wonder of DVR, but I did manage to at least not know the outcome prior to my viewing experience. Sadly, I fear the result was the same as it was for those of you who watched the game live.
Funny how four home runs offsets three errors, isn't it? By the way, can anyone actually play any sort of defense for Chicago besides Gordon Beckham? And if not, why can't Kansas City muster more than two runs over eighteen innings?
Not often do I get the house to myself for totally undisturbed watching, so I took that opportunity to take some 'real time' notes as the game went on.
1ST INNING (or should I say Frist?)
Peavy gets back to back swinging strikeouts of Gordon and Escobar to start the game. He then proceeds to berate himself on the mound when he throws two balls in a row (after tossing eight of nine for strikes to start off). Given how baseball players spend a lot of time acting cool and unemotional during games, I kind of like a pitcher who cusses at himself loud enough for the television microphones to pick it up.
Hud offers us this nugget during the inning: 'He is an artist with a paintbrush in their hand and they can paint as they go along.'
Billy Butler at least makes Peavy throw some pitches in the inning during an eight pitch at-bat that ends in a ground out.
The bottom of the inning gives us our first real look at Ervin Santana, who works most of the inning up and out of the strike zone. De Aza bails Ervin out to lead off the game by swinging at and flying out on what was ball four of a nine pitch at-bat. Gordon and Escobar bump into each other in short left. Remember a few years back when the Royals had a rash of those collisions?
Another one from Hud: 'Salvy has good retention for the game plan, meaning he remembers.'
Moustakas goes down on another swinging strike three (a change-up), but Perez goes down and away to punch a ball into the outfield for the Royals' first base hit. If you are waiting for plate discipline from Salvador, you might never get it. That said, he really looks like a guy who can get good contact on bad balls with great regularity. Not quite Vlad-like, but close. As long as it works, just let him go.
Eric Hosmer has a nine pitch at-bat that ends in, what else, a swinging strikeout. He was not on any of the many fastballs Peavy threw him. During this at-bat, Peavy threw over to first twice for reasons unknown to both Salvador Perez and Sox first baseman Paul Konerko.
Lorenzo Cain looks bad in a four pitch strikeout....yes, swinging.
Hud: 'Ramirez has solidified himself as a solid shortstop.' Solid, man.
Adam Dunn leads off the bottom of the frame by teeing up an 89 mph fastball right down the freaking middle. That is a home run anywhere in America.
Francoeur: one pitch, one out.
Error number one for the White Sox occurs when Chris Getz flies out to short left. Viciedo and Ramirez collide (more like bump, I guess) and ball goes through Viciedo's glove. As the game goes on, we learn that balls will often not find Viciedo's glove this year. Getz only gets to first. Watching on TV you really can't tell, but sort of seems like a gritty fast guy should have been standing on second.
The next time Fox Sports KC gives us a good shot of any attempted pick-off play will be the first.
After a Gordon fly out, Alcides Escobar has a nice single into left that Viciedo simply misses picking up. Getz scores the first run of the year for Kansas City. Sure, it took two errors to do it, but...a RUN!
Hud: 'You have to open that glove to get the ball in.'
Ryan is questioning the radar gun readings, now. In two years of Kaufmann Stadium having a noticeably hot gun, he has never said a word about it.
The bottom of the third and Tyler Freaking Flowers goes yard for the second time this year. Another fat pitch out over the plate by Santana. After that, however, Santana begins to get called strikes with his slider and is keeping the ball down in the zone better.
Ryan: 'Giving up 39 home runs in a season can be deceiving.'
Given how this game began, I would not have thought Peavy would start this inning and already be it 59 pitches.
Baseball karma comes back to get Salvador Perez, whose 2nd inning bloop single is repaid by a line drive out in the 4th.
Hud: 'Peavy has a lot of action on his ball.' Careful...careful there, Rex.
In the bottom of the inning, Alex Rios gets a hanger on the first pitch, but just misses it. Santana goes off-speed to Adam Dunn five straight times, but walks him after getting ahead in the count 0-2.
With Dunn at first and Konerko batting, could the Royals get a double-play on a hard one bouncer to Jeff Francoeur? Just wondering. Konerko just misses a home run with a high foul ball down the left field line, but follows up by swinging at a pretty nasty slider.
That bit of fun goes away fast: Dayan Viciedo coaxes a home run into the Sox bullpen. A ball that Alex Gordon climbed onto the fence and almost, I mean almost, caught about three feet past the wall. It would of been one of the best plays of the year...in baseball.
Frenchy flies out, but after seeing five pitches. I thought I should note that just to be nice.
By the way, during this inning we learn that Rex Hudler is not always 'mentally prepared to eat a Junebug' and that they 'Taste like bacon.'
In the bottom of the fifth, Ervin Santana is throwing a ton almost a 50-50 split of sliders and fastballs, inducing five swinging strikes on his way to striking out the side. He looks good, except for the three home runs. I wonder how many times we will say that this season?
Gordon doubles down the line. Have you noticed that Viciedo is not fleet of foot and possibly not that interested in defense? Back to back ground balls scores Gordon. A real earned run!
Moustakas rips a double over Rios' head: nice swing - the first from him this year? With Peavy up to 104 pitches (and with a scraped elbow, no less!), Salvador grounds out.
After Dunn and Konerko are less than mystified by Santana, Luke Hochevar begins warming up in earnest in the pen. Really? Hochevar with men on? Santana gets lucky with Viciedo and we get lucky in that we don't see Luke enter a close game with men on base.
The Sox go to DeWayne Wise for defense in left and he immediately drops a Hosmer fly ball. Cain bloops a single and I'm wondering if Ned might pinch-hit for Getz (because you know he won't for Frenchy). Francoeur strikes out, swinging at a third strike that never was and never will be a strike.
Yes! Miguel Tejada pinch hits for Getz. I remind myself it is Miguel Tejada. He promptly walks on four pitches and Rex assumes the Sox are pitching around the 40 year old juggernaut.
Bases loaded, Gordon and Escobar up: nope, no runs for you. And for the record, I would not have sent Hosmer for home on Gordon's short fly to left, either.
Hochevar comes in for the bottom of the inning and is, well, Hochevar. A home run, a single and a walk. Robin Ventura does the offensive equivalent of intentionally walking Frenchy by opting to bunt against Luke.
With runners on 2nd and 3rd, a ball in the dirt squirts away from Perez, but not very far. Tyler Flowers gives Hochevar the gift of an out at the plate and Frenchy makes a nice catch (see I can be complimentary) in right to end the inning.
8TH and 9TH INNINGS
The Royals don't get close to scoring and you guys don't want to relive that, again. We do see J.C. Gutierrez, who throws hard and wears a big pair of pants and we also see Lorenzo Cain line out to Gordon Beckham for the second time in as many games.
Game over. Tomorrow will be better, right?