As promised tonight I was at the Sox game. I left for the stadium early to catch some batting practice. I have never seen the Scotty Pods seat in right center so I went over to it to see it. On the way I looked for any balls laying around since I was the first in the section, but none were to be found. I figured this was my best chance at getting a ball. I sat in the blue seat to get a view from it, and stood up to go and stand somewhere where I could get a ball. As I was grabbing my things a ball comes my way off the bat of Orioles rookie Matt Wieters. I moved over a couple of steps, put my mitt out, and reeled in the ball. My second ball of the year! After I started thinking about it I pulled in ball #1 when I was checking out the golden seat from Kirby Puckett’s World Series home run when Alexei hit a ball my way. This one was by Podsednik’s World Series home run seat. Apparently I just need to find historic seats in the park and I will get a ball. I would guess this means the Bartman seat at Wrigley. The picture to the left I thought was great. Apparently batting practice can be very tiring. Felix Pie walked all the way over to get the ball, but had to rest before picking it up and throwing it back in. Who said the life of a pro baseball player is easy? After batting practice I went to LaRussa’s stand to get a couple slices of Connie’s Pizza. What visit to the park would be complete without Connie’s? I then went to find the seat that I bought on StubHub this morning. I was shocked to find myself just above the Scout Seats behind the screen. Not bad seats for a last minute buy. I may definately have to sit here again.
John Danks stuggled early in his start, but battled hard to get through 6 1/3 innings only giving up three hits. He did walk six though during his outing. His last walk came around to score in the seventh on a Matt Thornton wild pitch for his only run given up all night. He had a bases juiced situation in the third, but pitched his way out of it. That gutsy inning kept him in the game. D.J. “Stirrups” Carrasco was warming up in the pen, and one more walk would have brought him into the game. Watching the highlights when I got home I saw that John’s index finger on his throwing hand was discolored for much of the game. I guess swapping gum for chew was not the answer after all. John was the answer tonight though. His strong outing was just what we needed. In a night of deja vu I realized that the only other time that I have seen a Major League game on August 22nd was last year. Danks pitched the same amount of innings, but came away with the loss after giving up three runs. He bettered that tonight.
The offense scored four runs, but could have had many more tonight. Carlos Quentin hit a bomb in the second inning to give the Sox the lead that they would not give up. He came up again in the fourth and got plunked on the first pitch. He scored on Mark Kotsay’s sacrifice fly. Alexei Ramirez is shown to the right hitting his RBI single in the fourth to score Jim Thome. He had a good at bat with the bases loaded, and came through. He would have plated Jim Thome again in the seventh, but his rocket off the wall was taken by Nolan Reimbold and fired into third to nail A.J. Pierzynski before Thome could cross the plate. The Sox had the bases loaded twice tonight, and only scored three runs in those opportunities. In the fourth they had the bases loaded with no outs. It seems like with this lineup we would score more. Although the speed of the lineup is what jammed the bases in the first place. The middle is more of a station to station group.
The bullpen pitched a solid game in relief of Danks. Thornton came in and was solid. If not for a wild pitch he would have completely bailed John out. Octavio Dotel came in and was good, and Bobby was Bobby. I think that Jenks has been watching clips of Bobby Thigpen to learn his craft better. Someone pulled him aside and explained that coming in and retiring the batters in order is boring. They showed him how to make things interesting. He did so tonight when he had the tying run at the plate with one out. He got Felix Pie to look horrible striking out for the second out. With two outs Adam Jones then hit a harmless ground ball to short to end the game. Overall the bullpen pitched 2 2/2 innings giving up only one hit, 2 walks, and one strikeout. We need more outings like this. One of my most vivid memories of Dotel was from that game last year on the same day. He faced three batters in the game. The first one hit a home run. The second one hit a double off of the wall, and the third hit a home run. That was the bad Dotel. We saw the good Dotel tonight, as we have for most of the season.
Tonight was my first chance to see Alex Rios, Mark Kotsay, and Jake Peavy in a Sox jersey. I was dissapointed pre game when I saw Rios was not in the lineup. Ozzie must have realized this error because he inserted Rios into the lineup in the ninth for defense. Mark Kotsay was in the game for Pauly tonight. I am not sure how I feel about that. It was cool to get my first chance to see Kotsay in a Sox uniform, but I would rather see Pauly play. Mark did alright tonight though. He made a couple good picks at first base on low throws. He also drove in a run in the fourth with a sac fly. In the picture on the right I can’t help but be reminded of Nick Swisher. As far as Peavy is concerned I only saw him during the anthem when he was standing next to Harold Baines. He never took the field, but it was nice to see this highly touted pitcher in a Sox jersey. The next step will be seeing him on the mound.