Two days until the Sox face their first live action against their spring training co-tenant the L.A. Dodgers.
So far not much of anything coming out of camp except for a lot of chatter about what might happen over the course of the year, all of which will truly be decided between the lines, and not during a press conference.
The one real point of progress that has been seen in Arizona is the health of Jake Peavy. He continues to throw for longer and longer stretches and shows no ill effects from his shoulder injury.
If Peavy is right heading into the start of the season then he will prove Alex Rios right, this is the team to beat in the AL Central.
The Sox have turned inconsistency into consistency. The strength of the team that we projected in February – the starting pitching – has come through with extraordinary efforts. Even Freddy Garcia is pitching well. Combined with timely hitting from Andruw Jones, Alex Rios, and Konerko, the team is doing incredibly well. And this is occuring all while their offensive wunderkind Beckham & Quentin are scuffling.
I refuse to look beyond the next game, but this is certainly making for an entertaining June.
On a side note, I quietly mutter about the lack of attention that the Sox receive relative to their northside brethren. But when that attention revolves around the insanity of Carlos Zambrano, I am more than happy to sit quietly and continue to pile up wins.
LETS GO SOX!
The Sox beat the Tigers this afternoon with strong outings from Freddy Garcia, J.J. Putz and “gulp” the offensive combination of Juan Pierre, Alexei Ramirez, and Carlos Quentin.
One of the defining features of a not so good team is lack of consistency, and the Sox this year have certainly shown themselves to be inconsistent.
That said, it’s still May, and we are still within ten games of the Twins. If, if, IF we can get some consistent play from Juan, Alexei, and Carlos to match up with the play we have seen so far this year from Rios, Andruw, and Paulie….this could still be a team that wins the division.
We cannot, however, afford to keep digging a deeper hole. CAN NOT!
But Jake Peavy just had his second EXTREMELY strong outing in a row…..and Konerko, (my new best friend) Andruw Jones, and Rios are hitting the ball very, very well.
Let’s make something out of this boys!
P.S. – Small ball be damned; Paul Konerko leads the majors in home runs.
An 11-1 pounding of the Jays brings the Sox record to 4-5, and leaves them in a tie with the Royals and behind the Tigers and Twins who are both 6-3.
Through these first nine games the pitching has been the team’s strength (as expected) although there have been some troubling performances.
Jake Peavy has yet to hit his stride. I did not see his first outing, but in his second outing against the Jays he did not seem to have the velocity on his fastball, or the snap on his sinker. No one is willing to say that there is an injury at issue here, and he did not appear to be laboring against the Jays, so you have to hope that it is something that he will come out of.
Bobby Jenks has been inconsistent through these first games. He has had dominant performances and followed them up with outings where he couldn’t find the plate. Bobby nearly gave away the first victory against the Jays when he couldn’t pitch a strike.
On the other hand, Santos has look very strong, and Danks just got done slamming the door on the Jays….so overall you have to be pleased, if a bit concerned with the slow start of two very important members of the staff.
On the offensive side, Andruw Jones has proven that he wasn’t just talking about having a strong season this spring. He damn well meant it. As far as this Sox fan is concerned, he has to be in the lineup every night for so long as he is able to perform at this level.
Rios, by the numbers has had a slow start, but has hit the ball hard.
Finally, the two young lions in the lineup, Beckham and TCQ, are having strong starts to the season that will hopefully carry through the remainder of the year.
The Sox have two more in Toronto and then three in Cleveland before closing out the first month against three strong teams in Tampa, Seattle, and Texas.