Showing posts with label Alex Cobb. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex Cobb. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

White Sox have had their best offensive month in September

Leury Garcia
Stat of the day: The White Sox have scored 137 runs in 25 games this month, an average of 5.5 runs a game.

That makes September far and away their best offensive month of the season. The next best offensive month? It was May, when the Sox plated 123 runs in 28 games (4.4 a game).

Where was this September offense in June and July, you ask? Great question. This is obviously a case of too little and much too late, but the Sox continued their run of better-than-we're-used-to offense with a 13-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

Three batters into the bottom of the first inning, the Sox had three runs. Adam Eaton doubled and scored on a single by Tim Anderson. Melky Cabrera followed with his 14th home run of the season to make it 3-0. The Sox had the lead the rest of the way.

It was a tough night for Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb, who is trying to make it back from Tommy John surgery. He lasted only three innings and gave up eight runs. His ERA swelled to 8.59 after five starts. The Sox added two runs in the second and three more in the third, including a three-run home run by Leury Garcia, of all people.

For Garcia, it was just his second career home run and first since June 4, 2014.

Anderson continued to impress in his rookie season as he went 3 for 5 with a double, his eighth home run of the season, two runs scored and three RBIs. His batting average sits at a respectable .278 clip 94 games into his career. At no point during this season has he looked overmatched offensively or defensively, and while it's still too soon to say what kind of player Anderson will ultimately become, it has to be comforting for the Sox to know who their shortstop is going to be in 2017. It's one less hole to fill.

The beneficiary of all this run support was Sox ace Chris Sale (17-9), who equaled a career high in wins with 17 in what might be his last start of the season. Sale wasn't at his sharpest, but he didn't need to be. He went seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He struck out seven and did not issue a walk, which is typically the recipe for success when pitching with a big lead.

Chris Beck worked a 1-2-3 eighth, and the Sox led, 13-3, after eight innings. Enter Matt Albers, whose career is probably going to be over after this week. He allowed three runs (two earned) to account for the final score. Remember when Albers was unscored upon for 30 straight appearances? Well, his ERA is up to 6.31 now. That's how badly he's pitched the last three or four months. He's done.

The win was the Sox's fourth in a row, and at 76-81, they still have an outside shot at finishing .500 if they can win the rest of their games this week. Not likely, but hey, it's all we got, right?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nick Swisher fails Indians in the clutch

I'll admit it: I can't stand Nick Swisher, and I was cheering against the Cleveland Indians in Wednesday night's American League Wild Card game for just that reason.

Swisher is one of my all-time least favorite White Sox players. He was only on the South Side for a year (2008), and that was one year too many in my book. He batted .219 and got benched in favor of Dewayne Wise late in the season.

The national media likes to portray Swisher as "always laughing, always smiling" and "great in the clubhouse." Maybe he is, and I don't pretend to know what goes on in any major league clubhouse. What I do know about Swisher is he is overmatched against upper-echelon pitching. His weaknesses always come to the forefront in the playoffs. In 47 career postseason games, he is hitting .165 (26 for 158) with 48 strikeouts.

Swisher cemented his reputation with another lousy playoff showing Wednesday night as the Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the ALDS with a 4-0 win over the Indians. Swisher went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and looked pathetic during a critical at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Indians were trailing 3-0 at the time and had two men on with two men out. Tampa Bay summoned reliever Joel Peralta from the bullpen to replace eventual winning pitcher Alex Cobb. Peralta easily struck Swisher out on three pitches, and Cleveland's best and final chance to get back in the game went by the boards.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Indians had a golden opportunity -- runners on first and third with nobody out. They failed to score after Michael Bourn struck out, Swisher grounded out weakly to first and Jason Kipnis grounded right back to Cobb for the final out.

All told, Bourn, Swisher and Kipnis went 0 for 12 with 12 baserunners stranded. That's not what you want from your 1-2-3 in the lineup. For Swisher, failures in the playoffs have become all too common. He just can't do anything against quality pitchers from quality teams. I have to say I don't feel the least bit sorry for him.