Saturday, April 7, 2012

White Sox 4 Rangers 3: Alex Rios, You Magnificent Bastard


We got some answers on Saturday night, but most importantly we got a win. In the process we found out that Hector Santiago is your White Sox closer, at least until he isn't, anyway. Still, Hector came on to get the Rangers out in order in the ninth for his first career save.

And now that we know it's Santiago, it seems kind of obvious it was him all along, doesn't it? What possible reason could Ventura have to keep it a secret if it was Thornton and Crain? Or even Addison Reed?

Santiago, on the other hand, wasn't even a guarantee to make the roster this spring. So you can imagine the reaction that the media and fans would have had to the Sox announcing he was the closer two weeks ago or whenever it was decided.

And Kenny Williams said recently he's known Santiago was going to be on the roster for weeks, which in hindsight, was another clue.

Of course, this game was about much more than just the ninth inning. Jake Peavy wasn't very sharp early, but he made some adjustments as the game went on and worked his way out of some tough situations. If not for a few defensive gaffes -- hey there, Alejandro De Aza -- he might have only allowed 1 run and been able to go longer without having to throw some extra pitches.

It was also obvious that, much like this spring, Peavy doesn't really have command of his fastball. The fastballs he threw averaged 91 MPH, but of the 94 pitches he threw, only 29 were fastballs. Peavy threw 40 cutters on the night, showing that he had a lot more faith in his ability to get that over the plate.

He also used his slider very effectively over his last couple of innings, starting them out on the outside corner against Texas' righties and making them reach for it.

On offense it was Paul Konerko who did the majority of the damage, driving in 3 runs, while Adam Dunn went 1-for-2 with a single and two walks.

Then there was Alex Rios.

Of all the people on this team that I'd expect to take Joe Nathan deep to center in the ninth inning of a tie game -- with a strong wind blowing in that was killing balls all night, no less -- none would be Alex Rios (VIDEO).

But tonight it was, and for tonight I love Alex Rios. This does not make up for the last couple seasons, but the guy looks a lot more comfortable out in right field and he just delivered one more clutch hit tonight than I remember him delivering all of last season.

Now let's go win this series tomorrow.

BOX SCORE

1 comment:

  1. I was really impressed with Thornton's ability to get himself out of trouble.

    ReplyDelete

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