Sunday, April 22, 2012
White Sox 7 Mariners 4: Alex Rios Is So Clutch, You Guys
As I tweeted during the game, I'm not really sure how to wrap my mind around what Alex Rios is doing right now. It started the second night of the season when Rios homered off Joe Nathan to give the Sox their first win, and it's continued over the last two weeks.
Rios extended his hitting streak to 10 games on Sunday, finishing a home run shy of the cycle and driving in 3 runs. All of which were important runs.
First he tripled to tie the game at 4-4 after I was convinced this was going to be a typical John Danks/Sunday game and the Sox were destined for a loss, then his single in the 8th added an important insurance run to the tally and helped seal the victory.
He's now hitting .333 with 7 RBI on the season, and it feels like every single one of those RBI have been important ones.
How does a guy who couldn't even buy a hit with a runner in scoring position last year in spite of his ridiculous salary suddenly emerge as a guy who is damn near impossible to get out in a big spot? Is it just one extreme bouncing back to the other?
Is it a mirage and we're still doomed to see him go 0-for-100 the rest of the year?
We're going to find out either way, I suppose. At the moment, though, this Alex Rios is by far my favorite.
Then there was John Danks, who in typical Danks fashion, was the victim of some incredibly shoddy defense on Sunday. He was also a victim of himself as well. Danks takes a bit too much heat from fans -- particularly in my Twitter timeline -- when things are going wrong around him, and while he certainly doesn't deserve most of it, he doesn't exactly help matters either.
He gets the win today, his second of the season, but the Sox have no scored 17 runs in his two wins this season. It's more a reflection of the bats on those days than anything Danks is doing.
After allowing 4 runs in 6 innings on Sunday, Danks' ERA on the season is up to 5.11 and he's walked 11 batters in 25 innings. Until he starts throwing strikes more consistently, days like today are going to be the norm and he'll continue to find himself sitting in the dugout after six innings hoping that his teammates, whether it's the offense or the bullpen, can bail him out.
Which isn't something a guy who just signed a $65 million extension should be relying on.