Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tigers 5 White Sox 3: Robin Does His Team No Favors

Rare is the occasion where you can pin the blame for a loss or give credit for a win to one player or manager. Tonight's loss to the Tigers was not an exception.

It is not Robin Ventura's fault that the Sox couldn't get a hit off Doug Fister aside from two solo shots by Dewayne Wise and Gordon Beckham.

It is not Robin's fault that Jake Peavy allowed homers to both Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera to give up the lead in the fifth inning.

But there were decisions that Ventura made in the eighth inning that made me wonder which team he actually wanted to win. With the Sox trailing by a run in the eighth inning, for some reason known only to Ventura, he decided to bring Francisco Liriano out of the bullpen to start the inning against the bottom of the Tigers lineup.

Why? I have no idea. Brett Myers only threw 3 pitches the previous inning and Matt Thornton didn't pitch yesterday, and then there's Liriano.

The Liriano who has allowed 8 runs and 11 walks in his last 9 innings.

The Liriano who is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA against the Tigers this season, and has a 5.74 ERA in his career against  Detroit.

The Liriano who hasn't come out of the bullpen for an appearance since May 25th.

Yeah, that Francisco Liriano.

Not surprisingly Liriano's first pitch went an entire 45 feet before hitting the grass in front of home plate and then Avisail Garcia. He'd then give up 2 hits before Robin finally realized the error of his ways. Of course two runs would still score to make a 3-2 game a 5-2 game instead.

Those runs sure didn't loom large when the Sox scored in the bottom of the eighth inning or anything!

Speaking of the bottom of the eighth inning, just when you thought Robin couldn't confuse you any further, he blew your fucking mind.

Doug Fister had been removed from the game for Joaquin Benoit. The Sox celebrated this development with three straight hits from Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza, with De Aza's single bringing home Ramirez and making it a 5-3 game.

So what does Robin decide to do next after three straight hits? Why he decides he wants Kevin Youkilis to bunt of course!

Can you guess how many sacrifice bunts Kevin Youkilis has made during his nine seasons and 4,236 plate appearances? Go ahead, guess.

That's right! Zero! Not a damn one! No better time to start than now!

Youk of course failed on the first two pitches and then struck out on the third. That was followed by a Wise strikeout and a 4-3 groundout from Konerko to end the inning and the team's last great chance to get back in this game.

So thanks for that, Robin. I have no idea what the hell you were doing, I can only hope you learn from the stupidity.



  1. Wow, I've been refreshing so I could specifically point out that Youk has 0 sac bunts in 4K+ career plate appearances.

    I really wish Ventura was hired to manage instead of sell tickets to a disenfranchised fan base.

    Also what have Williams's trades been this year? Hudson, Youk, Meyers, Liriano. Bad, good, goodish, bad. Not a great season for the GM.

    1. Hudson wasn't a trade. He was signed after the Padres released him.

      As for the other trades, I have to disagree. Youkilis was a great trade. The Sox gave up absolutely nothing for him and his production compared to what the team had been getting from the third base position has been phenomenal.

      Myers has had a bad stretch lately, but he also cost nothing to get and it was important to get another veteran arm in that pen at the time.

      As for Liriano, yeah, he's been terrible, but I don't think that makes the trade bad. If you can get a guy like Liriano for Eduardo Escobar you do that every time. Especially with Don Cooper's track record of salvaging pitchers.

      It hasn't worked with Liriano, but that doesn't make the decision bad. It was still a good trade and I'd hope Kenny would do it again.

    2. I literally had the Youk trade listed as 'great' until I looked at his September \line: 0.158/0.273/0.211. Icky.

      I 1000000% like/love the Myers trade since I had been complaining about the pen's lack of September (and August, for christ's sake) experience.

      I had hopes for the Liriano trade, but the fact of the matter was is that the Sox traded for a guy with a 2:1 K:BB ratio and a 4.25 FIP.

      And I have no defense for the Hudson screw up other than I got drunk watching the USA-Jamaica match before watching the end of the Sox game and making angry blog comments.


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