Chisox 9, Braves 6

Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago White Sox – Box Score – June 22, 2010 – ESPN.

Well, that was no fun. It started out fine, as Prado led off the game with a homer, and Conrad hit a two-run double in the second. But then Tommy Hanson went all Kawakami, and allowed nine runs in 3 2/3. It wasn’t that he was pitching that badly — it was just that he wasn’t pitching well. As I keep saying, if you don’t strike anybody out — and Tommy had no strikeouts tonight — you are going to run into runs of singles and doubles no matter what. It even happened to Glavine sometimes.

Thing is, he still could have gotten through with only average luck. Four of the thirteen (!) hits he gave up were infield singles; only two of the thirteen (one of them, a backbreaking homer in the fourth) were for extra bases. He only walked one man, and he (the inimitable Mark Kotsay) was thrown out on the bases. But the Sox were putting the ball in play, and more often than not putting it in precisely the right spot. Five runs in the second, all of them on singles. Two singles in the third for another run. Two more singles (one of them providing comedy, as Conrad lost the ball in his shirt) in the fourth were followed by the homer; it was only after a double by Kotsay and infield single number four that Bobby finally got him out of there.

Chavez did his job, sitting in there and somehow not giving up any runs for 4 1/3. He did pitch really well, in a really low-leverage situation. The Braves rallied late, getting a run on a groundout in the eighth. In the ninth, McCann hit a solo homer, and Conrad hit another double to score Yunel Infante (who had reached on an error), which at least forced the Sox to bring their closer into the game. He got Prado to end it.

93 thoughts on “Chisox 9, Braves 6”

  1. I want to be the dumb, reactionary, irrational Braves fan tonight:

    Tommy Hanson sucks.

  2. sdp, you have the right to do so

    Hanson seems to love the fastball when he’s struggling

  3. sdp, can there just be one dumb, reactionary, irrational fan? I’d like to join in: what this team needs is more pitchers that know how to win, like Derek Lowe.

  4. Hanson definitely had some bad luck with the infield singles, but he also had some good luck with some very hard hit balls and a few foul balls. All in all, I think things evened out about right. He simply didn’t have it tonight. He was up in the zone too much and while I’m not sure that I agree with Mac’s assessment on strike outs, I will agree that when a strikeout pitcher like Hanson doesn’t get any strikeouts, it spells trouble more often than not.

  5. no, what this team needs is more people like Jesse Chavez. He can ho out and pitch 4 scoreless innings while striking out 3 and walkning none

    that and we need to learn how to play National League baseball again

  6. Whoever said the Chicago announcers are horrible wasn’t lying. They are extremely obnoxious.

  7. Sometimes, I have heard you are very special. However, Yes, I strongly feel I often mistake you guys for a real professional. Very sharp insight. No doubt!!!Hahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    very best regards

  8. Do you think Hanson’s struggles when things go bad are due to lack of experience in those kinds of situations? Seem like he just wants to groove pitches and make them put it in play so it’ll be over sooner.

    I’m not impressed by this White Sox team, and I think we can take the next two games.

  9. I meant to mention this in the recap, but I think he was having trouble finishing off hitters. He got ahead in the count, but for some reason wasn’t able to get the out pitch — either he missed out of the zone, and they took, or in the zone, and they swung. He may have felt that he didn’t have anything going but the fastball.

  10. Steve Stone’s voice so reeks of the 80s that I can’t tolerate it, Hawk Harrelson not withstanding.

  11. See, Chip is annoying, but I think Harrelson is actually evil. When Alex and I did “The Road From Bristol”, I believe Harrelson was voted the worst non-ESPN announcer in the country, which is pretty impressive for a guy who’s only national about 40 games a year.

  12. My favorite part is him spinning in a circle, mystified, trying to figure out how the baseball could have just disappeared. Not that I would have reacted any differently. But it’s pretty awesome.

  13. The White Sox were all over him tonight. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that Chicago had a book on Tommy tipping his pitches. He threw a quite a few good pitches tonight that got absolutely smoked.

    Can’t win them all. A loss goes down a little smoother when my boy Prado has another multi-hit game and seven total bases.

  14. Had the game on MLB radio on my drive home from work. During that time, the Sox scored 9 runs, the last 3 while I was parallel parking. Ugly.

    The good news? We’ve been pretty good after dropping the first game of a series, and I always like our chances with Hudson.

  15. It seems to me Hanson has a noticeable pause in his delivery with his hand at the top of its motion after it comes out of the glove. I am wondering if players have been told to look for this and try to recognize his grip or hand position. For the last couple of games Tommy has pitched I have been trying to compare that pause to the opposing pitcher and I have not seen any other pitcher yet with such a drastic stoppage in his delivery motion. This might not be a problem if Hanson were hiding the ball behind his head but it looks to me like he is almost holding the ball up and away from his body to give the hitter a really clear view of how he is holding the ball… “See this? It is my fast ball grip. Now here it comes”.

  16. I think when Mac feels up to it we should have another “Road from Bristol” that was great. It did take a lot of time and work, but as always, Mac did a great job.

  17. @20, we’ve been pretty good after dropping the first game of a series because we’ve been pretty good overall. We’re better after winning the first game of the series. (I would expect this because the Pirates and the Royals exist, and we play them.)

  18. I’m not sure if this is typical, but Hanson’s fastball had no movement. This isn’t a fair comparison but Strasburg’s fastball moves all over the place. I think that when Hanson can’t get his breaking ball over, his fastball, while plenty hard enough, doesn’t have enough movement to get away with. But I don’t see him enough to know if this is typical.

    I’m more concerned about Heyward. I understand he is a rookie and young and I didn’t expect him to keep up the early pace, but he has pretty much disappeared as an offensive threat. He looks like a different hitter than early in the year. He isn’t getting many walks either and his OBP is going down. Is he hurt or just struggling? And does Bobby keep running him out no matter what? (I realize there aren’t really any good options.) I’d like to see Bobby drop him back in the order and see if that helps. If he is hurt, he needs to get well.

    Hawk Harrelson is truly a piece of work. I have never heard an announcer that uses only the player’s first name. Homerism is one thing, but he takes it to a new level of unprofessionalism.

  19. Maybe after Diaz returns Bobby will give Heyward an occasional day off. I know some folks think that might result in an overall downgrade in the outfield (either offensively, defensively or both) but if Heyward is struggling then the actual drop off might not be too much.

  20. so does he become the next Atl manager? he’s made some boneheaded decisions with his team this year. At least in regards to his bullpen use

  21. so whats the tie breaker in the world cup again? If the US ties and Eng/Slov tie, both the US and Eng have 3 pts.

  22. anyone else mentioned this?

    Saito conceded the left hamstring was still tight when he pitched.

    “My arm feels great. My whole body feel great, actually,” he said through his interpreter. “It’s just my hamstring is a little tight. I just hope I can last till the All-Star break.”

    Why would we activate the guy, if we arent convinced that he’s fully healed?

  23. Fredi is clearly the early front-runner to replace Bobby. Baseball managers tend to be just a revolving door of the same old hacks (“Alright. We fired him! Let’s go call Buck Showalter!“), save the Don Wakamatsus you get every once in a while, so the list is probably Fredi Gonzalez, Terry Pendleton, and Eddie Perez.

    Bobby Valentine intrigues me, but he doesn’t seem to be a Braves type.

  24. @40, Yes, they called offsides, apparently another bad call.

    I’m not sure what the Marlins expect from a manager. They have a zero payroll and nothing but young players. You can always say some manager made “bonehead” decisions, probably including John McGraw. He still has to have players.

    I’m sure that Bobby will have significant input into his successor. That means, probably, Gonzalez, Pendleton, Perez, etc. I don’t think it makes much difference as long as the players are there.

  25. Meanwhile, at Wimbledon, Georgia’s John Isner is at 22-21 in the fifth set (no last set tiebreakers at Wimbledon). In theory, this match could go on forever.

  26. Jeffry Loria expected the Marlins to win it all *last* year. We’re not talking about reasonable people here.

    I try to be aware of being too reactionary, especially with regards to day-to-day bad performances, but I think the 4.17 ERA Tommy’s currently sporting is probably close to where he’ll be at season’s end. I also think that Hudson’s performance is unsustainable but that Wren won’t do much in the way of acquiring an ace. We shall see.

  27. Concurring with Robert at 18,

    Either Hanson was tipping or the Sox were sign stealing. Alexei Ramirez can get on a 95 mph fastball 3 inches inside and lace it to left field? Really?

    Their hitters absolutely looked like they knew what was coming.

  28. Mac,

    Thanks for the shout out on Isner. I am a Georgia fan, so I am an Isner fan. Any Amrican tennis fan ought to be an Isner fan.

    Isner is frequently “on serve” in top competition and wins in tie breakers. It is unbelievable that he is still going that far. Somebody may have a heart attack to settle that match.

  29. It will be a big disappointment if Hanson’s ERA is over 4 at season’s end. He should be much better than that, especially with pitching staging a comeback. He is young but hasn’t made quite as much progress as I would have expected. He’s a pretty good pitcher, at times dominant, but not an ace at this point.

  30. And that’s against some French guy I had never heard of, whoo!!!

    (no white flag jokes & co, please)

  31. Speaking of the French – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a good team so thoroughly, collectively, severally clusterbomb a major event.

    You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting some Frenchman doing something breathtakingly inane.

  32. Yeah they were really shameful, I’m glad they’re done. But that was expected, maybe not to that extent. That’s what happens when you field a team with 20 guys who are lazier than Manny Ramirez chasing a warning track fly ball.

  33. This has been one of the better sports days in years. The world cup game was crazy. I was completely ready for disappointment. I actually screamed, alone in my home office.

    This Isner match just keeps going. 45-45 at this point.

    Federer was pushed again, and he won, which is cool.

    All this needs is a Braves win to make it one of the most amazing mid-week sports days in my recollection.

    Punchline: I got a raise just before the World Cup match, and I’ve gotten almost no work done today since 9 AM. I think I did enough in that first hour for my meeting this afternoon, though.

  34. I’m not sure what the Marlins expect from a manager. They have a zero payroll and nothing but young players.

    I’d have let him go after the way he handled the Hanley situation. The clock was basically ticking since then. I can only imagine how he’d handle Yunel. No thanks.

  35. Ha. I didn’t even know I got ESPNU. Awesome. I was worried, because I couldn’t afford to clog my bandwidth today.

  36. @67

    say what? Freddi handled the Hanley situation perfectly, imo. Hanley was being an arrogant douchebag.

  37. #69 – Please. Players fail to hustle all the time. It usually doesn’t turn into a national story where Hall of Famers have to intervene to get the player back on the field. He was never going to recover from that.

  38. @71

    And you don’t think anything should be done to players who “fail to hustle”? Hanley turned the situation into a national story, not Fredi.

  39. @71: Give me a break. Prima Donna Hanley turned it into a national story when he threw his manager and teammates under the bus for a routine and standard punishment for lack of hustle.

  40. #74 – Sure something should be done – quietly and in house. Obviously Hanley’s reaction tells you how his relationship with his manager was going. If you are the Marlins the choice between finding another Fredi or another Hanley is an easy one.

  41. Hanley had zero support in the clubhouse or in the stands. There’s not a manager out there who would have stood for what happened during the game. It was Hanley who went public, and Hanley who quickly figured out it was a mistake.

  42. Remember when Bobby pulled Andruw in the middle of an inning for not going full speed on a flyball? Or when Charlie Manuel pulled Jimmy Rollins for not running out a popup. There wasn’t any controversy with those because the players didn’t bitch about it afterwards. They handled it without making a big deal about it. Hanley is the douche in all of that, not Fredi.

  43. And, by dumping Fredi, they probably just killed whatever good morale that team might’ve had.

    The best player on the team, especially that team, has to set a better example—and his teammates did not have Hanley’s back on that one.

    We don’t know what did or didn’t go on behind closed doors prior to that, just like we don’t know what did or didn’t go on behind closed doors between Bobby & Andruw or between Bobby & Yunel. In the end, it’s on the player to act like a professional. Hanley did the opposite.

    Change for change’s sake might be good for the Marlins, but it wouldn’t shock me if they continued to slide into the dumper—at least in games Johnson’s not pitching.

  44. There wasn’t any controversy with those because the players didn’t bitch about it afterwards. They handled it without making a big deal about it.

    Likely because those managers had existing functional working relationships with those players. Hanley’s reaction tells you that such a relationship probably did not exist in this case. In today’s professional sports environment a manager without a handful of rings isn’t going to survive having a fractured relationship with the franchise player.

  45. @80-

    Well observed. It’s a shame if he got fired because Hanley Ramirez is a douche. I hope we get him.

  46. Likely because those managers had existing functional working relationships with those players.

    Wow, I haven’t seen a stretch like that since Jayne Mansfield’s estate sold her lingerie. How about Hanley is a young guy, and they act like idiots sometimes, and either get over it or not? If Fredi (and I am not a fan of him BTW) is so unable to relate, where are the other examples? Where was the fan support? Heck, HIS OWN TEAMMATES CALLED HIM OUT. This is utter unsupported speculation.

  47. And I tell you what, if in fact they did fire him over Hanley, there’s not a manager in the world that will ever be anything but a figurehead so long as Loria owns the club, and it will be obvious in the choice they make. Who the eff wants to go to work for Hanley Ramirez? I hear Bobby V is the front runner – good.

  48. Who the eff wants to go to work for Hanley Ramirez?

    I suspect if the Marlins had decided to keep Fredi and lose Hanley they would have had about 29 interested trade partners.

  49. In fact, the Hanley situation is probably the only thing that saved him from being fired earlier, according to those who speculate for a living

    Yeah apparently that six run win in Baltiimore last night was the last straw. They let him take the team up to Baltimore, play one game and win it easily and then fired him. There are obviously things going on behind the scenes.

  50. So clearly, the answer is his failed relationship with Hanley. The affirmative arguments for your position are compelling by their absence.

  51. This Isner match… They’ll play the 119th and 120th games of the fifth set tomorrow. (At minimum.) Winning 60 games is normally enough to get you to the fourth round. It’s enough on the women’s side to get you to the semis. By itself, the fifth set was the longest match of the Open Era, in any tournament.

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