Could they possibly get more boring? Jeez. Why do we even bother to watch these games anymore? While Eric Wedge and Mark Shapiro continue to bask in their job security, their team continues to play like dogs. What actually made this game interesting was the return of Aaron Laffey to the rotation after a month long stint on the disabled list and a sabbatical in the bullpen.
Laffey, now the fourth left-hander in the rotation, was decent enough in the 5-1 loss. Other than a rough third inning where he gave up a three spot on a walk and four straight singles, Laffey was his usual solid self. In fact after that frame, he gave up just one hit through the sixth.You can definitely be encouraged by Laffey’s return; he should be primed for a solid second half and take over his spot as probably the #2 guy behind Cliff Lee. But does it really matter at this point? “It felt good to be back out there and be back in that competitive atmosphere,” Laffey said. “I feel like a part of the team again.”
How about those Tribe bats, huh? Jose Contreras completely befuddled The Grinder’s vaunted “1-9″ lineup into the seventh inning where he allowed just three hits and struck out nine. Your Wahoos had their shot in the seventh as Contreras began to tire. Jhonny Peralta hit his sixth homer of the year, a solo shot with one out. Strangely, five of Jhon’s six homers have come on the road and his only “home” run came last weekend. Travis Hafner and Ryan Garko followed with singles, bringing the tying run to the plate. With lefty Luis Valbuena due up, Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen wisely pulled Contreras (104 pitches), for lefty Matt Thornton. Captain Grind countered with pinch hitter Jamey Carroll.
Guess what happened next?
JC grounded into an inning-ending double play. Rally killed. Game over.
All that followed was more bad Tribe relief pitching. Jose Veras gave back Peralta’s run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to an RBI blooper by Jermain Dye, who went 3-4 on the night with three RBI. In fact, it was the meat of the Sox order than did the Indians in. Alexei Ramirez, Dye, and Paul Konerko (who is having the series of his season) combined to go 7-12 with four of the Sox five RBI.I will give Wedge credit for one thing – he smartly put Chris Perez right back out there, a night after he was tagged by the Paul Konerko game changing grand slam. Perez right, now the only Perez on the staff after Perez left (Rafael) was sent back to Columbus, pitched a scoreless eighth inning, K’ing two. Nothing like a 1-2-3 inning when the pressure is off!
The South-Siders must love that they have been fortunate enough to catch the Tribe over the past two weeks twice. They have now taken five straight and show no signs of letting up. The Indians in the meantime keeping sinking lower and lower with the worst record in the American League at 33-52, a whopping 19 games under .500. From the “how is this possibly true” department, the Red, White, and Blue entered the night as the third highest scoring team in the AL. That tells you just how bad the pitching has been this year.
More good news – after the game, Jeremy “five and fly” Sowers was told he was being sent down to Triple-A Columbus to make way for the return of “The Realtor” Rafael Betancourt.