Tough one for the Jays tonight. You can't win them all.
On the Mound:
Coming off an incredible performance, Brett Cecil didn't have the stuff he had last time, but he fought well. Cecil served up a 2-run home run to Paul Konerko in the 1st inning and got into trouble again in the 2nd, walking in a run. He kept the Pale Hose off the board for the rest of his start, but because he had thrown so many pitches in the first two innings (60), he didn't make it out of the 6th. It wasn't a great start, but it wasn't an awful one.
At the Plate
The Jays' hitting tonight was about as good as the idea of cheerleaders at baseball games. That is, awful. John Buck and Alex Gonzalez hit solo home runs (Gonzalez after the game was virtually over) and Fred Lewis had a couple of hits (one in the 9th). Vernon Wells doubled Lewis in in the 9th, and that was it. And I mean it. No other hits, and no one drew a walk. Credit to Chicago starter Jake Peavy, but it was an awful performance.
From the Pen
Other than an Andruw Jones triple, Josh Roenicke, who relieved Cecil, was okay but ran into some trouble in the 7th. Casey Janssen came in with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 7th after two runs had already scored. He hadn't pitched in a while, and, boy, did it show. He couldn't find the plate and walked three straight batters before retiring Alexei Ramirez on a lineout. Ouch. Interestingly enough, he was fantastic the following inning, getting ahead of everyone and setting them down in order with 2 weak groundouts and a strikeout. Maybe he just needs a bit more regular work.
In the Field
Today was not a game that supported the notion that some have set forward that Jose Bautista is a good third baseman. Bautista had a very poor play in the 7th that ultimately led to three runs being scored (one on the play and two on subsequent aforementioned Janssen walks). It was scored a double (for Alex Rios, no less) and it was hit hard but it was a very makeable play and Bautista totally misplayed it, giving ground and letting the ball get right by him. Bautista had another miscue earlier for which I gave him a pass due to a bad hop off the base, but this was another matter. He had to at least knock it down. Gonzalez played great defense as usual.
Cecil takes the Towers award home, though somewhat undeserved. Most of the lineup deserves a collective Hinske, but they did such a bad job of getting on base that there weren't enough high leverage situations to allow anyone to amass enough negative WPA at the plate to count (in fact, they only left two men on base all game). No one had Jay of the Day numbers or deserved the award, though you could give honourable mention to Buck and perhaps Gonzalez.
Tomorrow's game, which will decide the series, features Ricky Romero for the Jays and Gavin Floyd for the ChiSox. 2 pm.
Title from the great song "Skateland South" by Cory Brannan. Hawk reminds me a bit of a character from a Cory Brannan song.