Monday, August 4, 2008

Series Report: Reno @ Chico (August 4-7, 2008)

UPDATE: D.J. Dixon is officially gone and is a member of the Winnipeg Golden Eyes of the Independent Northern League. Still no update on the GBL transactions page, the Sox webpage, or via e-mail. It would be nice to know why we sold our best player to another independent league, guys. Did he want it? Is it to improve relations with the Northern League? Did we get anything besides money back? And is this officially the sign that the Sox have given up on the season? Please let us know!
"We plan on winning the second half. We have seen everybody now. The teams that beat us at the beginning are going to see an entirely different team. I expect to be playing (first half winner) Calgary for the title and whoever wins the other division, to be playing them in the championship."

-- Jeffrey Leonard in the July 15, 2008 edition of the Reno Gazette Journal

Game One: Now I am not sure if Jeffrey Leonard still believes this but one thing is for sure: The Sox have assured they won't be swept in this series as they have in the past two of three series. In fact, Landavazo had a great outing going 6.1 innings and giving up just one run in his second start of the year. In 18 games in the GBL this year, he is 2-1 with a 4.87 ERA but if you count his time with the Sox only, his ERA is 2.20. With no update on Kevin Frederick's condition, it looks like we have Hall, Russell, Landavazo, and maybe Chaffardet if he can find his groove. Other than that, it still looks like we have at least one position for starter by committee. And so far, that has not worked well for us. On the offensive side, John Hattig smacked homerun number 10 as the Sox won to bring their record to 6-12 with 26 games remaining in the second half. It is not looking good but "it ain't over 'til it's over".

Game Two: Steve Russell had a shaky outing and then the game became a blow out once Reggie Leslie entered the contest. Ever since Leslie went on the inactive list a while back he has been one our most inconsistent pitchers. Not sure if there is still a lingering injury but in any event, he is not pitching as well as he did before going on the inactive list. The Sox were held to just three hits as the Chico Outlaws stymied them once again. Two of those came from Senreiso, who is also rumored to be moving on soon--this has all the earmarks of a Florida Marlins fire sale...except that we are not getting anything back or building for next year. Of course, the recent loss of Dixon frees up playing time for Ryan Brown who is also a slugger, but just not in the category of Dixon. But maybe he'll be able to handle the increased playing time and really step up. Time will tell.

Game Three: An ugly win is better than a pretty loss and the Sox definitely proved that axiom to be true. After spotting the Outlaws 3 runs without a hit, the Sox looked on their way to losing another game. A combination of errors, wild pitches, and a balk made the Sox look like a little league team. But they clawed their way back in and with the lead changing hands several times and Todd Galetka blowing his second save in four days, the Sox were able to survive by the skin of their teeth. Closer Mitch Arnold was anything but dominant as he gave up a run on a hit and a walk in is one inning of work en route to his third save on the season. Not to beat a dead horse but Rookie Adam Geery (he was playing JUCO ball before coming to the Sox) looked very shaky defensively and it would be nice to still have Dixon behind the plate to take charge of the game. But it was not to be. Best offensive moment of the night? SS Doug Sanders, clearly the weakest hitter in the line-up knocked in the two runs that ended up being the deciding factor in this game. Great props to him as I am sure his lack of success this year has to be really frustrating. The worst the Sox can do tomorrow is split the series so that is some good news for a team desperate for some wins.

Game Four: Jesse Hall got lit-up for seven runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning and the outlaws never looked back as they cruised to a 5-hit shutout of the Silver Sox, 11-0. I didn't listen to the whole game (checked out around 8:30PM) but there was a debut by some guy named "B Wharton" and another appearance by "Picirillo"; at least that is what they are called on Howe Sports Data. As for the Sox website and the GBL website, not sure if those are updated since they have been infected with a trojan since last week. My anti-virus caught it the two times I logged on anyway but I figured I shouldn't push my luck. It seems the GBL main page and the Sox Roster. You can go to the Sox mainpage without a problem if you use the address. If you go from the GBL page or do the address it will try to infect your computer.


Anonymous said...

No he didn't want it, it wasn't to imporve relations with the NL. It just comes down to money. It gives the league a couple thousand, simple as that.

Keith said...

That is really unfortunate. I mean if affilated teams come a-knockin', no prob. But for independent teams, it should be for equal value or to move a guy who want to be somewhere else geographically. I hate to say it but it does look like that is the indication the league thinks the Sox are done...that and the fact that they have lost 11 of the last 14. Just a lost season all around. For me to stay interested, it is time to focus on individual players I want to see do well like Hattig, Brown, Senreiso, and Harris. I think the team should at least let folks know rather than have the casual fan just show up to the park and ask "Where is Dixon?". He was pretty popular from what I could tell. With a stale game day experience (according to the poll) and no give aways except for a bag of seeds this Saturday and a baseball on the last game of the year, I sure hope the fans keep coming out. A lot of guys in the press box and the dugout work hard to put on the game.

Keith said...

Speaking of on-field entertainment, check out this clip from Long Beach: