Monday, September 20, 2010

Pierzynski, playoff pitching, poll stuff

A.J. Pierzynski was both hero and goat Sunday night, which seems apt considering how up and down his season has been.

Good game, bad game: A.J. Pierzynski was 3-for-6
Sunday night with two RBIs,
but his White Sox lost 9-7 in 11 innings.
The Tigers entered the ninth with a 7-3 lead, but Pierzynski led off the bottom of the ninth with a ground-rule double off Detroit LOOGY Phil Coke, and the White Sox scored four runs in the inning to force extra innings.

But in the top of the 11th, Brandon Inge struck out on a wild pitch and Pierzynski made a poor throw to first, with Inge taking third on his strikeout. The Tigers scored twice, and the Sox didn't have another comeback in them.

ESPN kept showing Pierzynski in the dugout, clearly replaying his miscue. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

The catcher Twins fans love to hate is is the final month of his contract, and it's hard to tell what the White Sox have in mind. He turns 35 in December, and he has a lot of mileage on him. He had a horrid April (.169/.229/.200) and a weak first-half (.247/.288/.376) but has been his typical self in the second half (.306/.321/.409).

Further complicating factors: Tyler Flowers, who's been groomed to be Pierzynski's successor, had a weak season at the plate in Triple A; and the White Sox may have budget issues this offseason.

My guess: Pierzynski will get a one-year deal to stick with the Sox. But he may be on the verge of being a nomad.


The Star Trib's LaVelle Neal reports that the Twins shuffle up their rotation this week to set up an order of Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing in the first three games of the playoffs.

That prioritizes talent and power over veteran composure. That's what Tom Kelly did in 1987 when he flipped Frank Viola ahead of Bert Blyleven.

The poll questions are about the playoff rotation.


More poll stuff: We had 61 votes on the question of whether Johan Santana, as of now, is a Hall of Famer.

The heavy majority — 46 votes, or 75 percent — said no. The other 15 (24 percent) say yes.

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