I, like a lot of you, want to put the Sox season to bed. 6 straight losses, no offense and bad pitching. Maybe it’s time to call it a day, and start to focus on next year. But, I can’t. Yes, I know the personalities of most of these guys, and there is not a quitter in the bunch, but that’s not the reason I won’t count them out. I can’t because they haven’t had one winning streak longer than 4 games, so far this year. Even crappy teams have a 5 or 6 game streak somewhere in their season. The Sox have the hitting and pitching. If it all starts to click on the same night, that 6.5 games they trail Detroit by, will vanish quickly
I wouldn’t necessarily call it a house of horrors, but Target Field in Minnesota hasn’t been the friendliest place for the White Sox to play. Coming into Friday’s contest, the South Siders have lost 8 of their first 11 meetings on the Twins new field.
Mark Buehrle is always the guy you want pitching against the Twins, as he came in to Friday’s game with 25 wins against the Sox rival. In what looked like a replay from his July 9th start against Minnesota, Buehrle gave 3 unearned runs. But instead of getting a no decision, he picked up his 9th victory of the year, and 26th against the Twins. Did you all read that stat? The one that said Friday’s game was Buehrle’s 17 straight start allowing 3 runs or fewer. The longest such streak for a Sox pitcher in 39 years. Hawk said it perfectly the other night when he said Buerhle is a great pitcher, but an even better person. It will be a crime if Chicago lets him leave as a free agent, or retire. Most teams have a heart and soul of their team. Buehrle and Paul Konerko are the two with the Sox.
Adam Dunn has played only 22 games at first for the Sox, but he looks better as a DH. 1 error on Friday and Saturday for the big man. The one on Saturday came on a bad pick off throw by Zach Stewart, but Dunn didn’t get his body in position to get the ball. He is a huge man, so it can’t be easy to contort one’s body. He should have been charged another error in the 6th inning when he allowed Jim Thome’s rocket to get past him for a double. It was a hard hit ball, but it was to his glove side, which should have been a routine play. Not for me, but for him.
That Edwin Jackson/Mark Teahen deal for Jason Frasor and Stewart looks pretty good right now. Stewart befuddled the Twins for more than 6 innings, holding them to 1 earned run for his first Major League victory. Stewart is from a small town in Texas, called Wichita Falls. 2 small theatres, lights that go off at midnight, and 1 tiny mall in this town, which is known for housing some of the best pilots in the world at Sheppards Air Force Base. I know all this because I once lived in this town. If he is as great a person as some of the one’s that I met when I lived in that town, the White Sox have something. I don’t think the Sox won’t go to a 6-man rotation for the kid, but it’s nice to know he can pitch in a pinch.
Buehrle and Stewart got the victories, but the Sox bullpen played a big part in getting them their W’s. 3.2 innings pitched of no run ball for a Sox pen that was battered by the Red Sox and Yankees during the Sox 6 game losing streak. Talking about the bullpen, I was right for the first time ever. Brian Bruney was relieved of his pen duties when the Sox DFA’d him on Friday.
Is Chris Sale nasty, or what? His slider is absolutely deadly to left handers. He got his 3rd save of the year on Friday, and a hold on Saturday. I wonder if the Sox still have a rotation spot reserved for the dominant lefty? Barring any surprise deals, I think you will see him in the rotation next year.
One day after knocking out 2, 2-run home runs, Carlos Quentin was given Saturday off. I didn’t read anything else, so I am assuming all is well with the right fielder. How nervous were you when Quentin’s name was mentioned around the trade deadline? Thankfully, the Sox decided to stick with the one guy who is hitting long balls right now.
Quentin now has 23 home runs and 70 RBI.
Quentin did get hit by a pitch for the 21st time this year on Friday. Quentin is built like a linebacker, if he ever decides to take a trip to the mound, said pitcher is gonna get hurt. Most times, the guy never gives the pitcher a second look. Unbelievable restraint. AJ Pierzynski also got hit in Saturday, and he didn’t look at the pitcher either.
Brent Morel is the vacuum at 3rd that I expected him to be. On May 9th he committed his 6th error, in a game at the Angels. Since that time, he has committed only 1 more. In every way he is a clone of Joe Crede, which is great for the Sox and their fans.
Ok, one Crede story. Back in, I think, 2004, or 2005 I asked Crede for an interview. He begrudgingly said yes. Right before the Interview, he asks what I am going to ask him. I say, “This’ll be easy Joe, nothing too tough, basically I am going to lob you soft ball questions”. He stops, looks at me, and in a very confused/irritable voice says, “SOFTBALL questions!! I don’t know anything about softball”! He sure could play 3rd though.
For those of you that don’t know. If you wanna see how Alex Rios is doing, watch his body language. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, so when things are going tough, he beats himself up, real hard. You can see it in his walk, and his face. When things are going well, like they are right now, he has a little giddy up in his step, like he’s walking on air for lack of a better statement.
Nice job by Brent Lillibridge, not only defensively at first, but his 2 run bomb off Joe Nathan in the 9th on Saturday.
See what the Sox can do when they use their speed to make things happen? Ale De Aza has been a godsend for the Sox. And Juan Pierre, to the dismay of most, can still play the game, and cause havoc on the bases. Speed kills.
Sox go for the sweep tomorrow. They’ll give the ball to Jake Peavy, who has lost 6 straight starts. His last win coming on the final day of June.