The Sox are still hanging tough, and by their fingernails, in the playoff race. They beat the Twins on Monday, 3-0, and are within 5 games of front running Detroit.
Mark Buehrle is as clutch a pitcher as there is in the game. If the Sox score 5, he may give up 4. Or, like Monday, when the Sox score 2, he allows nothing. It was vintage Buehrle too, 7+ allowing 4 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strike outs. In a land where if you throw in the 90′s, you are given chance after chance, Buehrle has down it by barely hitting 90 mph on the radar gun. He had the Twins eating out of his hands last night. I can only remember 1 instance where they threatened, but the left hander pitched out of it. That was his 11th victory of the year, giving him double digit wins in 11 straight seasons. 23 more innings and he’ll top the 200 inning plateau for the 11 straight time, as well.
Buehrle has won 27 games versus the Twins, against 19 losses. Monday was also his 159th career wins, tying him with Doc White for 6th all-time in club history. Mister White better watch out. If Buehrle pitches 56 more innings he’ll move past him in innings pitched, as well. Next up for Buehlre on both accounts, is Wilbur Wood. I saw Wood pitch, but White last pitched in Chicago in 1913, or 1 year before I was born–haha.
I would have laughed if you told me in August that offensive stars of the Sox, in August, would be Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers and Alejandro De Aza. Not because those guys can’t play, but because this was supposed to be the season the Sox challenged for another title. Those guys were the future, not the now. Well, I guess the future is now for the Sox. Last night, those 3 combined to go 5-8, with 3 RBI, and 2 stolen bases. Over the past 2 games they are 8-16, with 2 home runs, 9 RBI, and 3 stolen bases.
Viciedo has been as good as advertised. Not only does he look to be in better shape than I remember, but he has great plate coverage. Pitch him to the outside, he goes to right. Pitch him in, and he goes to left, or over the wall in center. .667 average in his 2 games.
Nice to see Paul Konerko get back on the field. That was his first time playing 1st since he suffered his calf injury in July. Now, what do the Sox do with Adam Dunn? With Konerko at first, and Viciedo and De Aza playing so well, where will the Big Donkey get his at bats? He hasn’t had an at bat since August 27th.
After having so much trouble against the Twins earlier this year, the Sox have now won the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
Not everything is peachy for the Sox. Alex Rios is in an 3-18 slump, while Brent Morel is in a 1-15 slump. Morel’s last knock came Friday night, in Seattle. I guess it’s only fair that I mention Gordon Beckham, who is 8 for his last 45. Defensively, all those guys are outstanding, but if the Sox wanna shock everyone and win the Central, the time to start hitting is now.
They’ll get another chance tonight when the Twins throw Anthony Swarzak at the Sox. Swarzak befuddled the Sox back in July, holding them to 1 runs on 4 hits, in 6 innings of work.
Zach Stewart will go for the Sox. He beat the Twins 22 days ago, allowing Minnesota 1 run in 6+ innings of work.
Let’s see if the Sox get 3 games over .500 for the first time since April 12th. If they do, I’ll have to stop talking about if’s because the Sox have not been 4 games over .500 at all this entire year. Sad, but true.