After a mostly east coast trip the White Sox came home and took care of business, and the Minnesota Twins. For 3 games the Sox looked every bit of a playoff team. Clutch offense, good defense and timely pitching.
Lets go with the offense. The last time I wrote I pointed out that Paul Konerko’s extra base hits were limited over the past month and a half. Obviously the Captain was listening as he went 8-11, with 2 of his hitting leaving the yard while the other was a 2-bagger.
Those extra base knocks were more than his July total up to this point. I know Alex Rios is having a better RBI season, but when Konerko hits, the White Sox win, it’s that simple. Konerko is actually having a great season, so I may have unrealistic expectations for the guy.
I think Adam Dunn is happy to be home. Dunn went 5-13 with 2 home runs, number 29 & 30, and added 6 RBI. Dunn now has a two home run lead over his nearest competitor.
I think Dayan Viciedo may be the Sox secret weapon. You never know when he’s gonna bust out, but when he does, watch out. Viciedo has been relatively quiet since May, but against the Twins he was back on point. The Tank even went deep for the first time in 11 games, and for only the second time this month. For those of you wondering, that was Viciedo’s first home run he has hit at home against an A.L. opponent since June 2nd. So have many decisions to make at the end of this year, none bigger than they one they will be forced to make on Tank.
Sox poured it on in the 3 games, and they did it without Pierzynski for 2 games and Youkilis for part of one. Youk left with a sprained ankle on Wednesday, while Pierzynski is battling an oblique strain. Or for you non-doctors, like me, a side muscle.
Tyler Flowers received his first back to back starts this year, and they weren’t bad. 2-8 for the backup catcher. I wouldn’t count him out so quickly if I were fans of the Sox.
The Sox management has to be a a bit concerned about Gordon Beckham. While the rest of the Sox were pummeling the Twins, Beckham could only manage 1 hit.
I will go to me grave believing that his bat will one day catch up to his golden glove.
If you are like me, then you have read that the Sox are looking to get rid of Gavin Floyd. It almost seems like they want nothing more than a bag of balls.
I know he hasn’t been as consistant as he was when he won 17 for the Sox a few years back, but the guy isn’t as bad as he is made to seem. He’s also only 29, still in his prime.
Floyd was coming back from a little elbow inflammation, and he looked a tad rusty, as he walked 6 guys. That is not good, but only one scored, and that came on a De Aza error. Coming off the DL and allowing only 2 earned runs in 6 innings is a good start to me. I hope hope the Sox hang on to the guy. I know I may be in a minority, but I do.
Every time I watch Jose Quintana pitch, I am always thinking that this is the start that he’ll finally pitch like a rookie. He has yet to do that. He did give up a pair of home runs to Josh Willingham on Tuesday, but that man is quietly having a monster of a season.
If he keeps pitching like he has, he’ll eventually find himself in the top 10 in ERA. Mike Trout is the runaway Rookie of the Year, but Quintana should get a few votes.
For only the 2nd time in 2 months the Sox welcomed Jake Peavy back to the win column. Peavy stifled the Twins on Wednesday for his 8th win of the season. That’s the most wins for the guy since 2008. He should have 12 or more, but spotty Sox offensive have denied him of this extra 4 or maybe 5 wins.
I’m happy that the Sox swept the Twins, but I don’t get too excited as the Twins are just playing out the string. The next big test comes this weekend when the Sox get another look at the West leading Rangers, who they swept not that long ago. Texas is gonna want some payback. Sox need 2 of the 3.
After finishing up in Cleveland, the Tiger go to Toronto to battle the fading Blue Jays. Sox and Tigers are tied for 1st with 64 games left.