29-23. 2 games up. Big road wins. Before I go any further, let my clarify: This describes the 2008 Chicago White Sox, a team every magazine and media outlet denied any discernible credit to during Spring Training. Steelhead himself, the asshole who wears white socks to weddings/formal events as a tribute, even wrote them off. The schedule may have 110 possible roadblocks left, but one doubter’s opinion has drastically changed this month…Even a Tigers fan is smart enough to realize good pitching sustains a ballclub, and produces wins. In that category, the Sox on the hill have delivered time and again. Pitching has been outstanding of late, and perhaps the biggest surprise is the relievers stepping up and protecting leads.
Scott Linebrink has simply dominated. In his last 10 appearances, Liney has surrended only 3 hits, and 0 runs. Pair that with Bobby Jenks serving up only 1 ER over the last 10, and it’s quite obvious: “We fucking own the last few innings.” Good teams don’t blow leads in later innings, and if these guys can continue to perform at even a fraction of how they are now, WATCH OUT. They could wreak more havoc than Ax and Smash from “Demolition.” God bless Mr. Fuji…
Overall, the team has a combined ERA of 3.43, which is 3rd in baseball. Vasquez, Contreras, and Gavin Floyd have consistently put the Sox in a position to win games. If Buehrle can snap out of his current funk, and solidify the rotation, expect many more wins. Mark may be a question right now, but there definitely looms a much larger one.
Let’s face it. The hitting this season has been dogshit at best. For this lineup to be in the league’s bottom half in runs scored (235), and third from worst in batting average (.247), something is terribly wrong. Konerko, Swisher, and Thome have hovered around .200 all season, and this team cannot be taken too seriously until at least one of them breaks the slump. Which raises the question:
How does one break a slump?
- Extra B.P.? No.
- Personal hitting coach? No.
- Old Spice Hair and Body Wash? No.
- Steroids? Ummmmm No.
- Practice Voodoo, sacrifice a live chicken, and feed Jobu rum? Maybe.
- Find the fattest woman in the hotel bar during a road-trip and nail her? YES
DING DING DING!!!! WE HAVE A WINNER!!!! This age-old technique has brought the bats of many fledgling sluggers to life. These are strange cosmos we live in, and you can’t argue with science. A few weeks ago, I practiced this time-honored ritual to break my slump, and then I went on…..wait. I was just really drunk, and she was the only person who would go home with me. But, I did ten-run-rule Italy in 2 innings the next day playing, “Little League World Series” for the NES. Nevermind……
The Sox offense is completely dysfunctional, but does have its bright spots. Carlos Quentin has obviously been a most pleasant surprise, batting .296 with 14 homers and 47 ribbies. That just made me think: What ever happened to the mascots “Ribbie and Rhubarb?” Remember those creepy, yet lovable fuzzballs? They would prance around Old Comiskey, trying their best to help you forget the Sox were 22.5 games back, down 12-0 in the 3rd to Kansas City, and those herpes aren’t going away….
Anyhoo, Dye, Pierzynski, and Crede continue to chug along, helping pace the offense with Quentin. It’s not too hard to figure out which batters own a Nintendo DS. A good sign that the end is near: Hawk Harrelson and Darrin Jackson went on an inning and a half rant about the DS, claiming A.J. is a better ball player because of it, and proceeded to mention they both own one, and play it on road trips. And all this time, I pictured Hawk and DJ blottoed in a Minneapolis hotel room with 6 hookers, a pile of blow, and circus midgets. Thanks for killing my dream guys…….Until next time, enjoy the sweep of Tampa Bay
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