With 19 games left in the 2008 regular season, the White Sox; improbably, and miraculously, are still very much in playoff contention. Even after a dissappointing 4-6 stint over the last 10 games, that was overshadowed by Carlos Quentin’s season ending injury, eternal hope continues to spring on the South Side. Birds are still chirping, the mills are still pumping out steel, and nobody seems to be in full-out panic mode just yet. Two games atop the AL Central, the fading White Sox mustered only 2 hits today in a 3-1 loss to Toronto, but the Twins, 3-7 over their last 10, seem to feel the burn more.
With 14 games over the next 13 days, it is definitely gut-check time for the Pale Hose and us fans. Running on fumes, it is imperative the starting pitchers continue to shine, and provide opportunities to win games with small offensive outputs. The lineup still has plenty of pop in it, so Quentin’s departure shouldn’t create a complete power outage. The bats need to stay productive, and Paul Konerko is slowly re-establishing himself as a feared slugger.
Tonight’s game is a big one, and youngin’ Clayton Richard will be under more pressure to perform than Jenna Jameson’s husband at night. Richard needs to retire batters early, and avoid getting in jams like the ones he faced against Cleveland last week, where he hurled only 4 innings. We face Toronto ace Roy Halladay tomorrow, so a win this evening will provide some much needed breathing room.
The schedule from here on out is not exactly favorable, and the 3 game trip to the “Terrordome” in Minneapolis hopefully doesn’t matter too much. We need to wrap things up before then, and go into the Twins series with the obligation to win one at the most. Luckily, the many teams that will try to play spoiler at the end of the season are seen by both teams, so hopefully there isn’t too much discrimination between the two leaders.
The future is here, and we need to be ready for it. Nothing would be more heart-wrenching than seeing our White Sox fight for 143 games, and then fade into oblivion at the end. Like Doc Spurlock said in Young Guns II, “Let’s finish the game………” moments before bum-rushing the bounty hunters with two guns a blazin’. Let’s finish the game White Sox, we’re behind you.
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