Friday, August 25, 2006

That's What I'm Talking About

Nice recovery by the White Sox up in Motown. After embarrassing themselves in the opening two games of the series, winning the next two was a relief, if nothing else. In the end, it means the Sox remain exactly where they were when the series began - 5 1/2 games out of first. Sure, it was a golden opportunity missed to make up ground, but all things considered, we'll take it.

Perhaps, if we're lucky, one moment from yesterday's game will serve as a precursor of things to come, a microcosm perhaps of where the chase in the AL Central will head in the coming weeks. It happened in the fifth inning when the Tigers Sean Casey ripped a line drive that Joe Crede leapt to grab at third base, coming close, but ultimately unable to catch it. Instead, the ball continued on into left field towards Pablo Ozuna. Casey, however, was under the impression that Crede caught the ball and thus he put his head down in frustration and looked set to head back to the dugout before realizing his mistake and making a mad dash for first base. Ozuna, however, was on top of things, made a running grab of the ball off the grass, and fired to first base. Casey was out by inches. Yeah, the old 5-7-3 putout. You don't see that very often, eh? Casey had to be embarrassed and the boos of the Detroit crowd surely didn't help.

Anyway, my point is that I'd like to think that that play could serve as a sign of what the future holds. Casey represents the Tigers and their sprint to clinch the division, which would seem imminent considering their lead once stood at ten games. Meanwhile, Ozuna's weird and unexpected ability to throw Casey out at first base from left field represents the Sox's unlikely comeback in the standings. And, of course, Casey being called out by mere inches represents the Sox ultimately nipping the Tigers in the end.

Am I looking too deep into one unusual play? Maybe. We shall see.

Jermaine Dye produced two home runs, three RBI, four runs and a double. If his name doesn't start being mentioned more often in the MVP race, something is wrong, or the East Coast media is as biased as many say it is.

Jon Garland pitched a complete game shutout. His record improved to 15-4. He has now allowed one earned run or fewer in seven of his last ten starts. Think about that. That is an absolutely filthy stat. His ERA remains a tad high following his shaky start to the season, but if he continues to pitch the way he is right now (as good as anyone) and gets that ERA below four, then Garland's name needs to be tossed into the Cy Young conversation. Yeah, I realize there are several candidates well ahead of him at the moment (Santana, Halladay, etc.), but Garland has earned the right to at least be mentioned. After all, no American Leaague pitcher has more wins than Garland over the past two years (33). That should count for something, right?

The Sox can help Garland out by roughing up Santana this weekend. I mean, rough...him...up! I want the ball flying all over the Cell. I want line drives screaming back at Santana right past his head. I want Santana rocked. Rocked!

Oh, and I want a three-game sweep of the Twinkerbells.

Here we go now.


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