Thursday, August 31, 2006


The White Sox blew a golden opportunity this afternoon to cut Detroit's lead to 3.5 games. The Tigers lost to the Yankees earlier today, and the Sox were leading Tampa Bay, 3-2, after Javier Vazquez gave them seven strong innings. The Sox have been virtually a lock to win when leading after seven, racking up a 63-2 record in that situation before today. They've been almost as good when getting a quality start like Vazquez gave them, going 57-8 prior to this. But the games aren't played on paper (had to dust off that cliche before using it), and Matt Thornton and Brandon MacCarthy blew it. Thornton blew the save, giving up a game-tying homer in the eighth, and B-Mac took the loss, allowing a single, wild pitch, two walks (one intentional), and another single -- all of which resulted in the two-run, game-winning margin (5-3).
Detroit's loss drops the Magic Number to 34 and keeps the White Sox 4.5 games out of the Central Division lead. KC finally turned back into a pumpkin, losing to Minnesota today and permitting the Twins to inch back within a half game of the Sox in the Wild Card race. The Sox cannot afford to blow games like this one, or waste one of Vazquez's better performances, as they have been few and far between this season. The Good Guys must do better tomorrow. Go Sox!

Oh me of little faith! When the Sox fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, I turned off the radio (XM is wonderful for an out-of-town fan). I just couldn't stand to listen to the team lose another game it should win. The Sox had rarely come back when trailing after seven innings -- 8-45 going into last night -- and they had been playing better against teams above .500 (44-31) than against those that aren't (33-23). Well, last night was the exception. Come back they did against the below-.500 Devil Rays to win 5-4.
They did it on the strength of Tadahito Iguchi's two-run homer in the eighth to tie it and Jim Thome's RBI single in the same inning. Thome, who was back in the lineup for the first time since injuring his hamstring (but may sit out today after tweaking it again), went two for four while batting cleanup. Jermaine Dye continued his torrid hitting, going three for five, and added two stolen bases for good measure. By the way, Iguchi's homer was the 199th of the season for the Sox, who look certain to extend their streak of at least 200 homers for an MLB-record seventh consecutive year.
The win went to Jon Garland, who gave up three runs in the first and then pitched well for the next six innings to earn his Major League-leading 16th win (against only four losses). The Sox are now 40-16 when their starter goes at least seven innings and only 38-38 when he doesn't. Bobby Jenks notched his best-in-the-Majors 38th save.
The White Sox victory combined with Detroit's split with the Yankees moved the Sox to 4.5 games behind the Tigers, which the Tribune reports is the closest they've been since July 19th. The Magic Number is down to 35. Had Scott Proctor retired Craig Monroe instead of giving up a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning, Detroit's lead would have been only 3.5 games and the MN would have been 34. That begs the question: where was Mariano Rivera? Apparently, Joe Torre didn't want to overtax his arm since Rivera had saved the first game. C'mon. Rivera threw only 14 pitches in the opener, not exactly a full day's work, and the Tigers didn't accumulate the best record in the A.L. by giving up. I would have gone with the most dominant closer ever to put away a game against a possible postseason opponent. But what do I know? Well, I know that the Sox have a 1.5 game lead in the Wild Card race over the Twins, who lost to KC for the second night in a row. Let's keep it going. Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


The White Sox regained the Wild Card lead last night with an ugly, 12-9 win over the Devil Rays. Freddy Garcia (13-4) got the win, but allowed five earned runs in his seven-inning stint. The D-Rays also stole four bases on Freddy, who can't seem to hold a runner and still concentrate on pitching -- something the Update has been complaining about all season. Neal Cotts and David Riske "Business" tried to let Tampa Bay back into the game, but couldn't quite manage to fritter away the big lead the Sox had built up. Riske was particularly ineffective, giving up two runs on hits to each of the three batters he faced in the eighth. Fortunately, Matt Thornton put out the fire before giving way to Bobby Jenks, who pitched a spotless ninth to rack up his major league-leading 37th save. The offense was in high gear, led by Jermaine "MVP" Dye's 39th homer and Joe Crede's four hits. Every Sox batter except Juan Uribe managed at least one hit, including Brian Anderson, whose batting average crept up to .231. Ross Gload, who played because Jim Thome was a late scratch due to wet grounds -- no chances being taken with his hammy -- had a pair to raise his average to .313. Ozzie needs to find a spot in the lineup for Gload after Thome comes back.
The Sox now trail the Tigers by only five games, with Detroit scheduled to play two games today against the first-place Yankees to make up last night's rainout. The Tigers' slated starters are nothing to write home about (Ledezma at 2-1 and Robertson at 11-10), so maybe the Bronx Bombers can sweep the day-night affair. Throw a Sox win on top of that and the Good Guys are only 3.5 games out. Enough fantasizing. The reality is that we've got a Magic Number of 37 and are a half game up on the Twins in the Wild Card chase. The Sox have a Magic Number of 32 to win that last playoff spot, but the Update is not giving up on the Central Division crown. We're going to need better pitching to achieve that goal. And speaking of better pitching, Jon Garland is just the man to provide it tonight. Go Sox!

Monday, August 28, 2006


Tell me you weren't expecting the worst in the ninth inning yesterday. After all, the Twins scored the winning run in their last at bats on both Friday and Saturday nights. But nothing bad happened to spoil Mark Buehrle's fine effort (7.1 innings, one run) and the Sox managed to win one game from Minnesota, after heartbreakers in the first two games of the series. Friday's game ended with a Bartman-like play -- fan interference on a pop foul. Saturday's game featured a miraculous White Sox comeback, with Jermaine Dye coming through with a clutch home run in the bottom of the ninth to tie it up, only to see it slip away in extra innings.
Anyway, the weekend's activities left the Sox 5.5 games behind Detroit, which is having troubles of its own, and a half game behind the Twins (in the Wild Card race). The Sox have a Magic Number of 38 over the Tigers and 34 over Minnesota. On the other hand, Detroit has a Magic Number of 27 over the Sox and 28 over the Twins. And time is running out. Only 32 games remaining for the Good Guys. (We should note the elimination of KC by the Tigers since we last published. Wait till next year, Royals. Actually, you don't figure to be any better next year, but look what the Tigers have done after more than a decade of losing.) The Wild Card race figures to come down to the wire -- Sox play at Minnesota the last series of the season -- and even Boston is not out of it yet at 5.5 games back. Although, in the National League, nine teams are closer to the Wild Card lead than the Red Sox are in the A.L. This should be interesting in both leagues.
The Sox finally get a day off today after playing 24 days without a break. Tomorrow night, they host Tampa Bay, a horrible team that we have had a devil (rays) of a time beating. Let's hope the rest helps. Go Sox!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


No question who the ace of the White Sox pitching staff is -- it' s Jon Garland. And if you needed proof, Garland provided it today, shutting out Detroit on six hits, and improving his record to 15-4. Garland had plenty of run support -- 10 big ones -- courtesy of White Sox bats that continue to show signs of waking from their recent slumber. Among the team's 14 hits were home runs by Jermaine Dye, his 36th and 37th, and Juan Uribe, his 15th. Hell, even Brian Anderson had two base knocks, raising his average to .228, well above the Mendoza Line. And they did this without Jim Thome, who was resting his strained left hammy. Ross Gload played first and Paulie took over Thome's DH spot.
The Sox win/Tigers loss means the two teams are back where they started the series: Detroit up by 5.5 games, a considerable improvement over the 10-game bulge they enjoyed on August 7, but not the slim, 1.5 game lead they would have had if the Sox had swept. The Magic Number is 41 and the lead over the Twins, who play tonight, is temporarily one game.
By the way, kudos to the Tigers fans. The attendance is listed at 41,565 , which is 101.2% of Comerica Park's capacity. Too bad they had to see their team get trounced. Go Sox!

The Sox outhit the Tigers last night, 15-9. Why lead with that fact? Because when they garner more hits than their opponent, the Sox win 89% of the time -- by contrast, their opponents win only 70% of the time when they outhit the Sox. (The only stat that comes close in terms of predicting a win for the Good Guys is quality starts. The Sox are 55-8 when their starters pitch at least six innings and give up no more than three earned runs.) And yesterday, the percentages held, as the Sox hung on to take Game 3 off the series from Detroit, 7-5. The big hits were supplied by Jermaine Dye, his 35th homer, and Joe Crede, his 26th and 27th homers, including a one-handed shot. The beneficiary of this offense was Freddy Garcia, who improved his record to 12-8, with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief from Sox fireballers Matt Thornton, Mike MacDougal, and Bobby Jenks. Jenks's effort in the ninth earned him his league-leading 36th save.
The victory came at a cost, however. Jim Thome pulled up lame while running out a ground-rule double in the second. The early diagnosis is a strained left hamstring. The Sox can ill afford to lose Thome at all, let alone now, but he won't be facing Detroit today in the series finale, and is in doubt for the upcoming Minnesota series. Here's to a speedy recovery, Jim. Hopefully, the team won't miss him too much and Jon Garland's recent success will carry over to today's game, when he faces Nate Robertson -- a pretty good matchup for the Sox.
Anyway, the win means that the Sox are 6.5 games back of Detroit in the Central Division race and a half-game ahead of the Twins for the Wild Card. The Magic Number is 43. By the way, don't look now, but our old nemesis, Oakland, is surging in the West. My man Frank Thomas hit his 475th career homer (27th of the season) last night and Estaban Loiza tossed a shutout. The Sox play them three times out in Oakland in mid-September, which is not what the doctor ordered. But we've got more immediate things -- the Tigers and the Twins -- to worry about. Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

45 (Day Three)

Since there's nothing good to say (other than the prediction that Sandy Alomar, Jr., would start was correct), we might as well be creative. Here's my haiku:

White Sox lose again.
Seven and a half games back.
Lead Twins by half game.

Now post your own about the game, the season, or anything White Sox. The haiku must be three lines, with the first being five syllables, the second being seven, and the third being five. Winner gets fame but not fortune.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

45 (Day Two)

An ugly game last night, so this will be short. The Sox lost 7-1 to the Tigers. Contreras got ripped for seven earned runs in just five innings. The Sox's offense consisted of Jermaine Dye's 34th home run. Justin Verlander scattered just six other hits to garner his 15th win. The Magic Number remains at 45, but Detroit's lead bulges to 6.5 games. The Sox still have a half-game margin over the idle Twins and four games over the shell-shocked Red Sox in the Wild Card race.
Tonight, Mark Buehrle takes on Kenny Rogers. Buehrle had better watch out for Craig Monroe, who is hitting .455 against him in 22 career at bats, and Mags, who is three for six against his old teammate. Brian Anderson is three for four against Rogers, and Joe Crede is five for 15, but Sandy Alomar, Jr., has the most hits against the Gambler -- 14 for 45 (.311). Since A.J. is only one for six, look for Buehrle's personal catcher, Alomar, to get the start. Go Sox!

Monday, August 21, 2006


In this case, two outta three was bad. I'm referring to my fearless predictions for the Sox-Twins series, nailing the last two games, but getting the opener wrong. Who knew that Freddy Garcia and the Sox wouldn't be able to beat rookie pitcher Boof Bonser? (They're not saying "boo," they're saying "Boof.") Jon Garland held up his end of the bargain in the second game, pitching brilliantly. Unfortunately, our old buddy Javier Vazquez was on the mound for the rubber match. While he lost as expected, he did it in an unexpected way: He didn't wait until the third time through the lineup to self-destruct, instead giving up four runs in the third inning -- enough for the Twins to win.
There is some good news though. The Tigers are in a tailspin of their own, having lost nine of their last twelve. After the weekend's action, the Sox are 5.5 games behind Detroit for the Central Division lead and the Magic Number is down to 45. Plus, we face the Tigers four games in a row (without Vazquez starting) at Comerica. A sweep will reduce the lead to 1.5 games and Magic Number to 37. Three out of four means 3.5 games behind and a MN of 39. A split leaves us at 5.5 games and cuts the MN to 41. I'm not going to entertain any other possible outcomes, but you do the math. Meanwhile, the Twins, who are only a game behind the Sox for the Wild Card berth, get to play the O's. At least, the series is in Baltimore. The O's are .500 at home; the Twins are three games under .500 on the road. Not the best records for Sox fans, but it's a hell of a lot better than those two teams meeting in Minnesota, where the Twins are 24 games to the good and would be facing an Orioles team that is 14 games underwater on the road. Go Sox!

Friday, August 18, 2006


Things got a little tense yesterday as the Royals were rallying in the ninth inning of a 5-4 game. After KC put two men on, Ozzie ordered Bobby Jenks (who entered the game early -- in the eighth inning) to intentionally walk Mark Grudzielanek to load the bases and bring Mike Sweeney to the plate. The move, which had disaster written all over it, paid off when Sweeney, who had been three for six lifetime against Jenks, hit into a game-ending double play, Crede to Konerko. Jenks's league-leading 34th save (tied with Todd Jones of Detroit) preserved the victory for Mark Buehrle, his 10th of the year. Buehrle pitched well enough to win and must now be convinced that Sandy Alomar, Jr., is his personal good-luck charm. Buehrle's renaissance began when Alomar started catching him three starts back, a win against KC (followed by a bad outing against the Angels, and a quality start in a game the Sox won against the Tigers). Whatever it takes, I'm for; the Sox need an effective Buehrle to get to the post-season. Offensively, KC and the Sox accomplished a first for major league baseball: each team's leadoff batter in the first and second innings homered. Only Elias keeps track of -- or cares about -- things like that.
The win returned the Sox to a .600 winning percentage, kept them tied with the Mets for the second-best record in baseball, reduced the Magic Number to 49, and allowed the Sox to stay 6.5 games behind Detroit. Since the Twins lost, the Sox increased their Wild Card lead to two games and pared the Wild Card Magic Number to 41. Boston is another half game back of Minnesota. There's ground to be gained in the next 10 days as the team travels to play three against the Twins and four against the Tigers before returning to the Cell to take on the Twins in another three-game set. Freddy Garcia goes up against some rookie named Boof Bonser tonight, and then the matchups get harder: Jon Garland vs. Brad Radke and Javier "Third time's not a charm" Vazquez vs. Johan Santana. I predict we take the first two and lose the third, which, given Minnesota's home record, wouldn't be bad at all. Go Sox!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


No way, Jose. As in, no way Jose Contreras loses to Kansas City, the worst team in the majors and a team he has never lost to in nine career starts. Well, there's a first time for everything, and last night the Royals broke their maiden (a horse racing term) against Contreras. They didn't just beat him, they beat him like a rented mule (continuing with the equine expressions). Again, the defense was leaky, and the offense was non-existent until the ninth inning. In short, the Sox deserved the 10-4 beating they absorbed.
Fortunately, the Tigers lost to Boston, keeping Detroit's lead at 6.5 games, but dropping the Sox's Magic Number to 50. We've got a one game margin over the Twins, who won last night. No suprise there, since Minnesota is playing .700 ball at home. Good thing we don't have to play them up there anytime soon. Oh, wait. We do play them there, starting tomorrow night. Buckle your seat belts boys and girls. We could be in for a bumpy ride. But first things first. We must win today. Losing three in a row to KC would make our guys look like a bunch of asses. (There it is, the trifecta of riding-animal references. I can stop now.) Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

51 (Day Two)

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Javier Vazquez does fine the first two times through the lineup but gets in trouble the third time through the order. Well, it happened again last night, resulting in a 4-2 loss to the Lowly Royals. (Why is the "L" in Lowly capitalized? Because they suck so much that MLB has officially changed the team's name to reflect the fact. Yet we have trouble beating them.) In defense of Vazquez, the defense was offensive. For that matter, the offense was offensive. Even the coaching was offensive. Joey "Send 'Em" Cora waved Tadahito Iguchi home on Jim Thome's double and of course Gooch was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Instead of second and third with Konerko up, the inning's over and Thome's stranded on second.
Okay, that game's out of our system. The Magic Number holds steady at 51, but we fall back to 6.5 games behind Detroit (who rallied late to beat the Bosox in Boston), and we're now only two games up on the Twins in the Wild Card race. The only good news of the night -- and I hate to take pleasure in someone's injury -- is that Tiger second baseman Placido Polanco is on the DL with a separated shoulder and, according to early reports, is out for the season. Interestingly, Ivan Rodriguez took over at second last night after Polanco was hurt -- the first time in 2,256 previous major and minor league games that he has played that position. That can't be good for Detroit. Go Sox!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


In the words of Richard Nixon, I'm tan, rested, and ready. I'm back from the beach after a relaxing week during which I played golf four times and read three books, including Sox and the City by Richard Roeper -- a good read if you're a Sox fan, but probably not all that interesting to the rest of mankind. (Thanks to Update reader Jenny Koza for the thoughtful gift of the book!)
I figure Jerry Reinsdorf should pay me to take vacations, given the Sox won eight of 11 while I was gone. (I told you in advance that Update entries would be spotty, but the horrors of dial-up internet connections prevented me from achieving even that low-level of reporting.) The Good Guys took two out of three from the Blue Jays and Yankees, swept the Tigers, dropped the makeup game to the Angels, and obliterated the Royals in last night's series opener. All this success left the Sox only 5.5 games behind Detroit and sliced the Magic Number to 51 from 64. The team has a three-game lead over the Red Sox and Twins in the Wild Card race and a Wild Card Magic Number of 43. They're playing over .600 ball again and are tied (with the Mets) for the second-best record in baseball.
Four Sox players are on pace to hit at least 35 homers: Jim Thome, currently at 36; Jermaine Dye, 31; Paul Konerko, 27; and Joe Crede, 25. The starting pitchers have turned it around and are in double-figure wins and on pace to win at least 15 games -- Jon Garland, currently at 13; Jose Contreras, Freddy Garcia, and Javier Vazquez, 11 -- or in Mark Buehrle's case, knocking on the door with 9. Bad Bobby Jenks has 33 saves and three wins and is on pace for 45 and 4, respectively.
The fans have stepped up as well. The Sox now have drawn over 450,000 more fans this year than through the same number of games in 2005. And, with last night's game, the Sox have drawn 25,840 more fans this year than the Cubs! (Okay, the Sox have played five more home games, but to even approach the hallowed Paper Boys in attendance is a huge sea change.)
Life looks good right now. If we can take care of business against KC and if the Red Sox can do some damage against the Tigers, then this will really get interesting. Go Sox!

Friday, August 4, 2006

Salute to Our Sox Fan Troops

Terry Wilson
Update reader Danette Buckley advises that she's sending hard copies of the White Sox Magic Number Update to Sox fan Terry Wilson, who is serving our country in Iraq. Hopefully, Terry has internet access and can check out the Update online through this site. Even more than that, however, we hope that Terry stays safe and is able to come home soon. Thanks, Terry for all that you do.
Matt Ring
An Update shoutout to Update reader Mike Ring's brother Matt Ring, who flies choppers over there: Ditto what we said to Terry.
The Devil Rays did the idle White Sox a favor yesterday, beating the Tigers to shrink Detroit's Central Division lead to eight games and the Magic Number to 64. Boston lost too, so the Sox trail the Red Sox by only a half game for the Wild Card berth.
The Sox resume play tonight in Toronto, with Jon Garland, the team's hottest pitcher of late, opposing Blue Jay ace, Roy Halladay (13-2 record). The series promises to be a slugfest, as the two best-hitting teams in baseball -- Toronto, .291; Sox, .286 -- face off. After Halladay, Sox hitters' eyes should get big. Dustin McGowan, slated to pitch Saturday against Javier "Don't let him pitch the third time through the lineup" Vazquez, has a 1-1 record with a 10.80 ERA. A.J. Burnett, Toronto's Sunday pitcher, is struggling as well, with a 2-5 record and 4.84 ERA. In fact, the Blue Jays as a whole are finding the game a bit difficult lately, having lost five in a row and nine out of the last 12.
Just what the doctor ordered for the Good Guys, but then the Sox will have to take their medicine. Because of a makeup game, they face three teams in three days: Toronto, L.A, and New York on Sunday through Tuesday. The makeup means that the Sox play 24 games without a day off. And they play the likes of the Yankees, Tigers and Twins over that period. This will be a good test of what kind of team they are. Contender or pretender? Right now, they've got the fifth-best record in the majors, behind the Tigers, Yanks, Mets, and Boston. If that's still the case after this stretch, buckle your seat belts for a wild (or Wild Card) ride the rest of the way. Go Sox!
P.S. I'll be on vacation after today, so reporting may be spotty for about a week.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

65 (Day two)

There's not much to say about last night's game. The Sox failed to pull off the sweep of Kansas City and as a result, fell to 8.5 games behind Detroit in the Central Division race, and one game behind Boston in the Wild Card hunt. The Magic Number remains at 65. The lack of progress is disappointing because the Tigers show no sign of slowing down and have established their lead by beating the KCs of the world. Taking two out of three, like the Sox did, ain't bad, but it's not what you need when you're trying to catch up.
The pitching and fielding last night was problematic. The hitting was less than needed to compensate. Jermaine Dye continued to have the hot hand though, thumping his 30th home run, and Juan Uribe, back in the starting lineup after a short benching by Ozzie, chipped in with his 14th dinger. The only other good news is that Jim Thome's back spasms are improving and Paul Konerko's x-rays came back negative. (That reminds me of the old Yogi Berraism: They x-rayed my brain and found nothing.) Today's an off-day, so they'll both have another day to heal before the team takes on Toronto. Go Sox!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006


So it turns out that all Mark Buehrle needed was Sandy Alomar. Buehrle, who has been shelled in his last few appearances, has a 36-22 record with Alomar behind the plate, with the latest quality start coming last night. While Buehrle didn't get the win in a 7-5 White Sox victory over the Royals, he did pitch six innings of two-run, four-hit baseball. Ozzie probably isn't ready to anoint Alomar as Buehrle's personal catcher as Tim McCarver was for Steve Carlton (McCarver quipped that when they died, he and Carlton would be buried 60'6'' apart), but at least for one night, the combo delivered. Matt Thornton almost blew it for Buehrle -- actually he "earned" a blown save. David Riske came in just in time to be the beneficiary of Joe Crede's fourth hit of the night, an RBI single in the 10th inning (Crede also posted his 23rd homer of the year). Bobby Jenks got back on his horse in his first appearance after his blown save against the O's to post his 29th save.
Oz gave four subs a spot in the starting lineup, perhaps figuring if you can't do it against KC, you just can't do it against anyone. Besides Alomar at catcher, Pablo Ozuna started in left, Alex Cintron replaced the recently error-prone Juan Uribe at short, and Ross Gload filled in for Paulie at first while Konerko took over as DH. Paulie wound up getting plunked in the elbow with a pitch and was sent for x-rays. Meanwhile, Jim Thome has recovered, courtesy of a cortisone shot, from the tendonitis in his wrist, but was experiencing back spasms. Thome says that it's unrelated to the lower back problems that put him on the DL last year. Let's hope that Dr. Thome knows what he's talking about.
The win dropped the Magic Number to 65 and kept the Sox 7.5 games behind Detroit. The Good Guys are tied for the Wild Card lead with Boston (who is in a virtual tie for the Eastern Division lead with New York). But things are looking up. After experiencing a mid-season slump the Sox have won four of their last five games, are back to playing .600 ball on the year, and trail only the Tigers for most wins in baseball. We've guaranteed at least a Meat Loaf against the Royals and are in position to sweep. Go Sox!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006


Monday (You Gotta Know When To Hold 'Em, Know When To Fold 'Em ...) The non-waiver trading deadline passed without Kenny Williams going all-in, to use a poker term. The Sox GM decided to play the cards he was dealt (if only the Sox could play the Cards some more). On the field, Jose Contreras picked up his 10th win, 8-4, over KC on the strength of three home runs -- Jermaine Dye (29th), Joe Crede (22nd), and Alex Cintron (3rd). The team's league-leading total for the year jumped to 162. We never really were a small-ball team, even last year, but this year it looks more like the Big Hurt, Mags, and Carlos Lee days of power baseball.
Sunday (from Never Say Dye to Live And Let Die) Stop me if you've heard this one before. Javier Vazquez cruises until the third time through the lineup and then gives up the big inning in the sixth. Dye saved Vazquez's butt with a clutch three-run homer in the eighth inning, which (along with Paulie's 26th homer earlier in the game) went for naught when Bobby Jenks blew only his second save of the season in the bottom of the ninth to allow the O's to avoid the sweep. I suppose it had to happen to Jenks sooner or later, but this one hurt me more than most. Maybe it was the wasted comeback that made it worse.
Saturday (Let's Hang On To What We've Got) The Sox rack up 18 hits, one fewer than the O's, but their 13 runs proved to be two more than Baltimore could muster to make an 11-game winner out of Jon Garland. Dye, A.J. and Tad Iguchi all homered in the baseball equivalent of the Bataan Death March. Update reader Brian Frankl and his family were scheduled to be there. Wonder if they hung on for the whole game in the 97 degree heat.
Friday (Grand Slam, Thank You, Sam -- Perlozzo) Ross Gload picked a fine time to hit his first homer of the season: the ninth inning with the bases loaded and the Sox trailing by two. O's skipper, Sam Perlozzo, set the table for Gload by intentionally walking Jim Thome with first base open after pinch hits by Scottie Pods and Rob Mackowiak and Gooch's sac bunt. I'm not saying he shouldn't have put Thome on, but Sam's move sure backfired. If the Sox go on to win something this year, this play and the 6-4 win may be looked upon as the turning point.
After the last four games, the Sox are 7.5 games behind the Tigers, who lost two during this stretch. The Magic Number is now 66. Two more games in KC before moving on to Toronto to finish the road trip. Go Sox!