Tuesday, August 30, 2011

35

This is starting to get good. The White Sox got another sparkling pitching performance – this time from Mark Buehrle – and enough hitting to pull off a 3-0 win over the Twins last night at the Cell.
Buehrle tossed 7.2 innings of shutout ball, yielding only four hits and two walks, while striking out four. The Mark of Zero picked up his 11th win of the season with help from Jesse Crain (one batter, one strikeout; 17th hold) and Sergio Santos (three batters, no hits, no runs, one strikeout; 27th save).
We don’t know whether Buehrle will be playing for the Sox – or anyone – after this season, so let’s take a moment to appreciate what he’s done for the team. This is Buehrle’s 11th year in a row with double digit wins and likely will be his 11th consecutive season throwing more than 200 innings. In his Sox career, he’s had only one losing season – in 2006 when he was 12-13. He pitches quickly, has a pickoff move so good that umpires sometimes think it’s a balk, and fields his position as well as any pitcher ever has. His Opening Day between the legs Web Gem last year is still the standard by which ESPN measures spectacular plays – the Buehrle Meter.
But he is part of the old guard. Last night’s lineup featured a raft of players who haven’t been in the Big Leagues for five years: Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza, Tyler Flowers, Brent Morel, Gordon Beckham, and off the bench, Brent Lillibridge. All of the Sox runs came courtesy of these guys: De Aza doubled and scored on a Flowers’ sac fly; Flowers doubled off the wall to drive in Viciedo; and Viciedo’s infield single allowed Ramirez to cross the plate. A good sign for the future and not too shabby for the present either.
Speaking of the present, the Sox are presently only 5.0 games behind Detroit, which lost last night to KC. The South Siders have sliced their Magic Number to 35, while the Tigers’ has held steady at 25 for the last two days. The Sox are two games over .500 for the first time since April 13, when the team was 7-5 before losing to the Angels. Let’s make it three games over. Go Sox!

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