Thursday, September 8, 2011

30

The White Sox couldn’t complete the sweep last night, losing the final game of the series (and the season series) to the Twins, 5-4. It wasn’t because of a lack of hitting; it was because of a lack of timely hitting.
The Sox pounded out a dozen hits, with every starter except Alex Rios collecting at least one. The problem was the team was 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position and wound up leaving 13 men on base.
Just looking at the batting order reveals the Sox weakness. A.J. Pierzynski is batting in the four slot. A.J. has six home runs and a .401 slugging percentage. Those are not clean-up hitter numbers. But Adam Dunn is useless this year (hopefully, it’s only this year); Alex Rios would be the worst player if it weren’t for Dunn; and Carlos Quentin is injured – again. Paul Konerko gets no protection in the lineup. Paulie was intentionally walked last night. That shouldn’t happen to the Number Three hitter; no team should willingly put a man on in front of the opponent’s clean-up hitter. Roger Maris drew no intentional walks when he hit 61 home runs because he had Mickey Mantle hitting behind him. A.J. is no Mickey Mantle. Powerwise, he’s no Mickey Mouse.
John Danks didn’t do anything to deserve the win, last night reverting to his early season form. Danks gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman in six innings. Dylan Axelrod, making his major league debut, finished up with two innings of scoreless relief.
The loss, combined with Detroit’s win reduces the Tigers’ Magic Number to 12 over the Sox. The end is near. But don’t take my word for it, just read what John Danks said: “I’m looking forward to next year.” Now, he followed that up by saying he wasn’t giving up on this season, but c’mon. Go Sox!

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