Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Sox-Twins Go A Full 15 rounds

Like two heavyweights, the White Sox and Twins punched and prodded each other through an astoundingly brutal 15 innings, neither able to knock the other out. I should know, I was there, enduring the longest game in Comiskey Park (NOT U.S. Cellular Field) history in hope of a White Sox winner.

To call losing this contest a disappointment is understating it. Against a hated rival, these sorts of games can eat away at a team. Luckily for the Sox they retain a comfortable 11 game lead on the Indians and 13 games on the Twins in the race for the AL Central with 45 games to play. Still, it would be nice to see the Sox reassert their winning ways against quality competition, like they were a week ago in the Bronx.

There were some standout individual moments, however. Bobby Jenks, who was mentioned in this week's Podcast, brought the heat to the tune of consistent 98 MPH fastballs and a devestating curve in the high 60s. He tossed three scoreless frames while striking out four. Brian Anderson, the fill-in for Scott Podsednik, collected his first two major league hits in his debut, including a crucial single to extend a seventh inning rally.

Anderson looked to have made his first run scored in the majors a game-winner, coming home on Timo Perez' RBI-double to give the Sox a 4-3 edge. Bring on Dustin Hermanson, converter of 30 out of 31 save chances. And bring on the creation of the Podcast Jinx, I suppose...not 24 hours after I sounded off (to nobody) that it may be a good idea to give Hermanson an extended vacation on the DL and let Jenks grow into his future position, Hermy gives up a tying solo homer. 7 innings later, the Sox walk away 9-4 losers.

That one hurt. It hurt bad.

The magic number remains at 34. And if nothing else, tonight did convince me that this Sox team does indeed have reason to make the Ken Griffey, Jr. deal. This article from the Tribune does a good job explaining:

Even though the Sox have the division all but won, it doesn't mean Williams is giving up his infatuation with Griffey.

Why does Williams want Griffey, who makes $12.5 million a year and is 35 years old, even though it would cost him two principal prospects in outfielder Chris Young and first baseman Casey Rogowski?

Griffey's big bat would replace that of Frank Thomas, who is gone for the rest of the season and perhaps forever. And Griffey bats left-handed, where the Sox believe they are short because Carl Everett's average is hovering around .240 from that side of the plate.

Plus, Griffey would allow the Sox to have a rotating outfield/DH system, which would keep Podsednik, Everett, center fielder Rowand and right fielder Jermaine Dye all fresh. The Sox also have no reason to believe Griffey would invoke his no-trade rights to block a deal. But Cincinnati's reply to the Sox's trade proposal has been silence.

We'll have to wait and see. Mark Buehrle takes the bump tonight in what is as much of a "must-win" game as a team can have when it leads by double-digits in late August. For morale if nothing else, a win will be huge.



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