Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Turning Point

In a month it could be looked as a home run of Jeff Abbott proportions. Or it could've just been dumb luck.

Some of you may recall Jeff Abbott's pinch-hit shocker of a home run in a May 2000 game against the Twins that seemed to snap to Sox out of a slumber and propelled them to a divisional title. Ross Gload entered last night's game against the Orioles after Paul Konerko shanked a foul off his ankle, and stepped to the plate with 1 out, the bases loaded, and the Sox trailing 4-2.

Gload deposited a 3-2 hanging slider into the left field seats for a 6-4 White Sox Winner, easily the most important win of the season. The Sox had just come off an ugly homestand (it seems like a long time ago that they possessed the best home record in the majors) and needed to recharge themselves on a road trip against two weak teams (Orioles & Royals) and one semi-contender for the playoffs (Blue Jays) before returning to Comiskey on August 7th for the biggest homestand of the year.

Mission accomplished so far. Jon Garland & the Sox pitching staff didn't exactly capitalize on the newfound momentum as they nearly fumbled away an 11-4 lead in today's game, but the Sox bats slugged just enough for a 13-11 win. Javy Vazquez vs. Bruce Chen in tomorrow's finale has all the makings of another slugfest, but then the way Garland had been pitching up until now suggested that today would be kind of easy, right?

Point remains the Sox have taken the series and put themselves in position to sweep before heading to the doormat of the Majors, the Kansas City Royals. When you're in the thick of the playoff race, you'd much rather discuss a 13-11 win than a 1-0 loss. Remember what Vin Diesel says...



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