Riddle me this: Which marginal, powder-blue sports institution, skippered by someone with an international resume has recently been advocating the Chicago White Sox out of all proportion? That’s right: the Kansas City Royals, who knocked Burl Ives and his Twins from their short-lived division lead in twelve innings behind a shining, 4K performance by the unfortunately-nicknamed Jokaim Soria.
Not that the South Side didn’t do its part. In a weekend that saw Chicago play host to three World Championship teams and the Cubs, the third in the series against Boston was the tightest yet. Gavin Floyd (W, 12-6, 5.1IP, 7H, 5R, 6K, 1BB) lost the handle on his curveball and got behind in the first, giving up a three-run bomb to Mike Lowell. But Jermaine Dye answered in the next frame with dinger #27 off of struggling Clay Buchholz (L, 2-8, 3IP, 7H 5R 4K 2BB) Floyd settled down in the third, setting the stage for a bloop-bomb-bloop-bomb-bloop White Sox rally that had Carlos Quentin ringing up homer #32, plus Jim Thome with his 23rd leaving five runs on the board.
Buchholz was pulled in the 4th and replaced with former White Sox pen problem David Aardsma, whose trademark control gave Quentin his 19th HBP on the season to load the bases, then struck out Dye and Thome. Boston woke up in the 6th with a JD Drew triple off of Dye’s glove followed by a Jason Bay RBI. With the score 6-4 South Siders, two on and two out, Ozzie pulled Floyd. The moment had come. The White Sox bullpen door opened. Enter the Windows Vista of middle relief, Matt Thornton.
One wild pitch, one earned run, one inning and three walks later, Ozzie tried again. With one out, up by one with the bases loaded by walks in the 7th, Octavio Dotel got the nod…followed by a Mike Lowell 5-4-3 double play grounder. I can’t wait to see what Fitzy has to belch about that.