(Above: The Dan Ryan Expressway in September)
I realize the Jays are red hot and that it’s a clear-cut case of bias to portray yesterday’s
twin doubleheader losses as less the result of good Toronto baseball than bad White Sox baseball. But it’s also unfair to call for the Jays’ visas to be revoked, and I’m going to go ahead and do that too.
Losses and one-game division lead aside, the unending series of September Sox injuries is the bigger story. The meatwagon pulled up twice more to 35th and Shields, first to haul away 1B Paul Konerko with a sprained right MCL. Listed as “week to week”, chances are he’s done and somehow the Sox have to do without his .356-in-the-past-28-games production. There are worse things to happen than having Nick Swisher play first, but taking away Paulie’s late-season bat is as serious a development as lung cancer. Also lost to an un-noticed fractured wrist injury (such a syndrome heretofore known as an “Angry Carlos”) was reserve infielder Chris Getz. Losing his speed suggests a pinch-running problem may result in late-inning baserunning work for Junior, and nobody wants that. Then again, you gotta walk before you (pinch-)run.
The afternoon makeup for the rained-out matchup on Monday had both Javier Vazquez and AJ Burnett throwing no-hit ball for four innings before Lyle Overbay got to Javy with doubles in the fourth and sixth, driving in Wells and Lind in the later frame. The Sox answered in the bottom half with a Jim Thome sac fly driving in Pierzynski, whose presence on third came only courtesy of a blown double-play throwing error by John McDonald followed by a Burnett wild pitch. Burnett suffocated the South Siders with 7Ks, 1H and 1BB. He wasn’t pulled until the 8th, but Swisher, Uribe and Ramirez never noticed, producing Ks or weak grounders in the 9th.
The second game matched up struggling fifth starter Clayton Richard against Jesse Litsch. Leadoff man Marco Scutaro sent Richard’s third pitch over the wall, and things didn’t improve from there. In the fifth, not far from the infield spot where Jose Contreras tore his achilles last month, Konerko cut off a Jermaine Dye throw of an Alex Rios RBI single (courtesy of “Hang The” DJ Carrasco). Konerko’s throw to second put Rios in a rundown, but he paid for it with the use of his knee. Down 5-2 at the end of the inning, the Sox never recovered and Litsch went through 7 with 6K 6H 2R and 2BB.
Did I, uh, mention Alexei Ramirez won AL Rookie of The Month for August?