Javier Vazquez turned in his best effort of the season, blanking the Royals in breezy fashion over 8 innings. If not for the Sox offense beating up on an inexperience pitcher in the 8th, he might have come back out to finish things off himself.
The Sox will need Vazquez to return to the pitcher he was from August '06 through last season if they hope to make a serious run at the post-season. Thankfully, Vazquez has shown signs of life since his infuriating first three innings to start his last outing.
As usual, homers were the story for the Sox offense. They've gone 60-29 this season when they hit a HR and just 6-24 when they fail to put one over the fence. Jermaine Dye got the Sox going with 2-run bomb in the first, and Nick Swisher and AJ Pierzynski added solo blasts to mark the only scoring for the first 7 innings. Three homers is a pretty good recipe for success, and the Sox bullpen had no problem holding up while trying to close out a tight 9-run lead.
- The Sox may be on their way to righting their woeful pitching of the last 6 weeks. They've made one successful trip through the rotation, though the loss of Contreras obviously hurts. You've got to start somewhere.
- Kansas City's outfield defense cleverly tried to make Ken Griffey Jr. look like a good fielder. Nice try guys. We're still not fooled.
- Chris Getz got his first major league hit. I won't mention that it came off a pitcher with less than 12 innings of major league experience. Oops.
"I need a pitcher this week. I don't need pitchers next year. It's my opinion. I don't think Freddy ... it'll be hard for him to be ready for the playoffs.
"To be ready that quick. He's going to start in the minor leagues, you only have one week to go, two weeks to go. I need a pitcher to win now. Next year ... I don't care about next year. I don't. I need a pitcher right now. We didn't have a conversation about Freddy.