Mark Buehrle had the benefit of the added mojo from being graced with a few dozen SSSer's presence. He had the extra wide strike zone of John Hirshbeck. He had a 4-0 lead.
A White Sox Winner was on order, scheduled for delivery in a little over 2 hours. But Buehrle, as has been the case for most of the year, didn't have much of anything, and the Rangers pounded out 19 hits en route to 9 runs. Buehrle was bad, but he wasn't alone. Sergio Santos inherited Buehrle's mess and immediately made things worse with a wild pitch and a few hits.
Still, the Sox had a chance, albeit a slim one, in the 9th when they loaded the bases against Texas' fireballing closer Neftali Feliz. Alexei Ramirez tried to play hero with a walk-off grand slam, but instead ended up with a first pitch pop-out. Ozzie was given the chance to go to his bench for power-hititng Andruw Jones with Omar Vizquel representing the winning run (or 27th out) but I wasn't even too upset.
Jones probably isn't much of an option either. Jim noted that Jones really hasn't changed from his '09 self. And long after the SSS meetup had ended and I was just looking for a couch to pass out upon, Teahenny Penny insisted on drunkenly picking my brain on the Sox roster. When we got to Jones, I explained that he was going to come crashing down. He really wasn't any different than in the past, and he had a .206/.288/.396 line against RHP since the start of '07. Nevermind that he's not bloody likely to get around on a 99 MPH fastball.
The fact that we're even discussing this shows just how poor the Sox roster is. They've been the healthiest (?) team in baseball this year, and they've played every game looking like a team missing a few regulars.
The Sox flirted with mediocrity last week, winning two straight series and splitting one with the team with the best record in the AL. But their 6-4 over the 10 games prior to Tuesday's loss was only their second such stretch of the season. That is, if you pick any ten game stretch this year -- there are now 41, rolling from game 10 to 51. You can only come up with 2 such stretches with an above .500 record. 2 of 41. That's a team that's mediocre at it's best.
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One more reminder, there's an impromptu SSS meetup at the Captain Morgan Club at Wrigley Field this Friday. Come on out and watch the Blackhawks (possibly) make history in a building that will never see it.
The event is sponsored by SB*N and will feature some (unknown to me) drink specials and raffle prizes. All they ask is that you RSVP at this link.