It is a shame that the Sox are 7-6. They are near the top of the league in all offensive categories. We haven't even heard much of the fire Walker crew that usually is in full force by now. After a bit of a shaky start, the starting pitching has really settled in nicely. This past week showed one sub par outing (Edwin Jackson on Tuesday and they won the game), yet the Sox went 3-3 in that span. The primary cause has been the work out of the bullpen. Matt Thornton is 0-4 in save opportunities. That is absolutely unacceptable. However, the defense has been letting them down a whole lot more than I would have thought. The outfield has been atrocious. Amazingly, Carlos Quentin has been the only outfielder that hasn't made me throw up in my mouth yet. I do think they will stop dropping balls in the 9th inning, which should allow Thornton to be a little more successful and thus allowing me to be a happier man. As of now though, it is criminal that with the hitting and starting pitching we have received that we are 7-6.
Speaking of Quentin, it seems he is in need of another sprinkling of magic pixie dust. He is hitting .167 on the home stand (4-24) and hasn't recorded an RBI since April 6th. His at bat yesterday evening in the 8th inning was also terrible. If you are going to hack at the 3-0 pitch you better not pop it up weakly into right field. I am really hoping that we didn't miss out on a week of his usual 2 week stretch where he is the best player in the league due to it coming in Arizona.
Alexei Ramirez had two more hits on Friday to raise his slash line to .292/.358/.542. He has 3 homers, including a game winner. Ramirez seems to really be breaking out. I don't think that it is much of a stretch to call him the best shortstop in the American League.
The bullpen has taken its fair share of very deserving criticism this season, but Sergio Santos continues to impress. He is now up to 8 2/3 scoreless innings on the season, having struck out 11 guys. Opponents are hitting .167 against him. It appears that the "rules" the White Sox put in place for Santos have been removed. Santos now needs to show he can do it on back to back days and for multiple innings. I think he should do fine. His arm doesn't have years of wear and tear due to pitching in college and through the minors. It is refreshing when he comes in the game, as I am pretty confident that nobody is going to score off of him when he enters.
Jackie Robinson is an American icon. The abuse that he took, and the standards that he was held to in order to better the game, and in turn the entire country should be celebrated every season. I even like the idea of retiring his number throughout the entire league. But dammit, why did he have to wear number 42!?! That was the great Ron Kittle's number, and the number I wore throughout my illustrious career. When that number was retired for good in 1995, my major league dreams died as I could not see myself wearing another number in the pros. At least I get to see every player in the greatest number once a year I suppose.
Get on out to the Sox game this weekend! Your chances will be limited in the upcoming months, as after Sunday, the Sox take off for Tampa and begin a stretch where 30 of the next 43 games are road games. Only 13 home games after Sunday between Monday and June 2nd! Seems like a ton of games on the road. Hopefully we can pick up the pace away from the Cell.