Interleague play is upon us, and it's a time in the season that a lot of White Sox fans look forward to. And it's not just because they'll get to face Jon Garland and Juan Uribe over the weekend as the Los Angeles Dodgers come to down.
The White Sox have a habit of using the National League to slingshot their way up the standings. Since interleague play started in 1997, the White Sox have 143 victories, second only to the New York Yankees (144).
In his past two seasons, Gavin Floyd has benefited from the change of leaguery more than anybody. Both times, he needed a start against a National League opponent to reverse his fortunes. In 2009, he held the Pirates scoreless for eight innings; in 2010, he pitched a strong 6 1/3 against the Marlins.
He's going to miss the Dodgers this time around, but that's no big problem. After holding down the Cleveland Indians for seven innings of one-run ball on Thursday, he doesn't really need the National League this time around. Here's what he's done in his first nine starts over the past three seasons (and the first two years include those strong interleague outings):
2009: 3-4, 6.54 ERA, 52.1 IP, 6 HR, 25 BB, 43 K, .290 BAA
2010: 2-4, 6.31 ERA, 51.1 IP, 4 HR, 19 BB, 43 K, .310 BAA
- 2011: 5-3, 3.88 ERA, 60.1 IP, 7 HR, 15 BB, 51 K. 241 BAA
Maybe the leaguewide drop in offense has benefited Floyd in the early going, but he's taken the ball and run with it, because the improvement is vastly disproportional in a good way.Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*Was Alexei Ramirez actually hit by the pitch that caused him to fall to the ground and roll halfway up the third-base line? Ozzie Guillen called him "a better actor than shortstop," but Ramirez said "it got me a little bit." Scott Merkin seemed to think it was more the former than the latter.
I had the Cleveland broadcast, and neither replay angle gave a good view of the ball hitting anything -- not just his fingers, but even the bat. They questioned whether it got him, but due to the inconclusive video evidence and Ramirez's reaction, they concluded that it must have gotten him.
If he did ham it up, I wonder if the throwing error that followed was merely a continuation of his performance. If so, the guy might have a second career, because he throws himself into his role.
*Adam Dunn is now getting questions about his similarities to Mark Kotsay against left-handed pitching. His solution: "I need a cheap hit."
*J.J. breaks down Lance Briggs' mechanics on his first pitch.