Jon Garland, What can I say. If there were any doubters about whether he had turned the corner, he answered them with his last two outings.
The first answer came in 8th inning against Baltimore. With runners on the corners representing the tying, and go-ahead runs, respectively, Garland fanned Miguel Tejada for the final out of the inning, preserving a 1-run lead.
The second answer was a series of at-bats in the 6th inning last night. Garland had been all over the strike zone, but when he came out for the 6th, his control waned a bit. He walked David Dellucci, hit Michael Young, and gave up a double to Mark Teixeira to set up runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.
Clinging to just a 1-run lead, Garland bared down and got out of the jam. He needed just three pitches to fan Hank Blalock, who went down on a slider down and in. Soriano got schooled by a great arm motion on a 79MPH change up on the inside part of the plate, after Garland had set him up with a low 90's fastball. Garland then got Kevin Mench to pop up to center field to end the threat.
- I don't have the time to prove it right now, but I would be willing to place money on this. In the first 4-5 innings of his starts this season, Garland is inducing groudballs at a rate similar, or maybe even better, to that of the games best sinkerballers. It seems that late in games he actually allows more flyballs. I couldn't tell you why that is, but it's been fairly obvious to anyone who's watched all of his starts.
- Garland's 8-0 start is the best by a White Sox pitcher since John Whithead did the same back in 1935. It's the best start by a pitcher in the Major Leagues since Pedro Martinez in 1997.
- Do you think AJ Pierzynski likes playing at USCF? He hit 5 HRs during the 6 games he played on the homestand, and maybe one of them would have been a HR at his old home parks.
- Can Ryan Drese pitch every game for the Sox this season? -- Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye hope so. They both went 3-4 on Wednesday; Pauly with a HR, and Dye with 3 2Bs.
- Aaron Rowand is loving the move up in the batting order. Since moving to the #3 spot, he has extended his hitting streak to a career high 12 games, and has an OPS over 1.000 from #3.
- I've got to praise Ozzie for his juggling of the line-up. For the first month of the season, he didn't let the small sample sizes fool him, and he made the line up in the order that he thought was best. In the past week, Jermaine Dye and Carl Everett have been dropped in the order, while Aaron Rowand and AJ Pierzynski have moved up. Just like with the bullpen, he seems to have a pretty good feel for who's going well and who's not.
- Some non-White Sox related stuff below the fold.
- I don't know what language this is in, but here's a cool blog entry that links to a Google maps location for every major league ballpark
- Speaking of Google Maps, Chicagoist directs us to a collection of great Google Maps hacks. I saw the Chicago Crime hack yesterday on Fazed.net. It's a great tool for locating prostitutes. LOL.
- I'm going to start writing about my sex life so that I when I get fired from my job, I can get a six-figure check from Playboy.
- I've added a few new sites to the blogroll that I've found lately.