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Halfway Home

I didn't even realize it last night. It wasn't until I was looking at the standings, admiring the 8.5 game lead, that I noticed we had played 81 games this season. -- That's half of 162 for you short bussers out there. -- Why not take this opportunity to learn our x2 part of the multiplication table.

Here are some notable on-pace-fors:

Paul Konerko -- 38 HR, 108 RBI, 86 BB. -- The 86 BB would be a career high by 17 over last year. That improved walk rate is helping to take some of the sting out of the poor BA.

Scott Podsednik -- 82 SB, 62 BB -- Most Sox fans are excited about the SB total, while I could care less about it for the most part. 62 would be a career high in BB, but it's pretty close to his normal walk rate. He hasn't been walking much lately at all.

Aaron Rowand -- 10 HR, 66 RBI, 120 K, 32BB -- Wow, what a disappointment. Where did the power go? The K/BB ratio is atrocious. He's still the best center fielder in town though. So he's got that going for him.

Jermaine Dye -- 36 HR, 88 RBI -- I had figured Jermaine for about 25-30 HR when we signed him. I'd be ecstatic if he could hit the 35 mark this season. I'd be surprised if he doesn't get more RBI's in the second half, simply because he should have more opportunities.

A.J. Pierzynski -- 22 HR, 24 BB -- Don't laugh, but the 24 BB would tie a career high. It should be noted that Frank Thomas already has more walks than him. 22 HR would be a huge increase for AJ, doubling his previous best. He'll be the first to tell you that he has benefited greatly in that category from USCF.

Mark Buehrle -- 258 IP, 38 BB, 14 HR -- The amazing thing about Buehrle's season thus far is even though he's walking guys at an amazingly low rate, he's allowing less hits than innings pitched, something he didn't do last year. He's on pace to cut both his HR rate by more than half. Amazing.

Jon Garland -- 230 IP, 40 BB, 22 HR -- Same as Buehrle. He's hitting the strike zone more, yet giving up less hits, and less damaging hits. 40 BB in 230 IP is cutting his walk rate in half, and 22 HR would be the lowest total he's allowed since becoming a full-time starter.

Freddy Garcia -- 224 IP, 58 BB, 20 HR -- His strikeout rate is down a little bit, but everything else looks pretty close to career average. His doubled totals look very similar to his best season, 2001. I'd say the most encouraging thing is that while his BB rate is right around normal, he's had two terrible games where he walked 12 batters. If he can avoid those games in the second half he's going to have a great year.

There's no reason to do the bullpen. Their stats are so volitile from year to year anyway.