Was Tuesday night at Yankee stadium the best game of the year? It just might have been, though I am a sucker for pitcher's duels.
Let's set the stage. -- Sox offense in the crapper. Their most frustrating pitcher on the mound. You know the one who's about as likely to blow up as that mysterious van parked outside an Iraqi police station. 1-run game through 8 innings, but both teams have scoring opportunities. Fans jumping out of the upper deck. 9th inning HR's by both teams. Tying run 90 ft. from home. Last out on a hot smash that may have ended the game if it gets by the 1B.
Yeah, I'd say it was an exciting game. (I would have said the same even if we had come out on the losing end of it)
- What can I say about El Conde? That was easily his best outing in a White Sox uniform. -- Yes, I remember the 2-hitter he threw to end last season, but that was against the Royals, when it meant absolutely nothing, and I predicted the complete game shut out. That was expected. -- This was not. I didn't even bother to watch the first couple of innings. I kept checking back in, surprised each time when I saw 'NYY 0' at the top of the screen.
- I have to admit that I feel a little better about the possibility of El Conde throwing in the playoffs now. He showed some mental fortitude out there that I previously thought he didn't have.
- El Duque may deserve a little bit of the credit for Conde's performance tonight too. You know he was in Conde's ear after each inning giving him encouragement. He was also the first one to greet him at the top of the dugout with a big hug when he was finally pulled in the 8th inning.
- As long as we're giving guys credit for effecting the outcome of the game without even playing it, I've got to thank Joe Torre for his brilliant decision to stick with Alan Embree in the 9th inning of a 1-run game. -- Some of the credit also has to go to Timo Perez and his reverse protection of Paul Konerko. Torre might have stuck with Embree against Konerko because he thought he could steal an out from Konerko before getting a free one in the form of Timo's lifetime .150/.188/.198 vs. LHP. Hooray for unintentional reverse protection!
- Monday's game, while exciting, was not nearly as intriguing as this one, yet it lead off Sports Center and Baseball Tonight. Tuesday's game, with it's equally spectacular defensive plays and substantially more drama, was buried after the break on BBTN. I wonder why?
- In the 5 games that Carl Everett has been on the bench, the White Sox have averaged 2.6 runs per game. They're 3-2 in those games. -- I wonder if Jon Adkins can bat.
- I'm beginning to think that Damaso Marte throws to the smallest strike zone in all of baseball. It always seems like he is falling behind on close pitches, especially to lefthanders, where he throws lots of pitches that end up being caught just outside the zone. The thing is, because of where he stands on the rubber and his sidearm delivery, the ball isn't coming from straight on. It seems that too often the umps are calling pitches based on where the ball is caught, not where the ball crosses home plate.
- Scott Podsednik looked good at the plate for the first time since I have been home from vacation. He still looks lost on the basepaths though. -- You win some, you lose some, I guess.