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White Sox Magic Number: 25

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With the White Sox two 'best' pitchers combined to allowed 15 runs in their starts against the Rangers this series, and two White Sox rookies combining for 9 innings of shutout baseball, it may be time for another installment of Rookies. -- That takes time, though. Maybe another day.

Brandon McCarthy

While I wasn't expecting 7+ innings with no earned runs, I would be lying if I said I didn't expect a quality start out of McCarthy last night. I had it on good authority that he was pitching lights out down at Charlotte, and the numbers backed that up. -- Here's what I had to say about McCarthy back in June

He and AJ were able to get multiple hitters chasing his change up down in the zone. That will be the key pitch for McCarthy. If he has a good motion and location on that pitch, they can't sit on his fastball, or pass on every curveball that he throws.

Sound familiar? That's exactly what he did tonight. -- He established his changeup early in the first inning. Texas' batters were unable to sit on just his fastball. It also helped that he has added a 4th pitch to his repertoire.

He now throws 4 pitches for strikes; a 4-seam fastball (90-93 MPH), a 2-seam fastball (87-89MPH), a big breaking curveball(74-77MPH), and a changeup (77-81MPH). When we last saw him, he could throw only the fastball (4-seam) and curveball for strikes. Hitters would just sit on fastball, and hit the ball hard.

Last night, McCarthy worked his fastball up and down in the zone, his changeup down, and his breaking ball over for a strike routinely. He may have been most effective when climbing the ladder with his fastball. He got a bunch of weak popouts and fly balls on fastballs up and out of the zone. When that didn't work, he was able to get groundouts on his curveball.

What can we expect for the future from Brandon? -- Honestly, I think he can pitch better. -- Does that mean the results are going to be better? Probably not, but I know he can pitch better than what we saw last night.

Example: The two hits he allowed both came on 3-2 counts after long at-bats. He pretty much laid a fastball right over the plate in both instances. In the future, when he has more confidence, and little better control of all of his pitches, he will be able to throw any pitch in a 'fastball count.' That could result in both of those hits being strike outs in the future. -- I'm not saying he's going to pitch a no-hitter the next time out. I'm just saying that he can pitch better than he did last night.

Of course I thought that both of Tiexiera's home runs were on good pitches by Garland in the first game, so what do I know.