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White Sox Magic Number: 12

It seems like we've all been holding out collective breath for the last week, not waiting for, but actually watching the other shoe drop on the White Sox playoff chances. You can breathe a little easier tonight.

Jon Garland pitched one helluva game. I said in the lead-in that he would have to pitch his ass off, and that's just what he did. He didn't appear to have his good stuff early, letting the Twins get a bunch of bloop hits, but he worked out of jams in the first few innings to keep the Sox in the game. The only run he allowed was a solo shot by Jacque Jones. After that, he shut the Twins down. 123 gutsy pitches to get the Sox their biggest victory of the year.

He had 110 pitches after 7 innings. Enough pitches for me. -- I would have pulled him. He didn't look dominant, and we've been hearing that just maybe the starters are a little tired. -- Not Big Jon. Ozzie ran him back out there for the 8th, and Jon set the Twins down 1-2-3. It was the best performance by a Sox starting pitcher since Freddy Garcia threw the one-hitter in the metrodome a month ago.

In the ninth inning, Ozzie turned to Damaso Marte to get two lefties out. Again, I wouldn't have called for Marte in that situation, but it was a shrewd move. Marte threw strikes, and got 2 quick outs. I'm sure Marte now has a renewed confidence in himself, and could be a big asset down the stretch and in the playoffs. -- We'll have to see how this situation continues to develop.

Following Marte was the White Sox new closer -- that's right, I just called him the White Sox new closer -- Bobby Jenks. He showed the four Twins he faced right back to their seats, earning his first major league win.

The offense still didn't look good. Pods was making incredibly stupid plays on the basepaths. (He has to be hurt still. There's no other explanation.) Konerko and Uribe look like they have cooled after their hot starts to September. But none of that matters, because tomorrow is a new day, and that was a win that you can build on.