At about 6PM today, I was putting together a "step away from the ledge" post. I was sure that it would be needed after the Sox inevitable shutout at the hands of Johan Santana. I just reread it, and I don't feel the least bit better. If you saw the game from the 8th inning on, you have every reason to be on the ledge.
Brandon McCarthy once again showed Ozzie what we've all been saying for weeks. -- He should be pitching every 5 days. -- 8 innings of 1-run baseball on 4 hits. Sure, it was against the second worst offense in baseball since the All-Star break, but you haven't even been able to say that about Buehrle or Garcia for 3 weeks now. They've just been bad against everyone.
McCarthy made one mistake all night, a 1-0 fastball that Jacque Jones tatooed over the right field wall. -- He better be seeing some chin music in game 4 for the bat flip. -- The pitch previous to the HR was also an inside fastball to which I said "Flirting with disaster BMac. Think of this guy as Carl Everett. He's just waiting for you to give him that... [seconds pass] ...Game!" -- Even with the HR, he pitched brilliantly. He gave us the type of outing we've been looking for from Garcia, Buehrle, and Garland all month.
The Sox losing a Santana-pitched game doesn't, in and of itself, send me searching for the nearest tall building. No, it was the way they lost this particular game that has me raiding the medicine cabinet for those extra sleeping pills.
- 8th inning - Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 out -- No runs
- 9th inning - Bases Loaded, 1 out -- No runs
- 10th inning - Runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out -- No runs
Pushing across just one of those runners would have resulted in an unlikely victory for the Sox. These are the situations that "Ozzieball" was supposed to fix. These are the type of situations where playoffs teams find a way to score. The Indians, Yankees, and Red Sox easily would have scored given those opportunities. Even the Angels would have found a way. But the White Sox, they're stuck in clutch hitting purgatory.
That I expect a loss in every game Santana starts, rather than hoping for a victory, probably says all you need to know about this offense.