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White Sox Magic Number: 16

Ten hours later, and the answer is no clearer.

El Duque pitched well enough to get the win. Though that was largely due to him facing off against the worst pitcher in baseball. That the Royals lineup looks more like one you'd see in Omaha rather than Chicago probably had something to do with it too.

If Ozzie insists on going with a 5-man rotation with McCarthy pitching sparingly out of the pen, he very well could cost the Sox home field advantage throughout the playoffs. El Duque is pitching OK, but that's not enough on this team. We have a mediocre offense, so the pitching has to be dominant.

While El Duque didn't look particularly impressive, he didn't look bad either. I'd still give him a few starts down the stretch. I just want to see more of McCarthy, and less of .220 hitting catchers going yard late in games.

What Ozzie needs to do more than anything is to put El Duque on a strict pitch count. Ozzie likes to let his starters work deep into games, but he can't do that with the Duque. The guy's birth date is a mere rumor. Nobody even knows how old he is.

Ozzie needs to just pull Duque when he gets to the arbitrary 90 pitch mark. Don't believe me? Take a look at his last three starts.

IP H ER BB K < 90 Pitches 17.2 12 4 2 16 > 90 Pitches 1.2 7 8 1 0
Doesn't seem so arbitrary now, does it?