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Pablo Ozuna has powers comparable to Wonderboy

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OMZuna
(Nuccio DiNuzzo Chicago Tribune)
There comes a time when you have to just accept that Freddy Garcia is never going to return to be the pitcher who can throw in the low-to-mid 90's and throw seemingly 9 different breaking pitches. I sort of accepted that sometime tonight around the 5th or 6th inning. He may not have looked pretty out there, but he was getting the job done.

That being said, as soon as Joe Crede homered to put the Sox up 3 it was time to turn to the front end of our bullpen. If Freddy isn't going to dominate, you have to treat him with kid gloves and assume that every out is a gift from above. He's not going to be the guy who buckled down every time he put men on base. He simply doesn't have the stuff (or maybe the stones) to do that anymore. He's not to be trusted late in close games.

Garcia's pitch count only reached 79 tonight, but I always felt like he was about to implode. That happens when you're not able to miss many bats. It's not I have much confidence in the bullpen either.

  • Obviously, I wouldn't have chosen Matt Thornton to relieve Garcia, but the point stands. Ozzie needs to start developing some roles for his bullpen. With the exception of Jenks, who he has bizarrely used in a couple of less-than-three-out save opportunities, nobody has a defined role. Part of the success of last year's bullpen was how quickly everyone settled into their given role.

    Pollite and Marte set-up for Hermanson, until Marte started to suck and Hermanson's back gave out. By that time Cotts and Jenks were more than ready to step into high-leverage roles, and were the go-to arms (with the exception of El Duque) in the post-season.

    Guys have to produce for Ozzie to stick with a 'defined roles' bullpen, but I believe that at least a small part of last year's success was due to everyone in that bullpen knowing what their job was.

  • It was disappointing to see our hitters completely unable to get anything started off of The Great Gil Meche. Joe Crede and a first pitch fastball from Rafael Soriano changed all that. My man crush growing each and every day. It's getting to the point where I'm thinking about customizing a jersey.
  • It's so rare that I have the opportunity to say this, but Hawk and DJ provided some insightful commentary tonight. They both remarked, as they have in the past when we've played the Mariners, that their outfielders were playing too deep. Tonight, however, was the first time I've seen it come back to bite the M's.

    Pablo Ozuna smacked a groundball just out of reach of the SS and 2B, and was able to turn that grounder into a double because Jeremy Reed was playing so deep and half-assed it on the way in. One play later, the M's were back at what I would call 'no doubles' depth, and Juan Uribe blooped one into short right center -- again in front of Reed -- scoring Ozuna from second to win the game for the Sox. Ozuna got into scoring position, and scored, based almost solely on the outfield depth.

    To balance out his useful commentary, Hawk yelled STRETCH! about once per flyball hit by the Sox. Ross Gload's opposite field warning track flyout got 3 of 'em. Pierzynski's 11th inning flyout got at least that many. Surprisingly, the Sox actual HR's needed only 2 STRETCHes total.

  • The play of the night -- maybe the most surprising play of the year -- had to be Pablo Ozuna's 9th inning HR. Somewhere on the internets I joked, mocking someone who acted like a return trip to the World Series was guaranteed to the White Sox, that I couldn't wait until Ozuna hit his first ever HR to win a game of the 2006 World Series. I never actually believed that Ozuna would ever hit a HR. Let alone a 2-out, 9th inning, game saving, homerun. One that he hit so far he stared the thing down as it left the bat. Unbelievable. I'm actually a little disappointed the AP doesn't have a picture of Ozuna posing anywhere on the internet. I think even caught the photographers by surprise. They were probably all changing their film.