Early in the first inning, I commented that the crowd was rather subdued. It seemed like the White Sox took a cue from the crowd, and sleepwalked through the game. They were retired in order (1-2-3) in 7 of the 9 innings Monday night against the Orioles. Erik Bedard was throwing darts from the first inning, and the Sox didn't put up much of a fight. Continuing the 1-2-3 theme, that's exactly how the Sox half of the box score will appear in your morning paper; 1R-2H-3E.
Amazingly, they held the early lead -- thanks to a 2nd inning Jermaine Dye solo-HR -- until the top of the 5th inning, when Freddy Garcia's luck finally ran out. For the first 4 innings, Garcia was getting by on at'em balls and just-missed-its. In the 5th and 6th, however, those at'em balls were solid singles and the just-missed-its were broken bat RBI's. Plus there were all the ugly errors, though some of them were caused by Garcia's long delivery inviting everyone, including Jeff F'n Conine to run.
You really got the feeling it wasn't going to be the Sox night when Tadahito Iguchi and Jermaine Dye collided on shallow fly ball to right field. For a second, it looked like Iguchi may have broken his ankle, bringing back memories of the Harris-Ordonez collision from 2 years ago or maybe the Raines-Guillen collision for some of you 'old timers.'
Thankfully, Iguchi was able to walk off under his own power, and is reported to only have a mildly sprained ankle. Still, with Pablo Ozuna and his nagging hamstring on the sidelines, the injury came at a tough time. The Sox should think about DL'ing one of them and giving Andy (or maybe it's Angel) Gonzalez or Jorge Velandia a call-up. At 31, Velandia isn't a prospect, but he's been a key part to Charlottes resurgent season at SS. Gonzalez, meanwhile, has posted solid numbers at 2B, and may have a future as a utility guy at the major league level.
Brandon McCarthy continued his up-and-down season with a rough inning of relief. He surrendered 2 home runs, one each to Miguel Tejada and Corey Patterson. In another discussion, I brought up that I wouldn't be against trading McCarthy in the right deal, and I thought I should elaborate.
McCarthy has already shown the White Sox his ceiling with his late season run last year. And the ceiling is pretty high when he's 'on.' But McCarthy just doesn't upper rotation stuff. He doesn't profile to be the a high strikeout guy in the major leagues. He's got some nice pitches, pitches that make minor leaguers go down swinging more than once per inning. But major leaguers don't have much trouble with a 91MPH fastball that's not expertly spotted.
Because of the pedestrian fastball, and his career .85 GB/FB ratio, McCarthy has a smaller margin for error than other top pitching prospects. He's not a pitcher who I feel, if traded, will come back to haunt the Sox. For that reason, if the deal is right, I have no problem sending him on his way.