Mark Buehrle needed to set the tone Friday night. Coming off one of the worst outings of his career, Buehrle needed to put a zero up on the board early to let his offense know that they wouldn't be playing catch-up all game. A generally small, inconsistent strike zone, and a terrible 2-0 pitch to David Ortiz quickly put Buehrle and the Sox on their heels as Big Papi seized the Major League HR lead from Jim Thome.
The White Sox had their chances to give the lead back to Buehrle, but they wasted opportunities against the effectively wild Jon Lester. Twice in the first three innings they loaded the bases with less than 2 outs, and twice all they were able to muster was 1 run on a sacrifice fly. That would be the extent of the White Sox offense on the night, as a number of guys appeared as if they could benefit from the impending three-day break.
Joe Crede had a terrible day at the plate, and is probably hurting from all the beanballs he's eaten in the past week.
Pablo Ozuna looked lost against a lefty, which is exceedingly rare for him. I still don't think he is recovered from his hamstring issue.
Tadahito Iguchi should probably be held out of the last two games, just to be safe. Cintron may not be great, but he's better than most back-ups, and we've got him for situations exactly like this.
- I hope that Ozzie keeps Buehrle in his back pocket for the All-Star game. He's been throwing a lot of batting practice fastballs over the heart of the plate lately. We don't need the NL fattening up on those pitches too.
Brandon McCarthy has allowed 4 HRs in his last 3 innings pitched. Not coincidently, he's thrown only a couple of change-ups in those three innings. Hawk and DJ were finally picking up on what I've written here for well over a year now; Brandon is only as good as his changeup, and when he doesn't have it, he's not any good.
- Cliff Politte is toast. I'm going to keep repeating this until he is finally DFA'd.