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Winnin' Uglier

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  • Rob Mackowiak botched a relatively easy catch on the first ball in play, which, of course, crossed home to put the Sox in a 1-0 hole before they even stepped up to the plate.
  • Scott Podsednik made the first White Sox out of the game trying to stretch a double into a triple.
  • Alex Cintron and Brian Anderson added to the Sox baserunning gaffes by being thrown out trying to steal second.
  • Neal Cotts, who hasn't done anything to help this team win a game in about a month, hit Jason Giambi with the bases loaded to push across the go-ahead run.
  • A.J. Pierzynski couldn't get down a bunt in the 9th inning of a now-tied game, which led directly to...
  • Pablo Ozuna joining Cintron and Anderson in their Podsednik impressions.
  • Bobby Jenks threw away a pickoff attempt moving the go-ahead run into scoring position with 1-out.
And the White Sox still won!
If the Sox are going to win this year, I think we have to concede this is how it's going to happen. Stellar pitching performances are few and far between, and the sound fundamentals that carried this team last season have rarely been on display by the good guys. These are not the Go-Go Sox, nor are they the Win or Die Trying model from last season. I have only fleeting memories of the '83 team, but I can't imagine them winning any uglier than this crew.

One thing they have done all year, though, is hit. And tonight was no different:

  • Jermaine Dye, who singled in the winning run in the 11th, has turned into one of the best clutch hitters in all of baseball
  • Paul Konerko, who hit a clutch 9th inning HR to send the game to extras, is just an all-around great hitter
  • Joe Crede, who drove in two, including taking Wang deep, has turned into one of the best third basemen in baseball.
  • And that's not even bringing up Jim Thome, who is an offensive force, thanks to his on base skills, even when he isn't hitting home runs.
Freddy Garcia threw 4 innings of great baseball. Unfortunately, those were in innings 4 through 7, and came after he had surrendered 4 runs (3 earned) and 2 more home runs. He actually seemed to be most effective when he went to nothing-but-junk approach and left his below-average fastball in his pocket. The problem with that approach is that, at least once a game, probably two or three times, some of that slop is going to get taken deep when it finds the middle of the plate.

At this point, the best thing I can say about Freddy is that he's a 5th starter-type pitcher. He keeps the Sox in games, even if he doesn't look pretty doing it.