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Tale of two games

The White Sox won a series in Oakland for the first time in 7 years. It was their first sweep in Oakland since... Nevermind. It's tough to complain about the first series win of the season, but it still feels like the Sox missed out on an opportunity.

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The final inning bore a striking resemblance to the game last night. Bobby Jenks and Houston Street exchanged roles, though Jenks was still sitting at just 91-92 MPH. Shannon Stewart reprised Scott Podsednik's role as noodle-armed speedster looking lost in left field.

With the score tied, Stewart lolipopped a throw home on a shallow fly ball off the bat of Darrin Erstad, allowing Juan Uribe to score and giving the Sox the lead. Two batters later, he couldn't get back on a Paul Konerko fly ball to the warning track. It's nice to know that sometimes you can count on the other team to be just as inept.

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The Sox have now run through their rotation with 5 straight quality starts. I'm tempering my excitement until I can see them do it against some more offensive teams. Oakland and Minnesota aren't exactly going to finish atop the AL in runs scored this season.

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Mark Buehrle was surprisingly effective one start after getting nailed by a Ryan Garko line drive in the forarm. As has become his habit, he allowed 3 runs in the first. Bull Pain give us this painful stat:

In his last 18 starts, Buehrle has allowed first inning runs in 15 of them. He has allowed 30 total runs in those 18 innings, all but one earned.
Buehrle didn't pitch as poorly as the box score indicated in the first. Shannon Stewart and Eric Chavez each beat him on pitches that Buehrle put exactly where he wanted (outside the strike zone). His control, which I expected to be spotty just days after reporting that he had a swollen hand, was excellent. And the A's failed to hit anything hard after the first inning.

Again, I don't know how much of that was Buehrle, or how much of it is the A's offense just being bad. But I'll take the win. It's been a long time since we've seen Buehrle breeze through 6 innings allowing only 2 baserunners.