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Sox Searching for Split

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Toronto Blue Jays
@ Chicago White Sox

Thursday, Sep 11, 2008, 7:11 PM CDT
U.S. Cellular Field

Shaun Marcum vs Gavin Floyd

Partly cloudy with a 60-percent chance of rain. Winds blowing in from center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game Time temperature: Around 75.

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Gavin Floyd has come back to earth after an improbably effective first 8 starts. Over his last 115 innings (19 starts), Floyd has allowed 20 HR and 5.29 R/9IP, which has gone somewhat unnoticed thanks to a number of unearned runs and a 4.12 ERA over that stretch. On the positive side of the ledger, those numbers aren't terrible, and his K/BB ratio (98:39) seem to indicate that he might have been unlucky in his last 19.

I'd like to write that the keeping the ball in the park will be a key for Floyd, but amazingly, the Sox have a 3-1 record when he gives up multiple homers. That's more of a testament to the Sox offense than anything else.

Floyd has held opponents to 2 walks or less in each of his last 8 starts, compiling a 5-0 record and a similar 4.11 ERA. In fact, walks might be the single best indicator of success for Floyd and the Sox. They are 13-4 when he allows 2 or fewer walks in a start this season, and 7-4 when he allows 3 or more. You math majors have probably figured out that makes the Sox 20-8 in Floyd's starts this season. Hooray, run support!

For some info on Shaun Marcum, let's turn to SoxMacine.

Wednesday marked the third straight game in which they didn't send a ball out of the park, which is the third such three-game streak. However, the Sox haven't gone four games in a row without a homer [since April of '05].

There is some relatively good news in that Shaun Marcum is starting for Toronto Thursday night, and he's the most homer-prone of all the starters. He recently had a stretch of eight starts in which he couldn't avoid serving up at least one gopher ball, and allowed 12 homers over 42 1/3 innings.

But then he was sent down to Triple-A Syracuse for a couple weeks, and when he returned, he threw seven shutout innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. And considering he started during one of two shutouts the Sox suffered in Toronto back in May, the Sox will have their work cut out for them getting the ball over the fence.