I was idly browsing through the White Sox splits last night when I noticed that the #9 spot (.412/.492/.471 entering Saturday's game) has been the most productive spot in the order. Maybe Ozzie Guillen noticed too.
Because before the game, Ozzie penciled in the slow-starting Alexei Ramirez at the very bottom of the Sox lineup.
Then Ozzie might have remembered that the Sox were 2-0 on the previous 2 Three-Sub Saturdays. So Chris Getz would be a late scratch, something about a finger, with Brent Lillibridge, Corky Miller, and Jerry Owens filling the 3-sub requirements. Ramirez would move back to his usual 8th spot, but hit like the Sox usual #9 hitter.
Ramirez hit his 5th career grand slam, his first homer of the year, when Shawn Camp hung a 3-2 slider in the Sox 6-run 5th inning. There were lots of virtual Alexei's Back! high-fives in the gamethread, but that was a brutal pitch by Camp. As Stone said in the first series, if you can't hit that pitch you're selling cars somewhere. Credit Ramirez for hitting a pitch he probably wouldn't have last week, but it's a ball we should expect him to crush.
Things didn't start out well for the Sox. It appeared to be more of the same from Friday night's shellacking, as the Blue Jays sprayed hits to all fields in the first two innings. But Mark Buehrle seemed to pick up on the Fastball In The Zone Equals Line Drive phenomenon, and worked his secondary stuff over the plate with his fastball out of the zone to pick up his 3rd victory in 4 starts. He was pulled after just 92 pitches thanks to an 8-run cushion and a well-rested high-leverage end of bullpen.
Corky Miller and the Three-Sub Saturday lineup are now averaging nearly 8 runs a game.