I planned on having a couple of hours to write this evening, but due to the late night ending and the fact I have to be at the airport in a few hours and still haven't packed yet, it is going to have to be an abbreviated version of the Corner. I mentioned this earlier in the week in one of the threads, but it is time that everyone, myself included, temper their expectations of Gordon Beckham. I have been highly impressed with his defensive play this entire season. He made a great play up the middle last night and an outstanding play in short right field in the Cubs series. I know that he isn't hitting like we all thought he should. Hell, I once predicted him to have Pedroia/Utley like seasons. However, the fact that he is getting benched semi-regularly for Omar Vizquel is not a good thing. Vizquel doesn't play anywhere near the defense that Beckham plays at this point in his career. Sure it is annoying to see him swing and miss or hit a popup. It isn't like he doesn't bring something to the table though. He has to get everyday playing time.
* I do not like when Ozzie Guillen is so quick to pull the trigger on Paul Konerko for a pinch runner, especially when the pinch runner can't really run. When Konerko walked in the 10th, he touched the base and immediately started back to the dugout in favor of Vizquel. I questioned the move right away. Adam Dunn proceeded to rip a double into the corner and Vizquel was only able to get to third base, which is where Konerko would have gotten. He scored on a wild pitch- which Konerko would have scored on. Unfortunately, the Sox couldn't win the game right then and Vizquel came up to bat later in the game where obviously everyone would have loved to have Konerko. Then in the fatal 14th inning, Alexei Ramirez made a low throw to first that Mark Teahen couldn't pick up. Having watched Konerko for years, there is no question in my mind that he would have made the scoop. If there were two outs in the 10th and Konerko was on 2nd base go ahead and pinch run for him. In the situation they were in though, they gained nothing from the move and it ended up costing them dearly.
* I keep looking for a reason to think Adam Dunn is going to turn it around. Maybe the fact that he is playing his old team will do it. Frank Thomas said when he came back to The Cell after joining the A's and struggling for the first 2 months of the season, he immediately relaxed and felt like he was home. Thomas hit 2 home runs that night and ended up finishing 4th in the A.L. MVP voting that year. Maybe the fact that Dunn is going to be getting questions and praise from the Washington media and being around his former teammates will help loosen him up. He looked better today after his first two at bats. He hit one out of the park (that was unfortunately brought back by Roger Bernadina), smoked a key double in the 10th and lined a hard single in the 14th. It will be interesting to see how the rest of this series goes for him.
* Alex Rios, last at bat aside, has looked very good at the plate lately. That line drive he hit by Ryan Zimmerman was absolutely killed.
* A.J. Pierzynski has been ridiculously bad at throwing out runners. He hasn't been able to throw runners out on pitch outs a bunch of times in the last week alone. However, today he was worth his weight in gold with all of the blocks he had behind the plate. He saved at least 3 wild pitches. Also, his hitting has been really good as of late. I wish they would move him up to the 2nd spot in the order like they did in 2008.
* Joe Mauer received the SSS All Star vote for American League catcher with 41% of the vote. Alex Avila finished 2nd with 18%, Carlos Santana, Matt Wieters and Miguel Olivo finished with 12% each. A.J. and J.P. Arencibia each had 1 vote.
* Brian McCann dominated the N.L. vote with 76 percent. That is the highest vote total of any position we have had besides Alexei Ramirez' 93%.
* I'm on my way to Vegas. I will be putting money on the Sox. Hopefully I get some sweet odds, we'll see. Have a great weekend and win this series!