Record: 35-31. Change on last season: +8
In two games, we have now thrashed the team with the best record in baseball, by a combined score of 18-5. This is the same team that couldn't hold an eight-run lead against the Royals over the weekend, and has the worst bullpen in the majors. The same team that has lost six straight series. The team that, for the fourth straight year, won't get anyone voted to the All-Star Game. This is why I love baseball.
All of a sudden, our offense has spontaneously combusted, scoring 67 runs in the past ten games. Good thing too, as our pitching has allowed even more (70), but we continue to defy Pythagenport with a 5-5 record. Having said that, Vazquez was solid today, especially given a 20-mph plus wind blowing out at US Cellular Field: seven hits, one walk and a season-high 10 K's.
It looked like we were doomed right at the start. Podsednik laid down a bunt, and Snyder (pointlessly) threw to no-one; Podsednik then stole third, with no-one out. But Iguchi ripped a ball right to Glaus, who "just kind of fell on the bag" for a double play. The White Sox then took the lead 2-0 on a Dye homerun, but were reeled back in, with the key play a two-run double by Clayton in the fourth to give us a 3-2 lead.
We scored three more in the fifth, chasing Hernandez, and largely cruised from that point on. The G-Force each had two or more hits - three for Glaus - and went a combined 7-for-13 with 8 RBIs. Tracy also had two hits and (gasp!) even a walk. Not a good day for Snyder: 0-for-5 with 3 K's, the first two both coming with a man on third and only one out. But in the end, it didn't really matter much.
Unlike Monday, our bullpen was actually called upon, and naturally, Cormier promptly allowed a home run to the first hitter he faced. However, having maintained the high standards... sorry, high ERA we've come to expect from our bullpen, he then set down the next three in order. More of a token nod to incompetence than anything, but I suspect Melvin will squeeze every innings from the starters possible for the moment.
Otacon, frienetic, Devin and Daniel popped in during yesterday's game, so thanks to them for their comments - even Daniel's insulting one! Hey, is it our fault the Giants have lost 15 of 17? :-) With the Dodgers and Padres also losing, we leap over LA and are only two games back of the Padres, whose wheels seem to have become wobbly once more. After a spell when they were almost immortal, they've lost nine of twelve, and the NL West is back to being a race once more. Albeit, at the moment, a three-horse one: rumours that the Giants will be entering "sell" mode are swirling...
Let's just hope we're not buying. Or, at least, not with the high-value chips in our tray. This MLB.com article attempts to cool the speculation surrounding Arizona and their need for bullpen help. Truth is, there isn't likely to be much available that's a lot better than we have: at the moment, I'm inclined to try and ride it out for the next month, and hope we last until Lyon and Villarreal return (Villarreal has started throwing off a mound), and Aquino finds his form.
Stephen Drew has wasted no time at Lancaster, being named California League Player of the Week, in his first week in the organization. Drew hit .417 with 10 runs scored and eight RBIs in six games. I hope Lancaster is enjoying Drew, because I suspect he won't be there for very long.
Potentially interesting free agent signing yesterday: Ryan Doherty. The most striking thing about him? His height. He's 7'1" - if he makes it to the majors, I believe he'd be the tallest man ever, and the first seven-footer to play in the big leagues. [In case you're wondering, no, it's not Randy - it's Jon Rauch at 6'11"]
Finally, weird stuff that brings people here. Thanks to SiteMeter, I discoverd we are currently ranked #44 on Google for, "a house with termites in arizona". Any local pest-control companies that want to advertise here, please contact me. ;-)