Thursday, September 22, 2005

Southside agony...

Tonight’s game was very tough to watch. The White Sox had multiple opportunities to win this game, but just couldn’t close the deal. It’s a given that Johan Santana is going to pitch a great game and the Sox would be lucky to score. They got exactly 1 run against him; a home run by the new stud on the block, Joe Crede. But Brandon McCarthy matched Santana, giving up only a single run to the Twins.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Sox had two men on, but couldn’t score. In the bottom of the 9th, the Sox had the bases loaded with only one out, but again, couldn’t score. A stinkin’ fly ball would have won it. A suicide squeeze would have won it. But Jermaine Dye popped out and then they needed a hit. But Uribe couldn’t deliver either. In the bottom of the 10th, they had the leadoff man on, on an error. Crede sacrifices him to second. But the Twins intentionally walk Pierzynski and then Iguchi obligingly hits into a double-play to end the inning. In the 12th, Rowand mis-plays yet another fly ball and the batter eventually scores. Two batters later, Jacque Jones hits a double and it 4-1. The Sox go meekly in the bottom of the 11th and that’s it, game over.

The Sox left a total of 8 men on in the 8th, 9th and 10th innings. No clutch hit. No sacrifice. All agony… Cleveland won, and so the Sox lead is now down to 1&1/2 games and are only 2 games up in the loss column.

And I’ve thought of an even more agonizing way the Sox could miss the playoffs. Let’s say the Sox finish out the year splitting their last 10 games. Cleveland wins 6 out their last 9 games and both the Yankees and the Red Sox each win 8 out of their last 10 games. What this would mean is that the Sox and Indians would finish tied at 96-66. The Yankees would win their division at 97-65 and the Red Sox would finish at 96-66. The Sox and the Indians would have to play a one game playoff for the division championship. The loser would have to play the Red Sox in a one game playoff for the Wild Card championship. The White Sox could lose both of these games and finish out of the playoffs, even after winning 96 games for the year. THAT would be a heartbreak of mythic proportions…

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