Siberian Baseball

Friday, August 18, 2006

Getting warmer...

One game is all that seperates the White Sox and Twins in the Wild Card race after tonight's win. It's looking like this really will go down to the wire after all.

Meanwhile, at Fenway, the Red Sox and Yankees are playing two of five in the next four days. That's just brutal, especially considering how the Red Sox rotation and bullpen are just being whipped lately.

Making matters worse is the local sports chatter about the Twins and their bullpen. I heard the descriptors go from hedged bets with "one of the best in baseball" to flat out "best in baseball."

The thing is that they might have a point. From Mark Gonzalez's post in this evening's Chicago Tribune recap:

Relievers Pat Neshek, Dennys Reyes, Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier held the Sox scoreless over the final 3 2/3 innings to secure the victory. The Twins' bullpen has allowed two runs over its last 30 2/3 innings, and Twins relievers have allowed a major-league-low 123 earned runs and 25 homers.

Looks like the Twins are a major roadblock to October, regardless of the color of your Sox.

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  • The Twins pitching staff is scary. The White Sox pitching staff is also scary, in the sense that they give up leads on a daily basis. Honestly, I was the first person who was completely down on the Twins this season - I thought this was the year they were going to fall off of the table. It looked to be that way the first couple of months of the season, but they now have been playing at a ridiculous pace since the beginning of June.

    There's certainly panic around town right now about the Sox, but it's still almost completely focused on the Tigers as opposed to the Twins or the other wild card contenders. Look, it's nice to win the division title, but it really doesn't matter as long as you make the playoffs (look at the last 3 World Series champs before the White Sox: '04 Red Sox, '03 Marlins, and '02 Angels - all wild card teams). Even after the Sox played two straight series like ass against the Twins, it's like no one even cares about them here - there's a notion that all that matters is the division. To me, that's stupid - we should be caring a lot more about getting into the playoffs in any shape or form as opposed to how the Tigers are doing.

    Here's what gives me hope about the Sox as a team, though: the aforementioned Sox pitching staff has been as bad as it could be considering its talent, yet they are still leading the AL Wild Card race. The point here is that the Sox are in that position despite never hitting a hot streak or peak the way the Twins and Tigers already have. You can either look at that as either a good thing for Sox fans (they're due for a hot streak) or a bad thing (maybe they aren't capable). IMHO, the Sox are going to have at least one more great stretch of games before the season ends. If only because they have too much talent for that not to happen. That will, at the very least, propel them into the playoffs and maybe even overtake Detroit for the division.

    By Anonymous Frank the Tank, At Monday, August 21, 2006 9:07:00 AM  

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