Saturday, August 12, 2006

White Sox Get One Game Closer

I checked in on today's Chicago White Sox / Detroit Tigers game at U.S. Cellular Field to find that Detroit's Kenny Rogers had a no-hitter through four innings. If he had made it through another inning, that would have made it three Sox games in a row to feature a pitcher throwing no-hit ball through 5. I even wrote a post in anticipation of that happening, but alas, Paul Konerko broke up the no-hitter as the first batter of the 5th.

The White Sox end up winning 4-3 on a good performance from Mark Buehrle, his second of his last three starts. Sox starter Mark Buehrle managed to get 7 strike outs over 6 innings, and gave up no walks, a marked difference from his weaker outings of the last couple of months.

Near the trade deadline, the White Sox traded for veteran catcher Sandy Alomar, who has a history with Buehrle. The hope was that having Alomar calling the games, or at least nearby, would help Buehrle get his head on straight. Buehrle's improved since Alomar arrived, but I can't say if Alomar himself is the reason. It's possible Alomar did something to help, it's possible the trade merely triggered something in Buehrle's mind that helped him focus, and it's possible Buehrle's improvement is just coincidental to the trade.

The Sox are now 6.5 games behind the Tigers, and if they win tomorrow will be only 5.5 games behind, a distance they may overcome to win the division. If they don't win, their best chance for the playoffs is the wild card.

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