Some random thoughts on an off-day following a much-needed 4-3 walk-off win and in advance of a crucial road trip vs. the Angels and Mariners…
* The offense last night was sparked again by our two everyday MVPs–Scotty Pods and A.J. Podsednik tied a personal record with his four hits (two singles and two doubles) and Pierzynski doubled to score Alexei (who had two hits and two RBI) with the winning run in the 13th inning. The P & P boys are also our only .300+ hitters–Pods at .307 and A.J. at .314.
* On the flip side of Pods and A.J., it’s been excruciating to watch Jermaine and Alex Rios at the plate. Dye, who started the season on fire, has been in a slump since the All-Star break. With his 0 for 6 performance last night his average has dwindled to .256. Rios, down to .247, did hit a bloop single but he’s been like the walking dead. It just seems like he’s lost his confidence. And if his offense wasn’t bad enough, he dropped a ball for an error in extra innings. Ugh!
* Freddy Garcia was denied the victory last night when Tony Pena coughed up the tying run in the eighth, but he was outstanding as he gave up only two runs and five hits over six innings while striking out five. It looks more and more like Freddy will be the front-runner for the fifth starter role in 2010.
* I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Octavio Dotel for his fine performance to give us a shot to win it in the 13th. He’s been a human yo-yo all season–great one day, awful the next–but he was terrific last evening.
* With last night’s Sox win and the Tigers loss, the South Siders picked up a full game on Detroit for the first time since August 22. No wonder we are where we are–6 1/2 games behind the leader.
* The 20 games in 20 days stretch has ended with the Sox finishing 3-8 on “The Road Trip” and 8-12 all told. That said, it was nice to see us play much better in the last two road games and during the 4-2 homestand against Boston and Oakland. It leaves us a game away from the .500 mark at 70-71.
* Word is that Jake Peavy will make his Sox debut on the upcoming road trip either in Anaheim or Seattle. That’s good news whether we’re in the race or not. Peavy has promised he’ll be in perfect shape come spring training where he will be part of what could be the best rotation in the league–led by Peavy, Buehrle, Floyd and Danks.
* Will we see Gordon Beckham this weekend? After four consecutive days off because of the sore side, it seemed like he’d be back. Now it’s been reported that he hurt the tip of his right middle finger in infield drills. Let’s hope he’s OK. Would hate for him to miss out on Rookie of the Year honors because of injury–not to mention that he’s been sorely missed during his absence.