When your team is out of the playoffs after a very disappointing year, it’s important to look for positive signs in the remaining games and for the next season. So, that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Mark Buehrle’s victory last night vs. the Tribe, a 1-0 decision in the nightcap of the doubleheader, was a pick-me-up after the Sox dropped the opener 5-1 and lost any chance for a .500 season. He pitched six innings for his 13th win, allowing three hits with no walks. His stellar performance was needed as his mound opponent, Justin Masterton, hurled a complete game, giving up just the one run and striking out 12 Sox. After struggling post-perfect game, Buehrle deserved to end the season on a high note.
That brings us to what is probably the biggest plus in this lost season and for 2010–the starting pitching. The South Siders lead the American League with 84 quality starts and are second in ERA with a 4.24. And I don’t think there’s any question that next season’s rotation of Buehrle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia/Daniel Hudson/somebody else will be considered the best staff in the division and maybe in all of baseball.
With the series victory over the Indians under their belt, it would be another positive if the Sox finish strong against Detroit, who with a win this afternoon against the Twins will clinch the division title. We’ve got Peavy, Garcia and Danks going against the Tigers at Comerica.