Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.
Headline: Light-hitting Tigers catcher Alex Avila hit a one-out, two-run homer off of J.J. Putz (above) in the top of ninth inning tonight to power the Tigers to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the White Sox.
Sub-headline: Putz’s blown save wasted a superb performance by Edwin Jackson, who gave up only a run while striking out 11 in seven innings.
The Reality: TheTwins beat the A’s 2-0 and have now increased their A.L. Central lead to two games over the Sox. What makes matters worse is that the South Siders travel to Minny next week for three games against a team that has beaten them eight of 12 times so far this season. Oh yeah, we’ll be facing Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano, who both gave us fits at the Cell last week, plus Carl Pavano, who will be seeking his 16th win.
Bottom line? A bad loss, a really bad loss.
Avila’s homer sails over Minnie and sinks Putz and the Sox
In promoting upcoming series, White Sox Hall of Fame radio broadcaster Bob Elson would say something to the effect of, “Folks, come out to the ballpark for a big series this weekend. The New York Yankees will be here with Mantle, Maris, Berra and all that gang.”
That was a half-century ago, but if Elson were around today he’d talk about the Minnesota Twins with Mauer, Morneau, Span, Kubel,Hudson, Thome and all that gang descending on The Cell for a three-game series this weekend.
After watching the Sox the past two nights, it doesn’t appear that it’s the best time for the South Siders to challenge the Twins. Two straight 5-3 losses to the Indians with weak hitting and bullpen woes have not given Sox fans a great impression of what’s to come in 2010. Plus the Twins are on fire, taking three of four from the Angels in Anaheim.
The pitching matchups:
Friday: John Danks vs. Francisco Liriano
Saturday: Freddy Garcia vs. Scott Baker
Sunday: Mark Buehrle vs. Nick Blackburn
As Hawk would say, strap it down.Joe Nathan is nowhere to be found, but the M & M boys will no doubt make ther presence known.