Sunday, May 08, 2005

24-7: If You Hang On Long Enough

The White Sox complete a sweep, 5-4, in Toronto as Mark Buehrle picks up his fifth win, Jermaine Dye hits his fifth homer, and Damaso Marte holds on for a terrifying save.
  • Toronto scored all their runs in one inning, in large part due to two fielding miscues by Juan Uribe. Buehrle scattered nine hits. Right now, he has been the least effective of the five Chicago starting pitchers. Think about that. He's 5-1 and he's been the worst. Amazing.
Other notes:
  • The way Ozzie handles the pitching staff is, I think, both revolutionary and reactionary. He doesn't seem to believe in thrashing the bullpen or LOOGYs or any of the other 1990s fads that plague baseball games. He doesn't pull his starters early, letting Buehrle pitch at least one inning further than I expected. And, finally, and most importantly, Ozzie doesn't worship at the Cult of the Closer, the baseball religion that you must have one pitcher who mystically can only be used when the specific Aristotlean criteria exist for The Save Opportunity. Virtually every other manager in baseball would have pulled Marte for Takatsu in the ninth today after the double. But by letting Marte wriggle off the hook, Ozzie showed Damaso he believes in him, a move that will almost certainly pay dividends down the road. He handles his pitchers the way they did in the 1970s and 1980s, which is, I think, more productive and more intelligent.
  • I don't think the SmartBall tagline is going to stick, and Winning Ugly doesn't really fit this team any more than it fits anybody else. Go-Go isn't really right for a team that bashes home runs. So what is the tagline?
  • Speaking of Smart, the 2005 White Sox seem to be full of reasonably intelligent ballplayers. Podsednik, Iguchi, and the two catchers are not stupid ballplayers. The two Cuban pitchers are shrewd. Takatsu makes up for lack of overpowering stuff with wicked finesse. Timo isn't a stupid player. They do make a few dunderheaded-looking baserunning mistakes from time to time, but all in all, I see calculated risks being taken.
  • The Twins are like the Terminator, they won't kill easy.
On to Tampa.

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