Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Hello, Mr. ContrerasThe White Sox welcomed Jose Contreras tonight with a 12-run offensive explosion, featuring nothing less than Paul Konerko's league-leading 28th home run, which also happened to be the Sox's first grand slam of the year. Prior to tonight, they had been out-grand-slammed 3 to zip. Well, at least they got off of that schneid.
The cheering is muted from Black Betsy at this point because the Sox are so far behind the Twhiners. Sure, it's nice that the Rash breaks out again by getting on base 4 times, and that Contreras apparently looked good through the first four innings (I picked up the game in the top of the 5th). And it's keen that Joe Crede actually walked twice in one game - and neither walk was intentional. How swell it is that Ben Davis had three more knocks, bringing his average up to a cool .303 with the White Sox. But at five games behind, every time the Twhiners win another game (Carlos Silva bizarrely scattered 10 hits in a shutout tonight), it leaves an empty feeling. Minnesota is in total control now. Moreover, beating up on woeful Kansas City doesn't exactly get Black Betsy revved up about how well the Sox are playing.
But, two in a row is good, and keeps the Sox marching on. Staying steady or even gaining a couple of games might make it interesting if Frank Thomas comes back by the end of August, or if, miracle of miracles, Maggs can come back early. Unless and until the Sox regain first place, however, it's hard to be too excited about games like tonight.
Special note: Of all the bizarre things I've noticed this year, this one puzzles me more than any: 12 of Joe Crede's 25 walks came in the month of June. He walked 12 times against 85 at bats, a rate (.14 BB/AB) that is roughly three times his non-June 2004 career rate (.05 BB/AB). In fact, more than 17% of Joe Crede's 67 career walks came in the month of June. No wonder he had a line of .329/.418/.600. If Joe Crede could just walk 2/3 as much as he did in June, he'd be a much better player.
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