The Kids Can Play, and So Can the Subs! Game 161 Recap
I asked in the preview if Jon Garland could pitch better than he did in his last outing, and he responded with a resounding, "Hell Yeah!" Garland pitched 8.1 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned), all of which came on an error-aided, Michael Duddyer 9th inning 3-run homer. He was in total command, allowing only one baserunner past first base until the 9th inning, using his sinker like an anchor on a shoal.
To help Jon in the spoiler role, Ozzie threw out what Hawk would call his "dawn patrol" line-up, resting six of his regulars.One regular who played in the game, Tadahito Iguchi, contributed a long HR and 3 RBIs. Not-so-regulars Mack and Ryan Sweeney both had two hits
But the guy who stood out most to me was Ross Gload, Professional Hitter. He got the start at first base, was 3-5 and a HR away from the cycle. This guy just makes contact; compare his K rate per ABs to a few other White Sox hitters (not including today's game): Jim Thome, 1 K every 3.36 ABs; Paul Konerko, 1 K every 5.44 ABs, Rob Mackowiak, 1 K every 4.49 ABs; and Scott Podsednik, 1 K every 5.41 ABs. What's Ross Gload's K rate? 1 K every 10.5 ABs. (Spare me the sample size issues. Gload had, prior to today's game, 147 at-bats. That seems like a large enough sample to me. And if you're curious about his career K rate, in 485 at-bats or basically a season's worth, it's 1 K every 6.30 ABs, so it's still higher than the other guys mentioned.) He also runs hard, is a smart baserunner and can play just about anywhere on the field.
Hopefully Ozzie and Kenny Williams will think long and hard about making this guy the starting left fielder next season, or at least platooning him with Pablo Ozuna. He can possibly lead off, although his career OBP isn't spectacular for a lead off guy (.341), but I think the guys is coming into his own as a hitter and should warrant a look in spring training at least. And he certainly won't look at a million strike threes like a certain other lead-off hitter.
What more can be said about this game? 11 AM starts suck. Comcast Sportsnet rules. (This game wasn't supposed to be televised.) And Minnesota won't win the AL Central for at least one more day.
Bad Ozzie Move of the Game: I'm giving Ozzie a pass today even though Pods was in the line-up.
Good Ozzie Move of the Game: The use of the "dawn patrol" line-up. Ozzie's veterans thank him graciously, most notably AJ who could feel a bean ball headed his way after his antics at the end of Friday's game.
Play of the Game: I'd say it was Gooch's 2-run single in the 3rd that broke the game open for the Sox.
Big Ups of the Game: Gload, Mack, and Sweeney. And whoever was doing the bed-checks for the White Sox last night.
And My White Sox Co-Players of the Game are...
Jon Garland (9)
Tadahito Iguchi (9)
White Sox Record: 90-71, and they're part of the only division in baseball with three 90-win teams.