Thoughts from here and there as the Sox try to salvage the final game in K.C.:
1. It's official. The Royals are the new Twins. Kansas City has been building up to this for years, but after last night's four-error, 9-4 disaster, they are clearly the team that's the most frustrating to play. Thanks, though, to the Orioles for defeating the Tigers and helping us maintain the 1 1/2 game lead.
2. The emotional antidote to most Sox losses is that no matter how badly they lose they always seem to stay in the game, in other words resilient. Even last night, before the Billy Butler go-ahead single and Mike Moustakas's three-run homer off of Brett Myers in the eighth, the Sox got back in the game in the top of the inning with Adam Dunn's 35th homer of the season--a two-run shot.
3. By the way, Dunn's 35th was also his 400th career blast, moving him up to 50th on the all-time list and joining teammate Paul Konerko in the 400 club. Dunn's next targets are the still-active David Ortiz (401) and Hall of Famer Duke Snider (407).
4. Give thanks for both humanitarian and baseball reasons that Konerko seems to have fully recovered from his concussion, which he admits put him in another world. Homers in the first two games of this series were a welcome sight.
5. We've got to get Alejandro De Aza, he of the bad back, to return to the lineup as soon as possible to provide the energy and to set the table. Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks before him have done a creditable job, but we need De Aza.
6. Dismissing last night's error spree in the category of "stuff happens," the Sox are still among the top three teams in MLB fielding. The Mariners lead the way with only 46 miscues, the Yankees are at 56 and the South Siders now rank third at 57. Next in line are the Braves with 61 and the Rangers at 63.
7. What do you think, will Tyler Flowers be our starting catcher next year as A.J. Pierzynski flees the nest for a lucrative free agent pact? Methinks he's not ready and we should make a priority of signing A.J.
8. Alex Rios's BA is dipping, "down" to .304. Keep a close on this as it will have a whole lot to do with where we'll be at the end of the regular season.
9. I'm looking forward (sort of) to the upcoming three-game series with the Yankees at the Cell. How nice it would be if the Sox could win the series by winning two of three this week. The two clubs split four games earlier this season at Yankee Stadium. It would be a huge morale booster and a bit of a safeguard as the Tigers host the Blue Jays.
10. Bruce Chen did it to us again. Now, the Sox hope they can solve Jeremy Guthrie this afternoon. Here are two pitchers who have big trouble winning against everybody else, but for some reason have their maximum command against the Pale Hose.
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Tags: A.J. Pierzynski, Adam Dunn, Alejandro De Aza, Alex Rios, Billy Butler, Blue Jays, Braves, Brett Myers, Bruce Chen, David Ortiz, Dewayne Wise, Duke Snider, Jeremy Guthrie, Jordan Danks, Mariners, Mike Mioustakas, Orioles, Paul Konerko, Rangers, Royals, Tigers, Tyler Flowers, White Sox, Yankees