Some things that come to mind on the morning after a disappointing 6-5 loss to the Angels, which now gives us a 1 1/2 game division lead over the Tigers:
1. Having watched him the past two nights, it's clear that Halos' rookie Mike Trout is as good as advertised. Not only is he a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year recognition, he's the leader in the clubhouse for the MVP as well. If he continues to make the adjustments and avoid injuries, he's going to be baseball's next great player.
2. Prediction: If the Sox continue on their playoff path, which we' ve got every reason to believe they will, Brett Myers will be the closer down the stretch. It's no criticism of Addison Reed, who undoubtedly is the Sox's guy for the future. It's just that Myers has been through the wars and is one tough hombre.
3. Believe me, it's not only because he smashed two homers last night. I just love the fact Kevin Youkilis plays for my side.
4. Is there anything more frustrating than when Matt Thornton retires the first two batters, then implodes? It seems like it happens more often than not.
5. Answer to No. 4: Yes, when Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber can't find the strike zone and start walking and hitting batters.
6. Note to Sox brass: I know A.J. Pierzynski's career-year numbers may reflect it's his walk year, but for his grit and leadership alone, we have to bring him back.
7. Alejandro De Aza seems to have overcome the slump he endured prior to the All-Star break. He's back, hitting .292 on the strength of his 2 for 5 effort last night.
8. There's not a whole lot of talk about it, but Paul Konerko is in a real funk. Once battling the leaders in average, he's failed in numerous clutch situations and is now down to .315 as he has gone 0 for 9 in the first two games of the Angels series. It doesn't take a genius to realize that we need him to bounce back if October baseball is in our future.
9. Konerko's middle of the lineup partner in crime, Adam Dunn, needs to step it up as well. Homer-wise, he's due.
10. Do you think the Sox regret drafting LSU's Jared Mitchell as the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft when Trout was still on the board? The Angels' chose him two selections later at No. 25. Ouch!