Winning doesn't actually cure all ills, it's more like an enormous injection of painkillers that covers up all the pain for a six-to-eight hour period.
While the eventual White Sox triumph Friday night made burning through the entire bullpen and dragging what is still a fairly old team in terms of position players through fourteen innings worth it, the fallout is the same.
Axelrod and Humber could flip-flop next week after tonight. AJ will not be playing on Saturday.
— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) July 14, 2012
Occasionally, we take for granted that A.J. Pierzynski is 35 years-old and still catches full time, but the absurdity of his workload is reiterated when he does something like stick through a 14-inning marathon without a defensive replacement at any point. Undoubtedly, he would play Saturday if offered the choice. I wonder whether Pierzynski's dedication has crossed the line into a sort of madness, which of course means it already has.
Axelrod was originally going to start Tuesday to rest the rotation even more. That seemed like overkill at the time--if the starters need more rest for the first cycle after the All-Star break, how many more times is it going to be justified over the course of the year?--and loses a bit more purpose now that he won't be able to provide an extra day for Humber coming out of rehab.
Paul Konerko is another candidate to get a day off from playing in the field. He's 36, played all of Friday night's contest while Dunn did not, appeared to exert himself a great deal ranging to his right and spinning for a throw on the second-t0-last out, and hasn't seemed himself at the plate recently either. A day of DH'ing would be playing it safe.
Additional days off across the diamond would hardly be without merit as well.
Coincidentally, while the Sox went through their entire bullpen on Friday, most of their relievers should be available. Leyson Septimo and Jhan Marinez of all people were the only bullpen members to actually throw more than an inning. Hector Santiago, in particular, only faced one hitter and retired him, and Nate Jones is the only pitcher who threw over 20 pitches in his single frame.
The marathon and return of horrifically close battles with the Kansas City Royals may not been the warmest welcome to the 2nd half of the season, but better to have it now than any other time.