Considering the recent fortunes of the Sox in Oakland, yesterday’s 8-1 win came as a very pleasant surprise. Even more surprising is that, along with Friday’s extra-inning victory, the South Siders have already won the series in a place that has historically witnessed some of the worst of White Sox baseball.
I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but with Danks going this afternoon I feel good that we can leave the Bay Area with a sweep–a rarity for the ’09 Sox.
* I must admit I wasn’t looking forward to facing Gio Gonzalez yesterday. Having the reputation of a cocky kid, I feared he would rise to the occasion against the team that traded him–not once, but twice. But it was the Sox that rose to the challenge.
* I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the more I watch Gavin Floyd the more I’m impressed. Give KW and the Sox brass their props for recognizing Floyd’s stuff and makeup in spite of his less than stellar reputation with the Phillies.
* The man the Sox traded for Floyd–Freddy Garcia–will be on the mound for the Pale Hose on Tuesday vs. the Royals, hoping to rekindle some of his ’05 magic. Garcia was plagued with injury in Philly and he attempted comebacks with the Tigers and Mets, but the Sox think he’s ready to contribute. And we can certainly use him as we await the arrival of Peavy.
* While Garcia will be occupying the fifth spot in the rotation, the fourth spot is very much an uncertainty with Contreras struggling mightily. Granted he was hurt by bad defense against the A’s on Friday, but he’s not where the Sox want him to be.
There’s a lot of talk about minor league standout Daniel Hudson, a 2008 fifth-round pick from Old Dominion, being promoted from Charlotte if Jose continues to falter. The righthander has been well-traveled this season, earning promotion after promotion. He has pitched for Kannapolis (low A), Winston-Salem (high A), Birmingham (AA) and Charlotte (AAA) and to date has compiled a combined 13-5 record with a 2.28 earned run average and an impressive strikeout to walk ratio. At Birmingham alone he was 7-0 with a 1.60 ERA.
* Beckham is really a sight to behold. If he’s not driving in runs with line-drive doubles, he’s doing it with ground balls and sac flies. He’s an RBI machine.
* Dye seems to be getting his stroke back after slumping since the All-Star break. Now we need Paulie to do the same.
* Nix has been somewhat disappointing in the field, especially at shortstop, but on balance he’s been a good addition off the bench–evidenced by his two-run shot yesterday. He came to the Sox with a defensive reputation and there’s no reason why he won’t return to form.