King Felix? No Problem
The White Sox “To Do” list for the stretch of games vs. the the Mariners and A’s, beginning on June 6:
* Bounce back from the lost weekend series with Detroit…check
* Defeat Seattle’s rookie pitching sensation Michael Pineda…check
* Find a way to beat 2010 Cy Young Award winner “King Felix” Hernandez…check
* Overcome Mariners’ tough lefty Jason Vargas tonight for the sweep…mission pending
* Win the four-game series vs. Oakland, which begins on Thursday…pending
So far, so good, as the Sox continue their effort to accomplish everything on their check list. There’s much more to be done, but last night’s impressive 5-1 win over King Felix and his teammates was particularly satisfying.
Before the season, if you would have told me we’d be facing Hernandez without Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Alexei Ramirez in the starting lineup, I would have said we have little chance. But that’s exactly what occurred last night as the struggling (to say it mildly) Dunn and Rios were on the bench (Rios did pinch run and played defensively in the ninth) and Ramirez was given a rest in favor of Omar Vizquel.
Vizquel wasn’t simply Ramirez’s replacement, he was one of the game’s heroes. His triple drove in a pair of runs in the Sox four-run third inning. Along with Paul Konerko’s 14th homer and Carlos Quentin‘s two-run blast, his 15th, it provided more than enough offense for the victory.
And, of course, there was another virtuoso performance by the South Siders’ unlikely pitching ace, Phil Humber. The former No. 1 draft choice of the Mets won his fifth game, allowing only a single run on five hits in 7 2/3 innings as he lowered his ERA to 2.87. Humber left the game in the eighth to a standing ovation.
Just think where we’d be without him.