Last night Dayan Viciedo’s ninth inning three-run blast shocked the Yankees and gave the Sox the momentum they needed to finish the game off. Granted Jeter’s shot to the warning track in right field for the final out was enough to make your heart stop for a moment, it was a solid game by the Sox. And with wins from the Tigers and the Indians we needed to take that one. Tonight rookie lefty Jose Quintana will oppose Adam Warren who is making his MLB debut. Initially the Yankees wanted to ease Warren into the bullpen but with CC Sabathia on the DL and Andy Pettitte going down with a broken fibula (ouch) a couple days ago New York needed to put Warren into the rotation. Two rookie pitchers against two powerhouse offenses should make for a great game.
Oh, I’m back by the way. I realized I never said anything when I left. I was offered a staff writing position at FanSided’s White Sox site last September and that’s where I disappeared to. I’m back for the time being and I’m ready to post.
The American League Wild Card race is getting real interesting right now. With a Baltimore win over the Red Sox and the Rays downing the Yankees, the Rays and Sox are now tied atop the AL Wild Card standings. It looked for a while like the Red Sox may be able to hold their ground and continue this dominant season but the Rays have really come on strong and can smell the playoffs.
Josh Beckett pitched well against the Orioles last night but the Baltimore offense has decided to play the role of Major Spoiler and give the Rays some help. Chris Davis and Robert Andino were the unlikely heroes in Baltimore’s 6-3 victory over Boston, Davis driving in a pair and Andino scattering three RBI throughout the game. Tonight the Red Sox will send veteran southpaw Erik Bedard (1-2, 3.63 ERA) to the mound against rookie and fellow left-hander Zach Britton (11-10, 4.44 ERA).
The Rays needed a big inning to bust through against the Yankees and that’s what they got in the bottom of the third. With the score at 2-0 Yankees, a two-run double off the bat of B.J. Upton and a Johnny Damon RBI single put the Rays up for good. Having James Shields on the mound gave the Rays that extra boost of confidence to overcome the Yankees as Shields pitched eight and two thirds innings of six-hit, two-run baseball. Kyle Farnsworth recorded his twenty-fourth save of the year. Tonight young righty Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90 ERA) will go against journeyman righty Bartolo Colon (8-10, 4.02 ERA) in a chance for the Rays to hop into first place in the Wild Card.
It’s Veteran vs. Youngster for the Sox and Youngster vs. Veteran for the Rays in what could be the biggest game of the season for both of these two playoff-bound teams.
I opened up the mlb.com home page, and to my dismay I’m greeted with horrifying news! Our beloved, multi-bearded, switch-hitting outfielder/first baseman has left the South Side and is headed to New York city to play for the Bronx Bombers.
In 153 games, Swisher belted twenty four home runs and drove in 69 runs. Not the stats he was piling up while playing for Oakland; 2006 (34 home runs, 95 RBI, .251 average) comes to mind.
As amazing as he was in the clubhouse and for the overall make up of the team, I have to say that I am not going to miss his on-the-field performance. Whether it be losing his glove over The Baggie in Twinkie Town, or wearing the collar with four punchouts in a game, his lack of consistant play will be better off in New York. That being said I do have to admit that I will miss the hilarity he brought to the table. His differentiating beards always made me chuckle.
Coming our way from the Yankees is Wilson Betemit, Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. All but Betemit I have never heard of in my life. Nunez and Marquez are both right-handed pitchers, but bot only Marquez is a product of the Yankees’ farm system. Nunez came over at last years deadline from Washington; Marquez was a First-Year Player draft selection in 2004, 41st overall.
Marquez led all Yankee farmhands in wins last year with 15 (shows how bad their minor league pitching staff’s have come to be over the years) and innings pitched, racking up a total of 155.1.
This may possibly open up a gaping hole in our platoon system. Last year if Konerko needed a break, Swisher would step in and play at first while someone like Dewayne Wise would play the vacated outfield slot. How is this going to work now? I’ve heard some rumors over at the mill that we’re interested in trading both Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye if the right trade would come stumbling along. But, here’s the nagging question: what is the right trade? Will the value of these specific players ever be matched? Their play has maintained a productive pace over their time with the Sox, Konerko being the more experienced of the two, and they’re very respected by the Chicago media and in the team’s clubhouse.
The rare commodity of decent prospects was in the White Sox’s favor for this trade. I think that I will grow to appreciate this down the line if these players develop and become major league material. Keeping that in mind, it’s also hard to give up someone who has already proven himself in the majors for three players (one already hovering slightly around “OK”) who are yet to reach that plateu!
With spring training… months away, I suppose one won’t know what the outcome of this deal will provide us with. Swisher could turn out to be a total bust in the Yankees’ system, while Betemit might play a key off-the-bench roll, or even an occasional starting position! The pitchers we obtained will either decay in the minors or play well out of the bullpen, even spot-start for us at some point down the line.