Might as well go into it all square.
A cushion of a game or two would be a nice margin for error, of course (and a seven-game lead would lessen the palpitations before every pitch), but there’s something that seems clean and right about this six-of-the-next-nine duel starting with a tie atop the division. Bring it.
Freddie Garcia has been like Eddie Harris from Major League, getting by with an 82 mph “fast”ball and little else beyond slop-selection and varied release-points and set-stops, if not the occasional glob of Vagisil or Bardahl. He’ll oppose Scott Baker tonight, trying to quiet a strong offense that is still missing its best hitter in Justin Morneau.
US Cellular Field is kind to the Sox bats, to say the least. Check this year’s home/road slash-stat comparison: .270/.341/.467 (.808 OPS) vs. .256/.315/.381 (.696 OPS).
We’ll preview the series this afternoon, bring you the lineup as soon as Ozzie posts it, and get a live look-in as first pitch approaches.
Carlos Zambrano did nothing to impress potential suitors last night. His stuff was meh, his location awful. Funny how the talk of his inevitable offseason trade never gets to the Cubs eating all the remaining dollars on the deal, which they’ll have to do. They will also have to swallow every last penny of Fukudome’s remaining money, too, so dreams of Adam Dunn replacing Derrek Lee appear far-fetched.
Think we’ll see Lou again, or will all parties involved agree to use his extended absence as a way of gently fading him into the cornfield?
Terry is back from vacation today, so the Roar of the Day returns at 5:30. We plan to do the Second Half at 3:30, with surprises from Bears camp, Sox/Twins or both.